Apex Legends developers remove ‘pay-to-win’ Iron Sights for ‘competition integrity’

Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment has announced that they are repairing pay-to-win iron sights to improve “competition integrity”.

The Heatsink Flatline skin is a hot topic when it comes to competitive integrity around iron sights. Simply put, most players thought the weapon was better with the Heatsink Skin on it.

Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment agreed and they changed this Flatline skin to be more in line with the other skins for the rifle.

Apex Legends ‘pay to win’ skin has been changed

Along with the small but very noticeable visual changes for this weapon came a message from respawn rejecting pay-to-win mechanics in and around weapon skins.

“We believe that a competitive advantage in Apex Legends should be gained through sharpening your skills and not through perceived benefits of purchasing gun skins. As our good friend Kuben Blisk puts it, ‘If you kill me, you’ll be better. I’ll kill you, I’m better.’”

Apex Legends is a high monetization game that has many existing cosmetic options. But with its identity as a competitive shooter, it is also important to maintain competitive integrity for all players. They ended their message with this:

“We hope that players who own these skins will appreciate these improvements and support us as we work to keep Apex Legends fun and fair.”

Why did the Heatsink Flatline skin need to be replaced?

What has changed about the Heatsink skin for the Flatline and why was the skin so controversial in the first place?

Before is on the left, after is on the right

When the before and after images of these skins are placed side by side, it is clear why players preferred the Heatsink skin over other options. That extra viewing window under the irons gives players much more visibility than other Flatline skins.

The Flatline is known for its sturdy iron sights, and a skin that removes some of that mass was clearly a favorite of the players who owned this skin.

Since this is a Season 4 cosmetic, the Heatsink Flatline skin has been in Apex Legends for a long time. While it has taken nearly two years to address the issue, Respawn’s response indicates that they are committed to ensuring Apex Legends is a level playing field unaffected by skins that give some players a slight edge.

Meanwhile, we have a whole list of weapon skins with improved iron sights. Whether Respawn will decide to revisit some other weapon skins and change their sights remains to be seen.

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