The new year is upon us, and League of Legends game developer Riot is cashing in on the Chinese New Year celebrations with skins, chests, and more available for purchase.
LoL is releasing a lot of skins this Lunar Revel, with Azir, Garen, and Vi all getting their own skins for the celebration. Several legacy skins (not normally available) will also be available for a short time this year as well, with multiple bundles being offered by Riot at a discount per item. There’s even a bundle of Zodiac themed lantern skins for wards.
The thing is, the Lunar Revel comes just a month after Riot released the winter skin sets for League of Legends. Numerous new skins, a few legacy options, and so forth just happened last month, and now Riot is capitalizing on yet another celebration to turn a profit. And it typically pays off pretty well for them. Many of the skins for these events become legacy, meaning fewer people have them compared to other popular skins.
However, legacy skins are less of a prestige source than they used to be as Riot continually brings them back for sale. For instance, the Championship Riven skin was originally supposed to be only available once and never again. However, due to popular demand, the skin was brought back. According to iDigitalTimes, “Riot is re-releasing Championship Riven in League of Legends for the 2016 World Championship, with updated particles and effects to bring her in line with today’s skins. Riot making Championship Riven available is incredibly important: it’s one of the few skins Riot has never made available for purchase after its initial run.”
When rare skins become available, or new skins will only be available for a limited time, players tend to buy up the uncommon items in a frenzy. Players often operate under the illusion they are purchasing a once-in-a-lifetime item. However, it has been quite a while since a champion skin truly has been rare. Legacy items pop up throughout the year, and the League of Legends Lunar Revel is one of those times. This makes the special sales something of a cash grab for Riot.
New Lunar Revel Crafting Items for LoL
In addition to champion and ward skins, Riot introduced new options for the Hextech Crafting section. Players can purchase Red Revel Envelopes which are guaranteed to have a skin shard and a random relic. The relics are Golden, Pauldron, and Gauntlet Relics.
The Hextech Crafting tends to be a gambling mechanism. The results from opening the various chests and envelopes are random. Sometimes you get a DJ Sona skin, other times you’ll get Aviator Irelia. Additionally, some skins (Hextech Annie and Soul Stealer Vayne) are locked behind the Hextech Crafting and have become super rare, potentially requiring hundreds of dollars to unlock.
Considering the Golden Relics from the Lunar Revel envelopes can be turned into these ultra rare gemstones, players who have sought those rare skins will likely be tempted into purchasing the new item in hopes of acquiring their heart’s desire.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Riot making money off their game however they see fit. People can play League of Legends and get extremely good without paying a cent. For those who do, taking away the perceived value of a purchase, by removing the rarity of a skin, Riot devalues future purchases by these players. If Riot claims a skin will never be offered again, but it is, those who may have spent $30 on it are less likely to do so the next time Riot makes that claim.
Cash grabs may be beneficial in the short-term, but the long-term repercussions may end up costing Riot more than it would to simply create new skins for champions instead of re-releasing legacy ones.
So what are your thoughts on Riot’s skin releases (or re-releases) for League of Legends? Tell us in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by League of Legends]