Since its official launch last June 2, 2020, the critics’ community has positively received Riot Game’s Valorant as one of the most promising competitive FPS in gaming. Do not get the idea wrong, Valorant is a pretty decent game that despite its various flaws. The game still delivers a proper free-to-play multiplayer experience to the community.
Although as impressive as it may be, Valorantis on the verge of defining how free-to-player games looks like, but not in a good idea. A couple of days ago, a Redditor made a cost estimate of the new Elderflame skin pack from Valorant. According to the Reddit post, the premium pack itself comes with a base price of almost a hundred dollars, which is common to cosmetic bundles these days.
The shady part of this deal is that purchasing the Elderflame collection does not provide you with the entire package. After spending almost a hundred dollars on cosmetic skins, you still need to evolve or upgrade using (Radianite Points). Your weapons to get the full package, which is mostly effects and color variations of the weapon. As gaming journalist YongYea would say, it’s basically “skins sold within skins.”
So, if you have tons of cash lying around, it’s fine to spend money on these overpriced items. However, the game is targeting gamers of all demographics. This thing includes kids who get those flashy items using their parent’s credit cards. As if, it is not enough to call the entire online gaming community-scene toxic and sexist. These types of monetization schemes usually shoveled down our throats through promotions and influencers.
The Valorant Controversy
On a side note, the game already encountered a controversy involving a user experience designer from another Riot Games title who claims to get harassed while streaming the game. The said controversy does not entirely pertain to the gameplay itself, but an overrated reaction from the streamer.
Before we get back into this article’s main issue, let us look back at some of the essential facts that occur during the stream. Take note that this is something based on the clip posted on Twitter. First, the streamer engaged with the troll, then, the troll went on full destructive mode. The streamer then loses focus on the game, and the troll wins. The incident triggered a generalized conviction of the entire gaming community, which according to some people (who does not even play video games), is a sexist community.
One thing to keep in mind is that the streamer has all the tools to block or mute the troll. And that is who, from the looks of it, sounds like a kid flexing. Even though there was no harassment on the said clip, the issue exploded on Twitter. Now, the user experience could have chosen not to engage with the troll. However, the clout was enticing that the tiniest inconvenience felt during the stream must be made public.
But what does it have to do with the Valorant skin issue? It is not that relevant, but it shows how low or what the elite group of critics and so-called developers think about the video game community. And that is the sexist cash cows that digests everything they chose to feed.
In a nutshell, maybe it’s time for gamers to make their voices heard and fight back against these shady monetization schemes. Not to mention that we should fight against these allegations about sexism used to label the community. Most influencers, developers, and critics will not care if you experience financial troubles as long as the cash keeps flowing in. Neither will it change the fact that our community is toxic, one made mostly of bigots in their eyes. When in fact, all we want to do is trash talk and have some fun.
Just like the cosmetics principle around that states: “if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.”. Then, it’s only fair to say that “if you cannot handle trash talk and trolling, then don’t play it.” Don’t go crying out to your social media friends. After all, everything is optional, and freedom of speech is always free, but free-to-play games are not.