RAID: Shadow Legends is everywhere because Plarium Games has a very aggressive strategy towards marketing the mobile gacha RPG. The company sponsors everything because it brings more traction to the game, and more people join.
Shadow Legends sponsors pretty much every influencer they can get to in the gaming industry, and you can only imagine how much they've paid to secure sponsorships with big names like MrBeast, Logan Paul, and Ninja.
Over 380 million users play the game on mobile devices and PCs, and over 1 million players play every day. A significant number of RAID: Shadow Legends players originated from these sponsorships.
For instance, the Ninja sponsorship and collaboration brought a lot of new players to the game. What makes this one even more unique is that you can get Ninja as a playable champion who is very good for early and mid-game.
The aggressive sponsorship tactics work well for the game due to its structure that heavily relies on players buying stuff to speed up their in-game progress.
I mentioned Ninja here because while you get the champion for free, you will have to spend a ton of money to get the skills tomes needed to upgrade all the champion's skills fully.
Mobile gaming and gacha games, in particular, work this way nowadays. In the past, you could get an excellent game for, let's say, $60 at most, especially on PC. Console games tend to be more expensive.
The tide has shifted, and now people play mobile games for free while having their credit cards constantly ready to go on a shopping spree.
Read also: How to play RAID: Shadow Legends on PC & Mac
Despite being a free-to-play game, Raid: Shadow Legends makes its money through player purchases, which allows them to continue adding new characters and content while also making a fortune.
The game is structured around microtransactions. For instance, in Faction Wars, you will need five great champions from each faction to clear all stages with three stars. In the tag PvP arena battles, you are going to need 12 great champions to get to the higher tiers.
The dungeons in the game (Fire Knight, Dragon's Lair, Ice Golem, Spirer's den, and even the Potion Keep dungeons) require specific team compositions and champions with special skills to be able to clear all stages.
You will also need a special team for the Clan boss, and only the story campaign can be fully cleared without any particular requirements (at least up to brutal difficulty).
You will also need to spend a lot of time and energy (in-game energy) to acquire good enough artifacts to aid your progress and unlock special gear and champions in the Doom Tower.
My point here is that you need to invest months or at least a year in exploring the game entirely.
At the same time, you will get the daily spam of unique packages that cost a lot, and sometimes it's hard to resist the temptation.
Overall, Raid: Shadow Legends' marketing methods accomplish its goal of developing the beloved game even as they are aggressive, somewhat controversial, and even a bit annoying.
Read also: RAID: Shadow Legends Tier List
The dumb argument in favor of gacha games vs subscriptions
The idea here is that whales spend a ton of money on funding the game so that we can play for free. I find this argument to be a crappy one. Many games make a ton of money while being accessible and keeping the field equal.
Examples: Fortnite, Valorant, CS: GO.
These games, of course, have very different ways of making money, thanks to being competitive.
Gacha games, on the other hand, rely on human psychology to make money, and that sucks. It's a low-hanging fruit because it's essentially gambling.
Yes, I prefer spending $200/year to play WoW rather than play a free game that constantly nudges me to spend money on what is essentially gambling.
I believe that gacha games have ruined gaming, and RAID is no exception. Yes, I prefer paying even $20/month to have a balanced game that is not p2w, and I think a lot of gamers would if the game was of high quality.
Gacha games try to squeeze money out of you, and the release of a single champion/character may be enough to make more profit than games like the Witcher 3 have made overall.
Mobile games are cheap to make, and they are an easy way to make money. That's all there is to it, and Plarium knows.
A small part of the users that start gacha games stay, but even before new players leave, the average return-on-investment (ROI) is worth it for Plarium and other companies to promote the game.
The fact that they can collaborate with people like Ninja proves the point. They make far more money than they need to.
I live for the day people get tired of this crap, and mobile games become more like console games and pc games rather than the other way around.
Players should get wholesome games on mobile, not games that aim to rip you off even if they are good games, like Genshin Impact and RAID: Shadow Legends.
Is RAID: Shadow Legends actually good?
I started playing RAID: Shadow Legends because I believe it was good to master the game for this tech & gaming blog. I have to admit that I honestly like the game, and I play A LOT daily.
I have also played a lot of mobile gacha RPGs and action games like Disgaea, Bleach Brave Souls, AFK Arena, Genshin Impact, and Punishing Gray Raven.
I believe that RAID is one of the best turn-based idle mobile RPGs. For instance, I've been playing AFK Arena for more than a year, and I like RAID: Shadow Legends.
If you love action RPGs, Genshin Impact and Punishing Gray Raven are much better games than RAID, and if you love anime graphics, you will be amazed visually. That's not to say that RAID has terrible graphics. They are pretty good. Now, if only the faces of humans didn't look so bad, it would be great.
Yes, RAID can be annoying. It has more than 300 champions is quite scary because the grind is endless, and yes, you may be tempted to spend vast amounts of money.
But if you avoid breaking your wallet, you are going to the different team compositions and strategies you can bring in a fight, the skill, and mastery combos, along with the artifact sets, etc.
What sucks is that the developers in Plarium (although it's not their fault) have made it so that even silver (the in-game currency) can be scarce.
To give you an example of how aggressive some game mechanics are, you have to spend silver to unequip gear from a champion. And if the gear is top-tier (like Legendary 6*), you will need to spend a fortune to remove every single piece.
That's pathetic, and Plarium goes too far in the way they try to make money from the player community. But that doesn't change the fact that RAID: Shadow Legends is an exciting game.
Before starting to play the game, I read a Reddit post where a user claimed that RAID copied Summoners War and Plarium threw in everything from other games and ended up with a game that doesn't make sense in terms of champion building and battle mechanics.
I find that opinion to be inaccurate. Initially, you feel exactly this way because the game is overwhelming due to the far too many different modes (which, again, aim to make you spend money).
But once you get the hang of RAID: Shadow Legends, it's nothing really complex. Just a typical enjoyable mobile gacha RPG with aggressive marketing. Suppose you can resist that you are going to enjoy the game in my opinion.
Is RAID: Shadow Legends worth playing?
Yes, for two reasons:
- It's a pretty good game considering it's a mobile gacha RPG and a turn-based one at that.
- By using the links on this blog you help us make money and improve the blog, even if you just install the game and don't spend anything on it. Essentially, you become and Robin Hood of the gacha era. I'm all in for modern era Robin Hoods.
To conclude, this is why RAID: Shadow Legends is everywhere, and I believe I was as honest as it gets in my mini-review of the game.