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Cash shop cosmetics in B2P

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With all the hype for the upcoming Gujian MMO, I wonder what people's thoughts on cash shop cosmetics are, particularly in a B2P game. Notable existing examples (including games outside of the genre) would be Guild Wars 2, Black Desert Online, Elder Scrolls Online, Overwatch, Destiny 2 (any probably many others that I'm missing out on. These cosmetics serve to supplement the revenue from box sales and expansions.

These games differ in the way that you can obtain cosmetics without having to pay, most having in-game, non-cash shop cosmetics to begin with. Overwatch is unique in this sense (at least among the listed games) in that cosmetics are obtained from a lootbox that you can also obtain for free by playing.

As much as I want to believe that cosmetics in a B2P game should be earnable in-game (does not include farming gold to convert into premium currency or buying from other players), games seem to be gravitating away from this. At times, cash shop cosmetics are very well designed, which makes sense from a business standpoint, since you obviously want to make an attractive product for better sales. Then they start to "powercreep" themselves, in order to sell you the next, more attractive cosmetic.

The question then is, what happens to the earnable in-game cosmetics? If the development team is able to create attractive cosmetics that are obtainable in game, as often as they release cash shop cosmetics, then there is little issue. However, the fact is, they rarely are able to do so. GW2 is a major offender of this, there are now several lootbox weapon skins that are encroaching into legendary weapon skin terrority, in terms of particle effects. And they just keep getting better (kudos to the designers of course…)

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Often times, you end up with cosmetic options that are only available in the cash shop, like mount skins, emotes, etc., instead of being able to get them through in-game/achievements. I'm not the biggest fan of this system, but I understand that B2P games need to generate income between expansions and whatnot. No doubt, it is better than subscriptions WITH box sales WITH cash shop. These games differ in the way that you can obtain cosmetics without having to pay, most having in-game, non-cash shop cosmetics to begin with. Overwatch is unique in this sense (at least among the listed games) in that cosmetics are obtained from a lootbox that you can also obtain for free by playing.

As much as I want to believe that cosmetics in a B2P game should be earnable in-game (does not include farming gold to convert into premium currency or buying from other players), games seem to be gravitating away from this. At times, cash shop cosmetics are very well designed, which makes sense from a business standpoint, since you obviously want to make an attractive product for better sales. Then they start to "powercreep" themselves, in order to sell you the next, more attractive cosmetic.

The question then is, what happens to the earnable in-game cosmetics? If the development team is able to create attractive cosmetics that are obtainable in game, as often as they release cash shop cosmetics, then there is little issue. However, the fact is, they rarely are able to do so. GW2 is a major offender of this, there are now several lootbox weapon skins that are encroaching into legendary weapon skin terrority, in terms of particle effects. And they just keep getting better (kudos to the designers of course…)

Often times, you end up with cosmetic options that are only available in the cash shop, like mount skins, emotes, etc., instead of being able to get them through in-game achievements.

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