In-game transactions are not new. They are the main source of income for video game developers and companies that maintain free-to-play games. For the most part, they're reasonable too. For example, most skins in Fortnite cost around $20 when converted to real dollars. The same holds true for other popular free-to-play titles.
While there are certain cases where a free-to-play game sells much more expensive skin or in-game cosmetics, they are usually special and somewhat rare, and the relevant game will have usually been around for a long time too.
Pokemon Unite hasn't been available to play publicly for more than a few months. Yet, the game's developers are already getting a lot of flack for releasing not just one, but two skins that are priced at $39.99 each.
Why is Costume Party Style: Lucario so expensive?
The limited-time Halloween holowear, Costume Party Style: Lucario, can be bought for 2,499 Aeos Gems or $39.99 in real money. To make matters worse, this is the second Pokemon Unite skin that costs $40 and that's been released in a month. This incident is making players worry that the pricing will become the norm for Pokemon Unite going forward.
In comparison, League of Legends and Dota 2, don't have skins that retail for $40. Although there are rare skins that cost far more, those are usually priced based on how the community values them, not how much the developers released them for.
For example, the most expensive skins in Dota 2 are the Arcanas, which retail for $35. Valve only releases one or two every year and these skins have infinitely more detail and work put into them. The same goes for League of Legends' Ultimate skins, which players can also buy for $35 each.
It will be interesting to see if the backlash is enough for TiMi Studio Group and The Pokemon Company to respond and reduce the prices of these skins. If not, then we can only hope that developers reduce the frequency of the release of such expensive cosmetics and make more affordable cosmetics available.