League of Legends is notorious for its monetization system, arguably a pioneer in the free-to-play gaming space. Since its inception, League of Legends has stayed afloat as a free-to-play game by creating and selling skins for its immense roster of characters. With over 160 characters in the game, there are plenty of opportunities to monetize cosmetics. While you can buy most skins in the game for one cost, this may be changing in the future, as Riot Games is testing a controversial new “gacha” system for an upcoming cosmetic, which has League of Legends players furious.
To be precise, the new cosmetic coming to League of Legends is a “chroma” for the character Jhin, essentially a recoloring of an existing skin, Dark Cosmic Jhin. While this chroma does feature a new splash art and stylish dark-red coloring, there don’t seem to be any new animations for the existing Dark Cosmic Jhin. To obtain this chroma, players will have to purchase Cosmic 2023 capsules, with each capsule costing 750 RP. To guarantee Jhin’s Dark Cosmic chroma, players will have to purchase 30 capsules, which equates to 22,500 RP. For reference, this would cost around $200 for players to guarantee the new chroma. (While it’s possible to obtain it earlier from these capsules, the drop rate remains at a starkly low 1% with no soft pity system in place.)
Players are expressing anger over the new monetization system. The League of Legends subreddit is filled with posts criticizing Riot Games over the new monetization system, which one player “feeling disgusted” by the new gacha system. Other players are concerned this new system is a slippery slope that could lead to even more predatory monetization models. Popular League of Legends content creator, SkinSpotlights, has even spoken out about their distaste with the new system over Twitter.
Regardless, Riot Games has not announced any plans to halt this new system. It’s worth mentioning that this gacha system is not technically new to League of Legends, as the autochess spin-off Teamfight Tactics has had a variation of this model for their mythic Little Legend Chibi skins and arena skins.