Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate going free-to-play in Japan

Free version of 3D-fighting game to include majority of single-player modes and online mode; four characters only available.

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Tecmo Koei has announced it will be releasing Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate as a free-to-play game for the PS3 in Japan alongside the paid version of the title.

Tecmo Koei is making Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate free. Sort of.

According to an interview with Team Ninja head Yosuke Hayashi on Famitsu (via NeoGAF), the single-player mode, non-DLC outfits and stages will be free. Players will need to pay 1,500 yen ($15) for the game's full story mode.

There will be four characters playable in this version: Kasumi, Ayane, Hayate and Hayabusa. The rest of the game's characters can be purchased at 400 yen ($4) each. The publisher will allow players to check out unlocked characters for a few days as a free trial.

The game's online mode will be free. Players on the F2P version can fight against those who have the retail version. They can also transfer Dead Or Alive 5 save files and DLC costumes bought from the first version of the game.

There will not be a limitation as to how many games a free-to-play user can play per day. For more information on Dead or Alive 5, check out GameSpot's review of the game.

Discussion

73 comments
beny_pimpster
beny_pimpster

me wait for psvita's ultimate + collectors edition and me pay full price lol the doa5+ free 3D poster is bad ass i tell ya

AtheistPreacher
AtheistPreacher

Wow.  I would never ever do this.  Fighting games are all about the characters.  Needing to pay for each character after the first four is just complete BS.

csward
csward

With all the fighting games out there these days, I am surprised they are still releasing these outside of Japan.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

"They can also transfer Dead Or Alive 5 save files and DLC costumes bought from the first version of the game."  I'm confused.  If you own DLC costumes, doesn't that mean you likely already own the original game?  In which case, why would you want to play this?

If there's something in the "Ultimate" version that's not in the normal one, it probably would have been good to mention.

Marky360
Marky360

Wow this has to be the weirdest experiment with FTP I have seen yet. As it stands I'd much rather buy the full game and get all the characters althought I wish temco would just release the new characters as DLC for the standard game as I don't want to have to buy a whole new game just to get a few characters. I think I'll DL this off the Japanese PS store just to see if the new characters that come in Ultimate are worth me buying DOA 5 twice.

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

four characters only available, "Dead" on arrival, get it?

Any who they should have gone the Dota 2 route and just giving every character out from the get go.

Setzera
Setzera

I love when they have to explain how their "free to play" model works, because it's not as simple as just being free to play anymore.

Redblaze27
Redblaze27

The thing that sickens me with the idea is that they say on the official site they have no intentions of selling character bundles, more or less saying that the player either would have to buy a physical game disc or spend $115 just to have the game whole game digitally.

Articuno76
Articuno76

If the offline versus mode is free this would be a great way to reach tournament players.  I always felt that fighting games that are arcade ports (not that DOA5 is) should get bare-bones ports with basic training modes and versus.  They could be sold at a really low price (or distributed for free) for the hardcore players and then a full version with single player content goodies could be put out as a formal release later down the line.  

It would be different from a BETA because the game system/balance would fundamentally be the same between them. But it would also allow hardcore players to get their hands on the game early without having to wait for content that they sometimes aren't that interested in.

edit:  Free-online as well suggests free offline versus.  If you are not interested in the story or other extraneous single-player features then buying the game and just the character you want could be a bargain.  

Dirk_McHardpeck
Dirk_McHardpeck

I guess they had to make it free to compete with all the other pron that's availabe online these days.

adroge1
adroge1

As long as they have a single disk with everything on it that I can buy and access all at once without further fees, I suppose I'll buy DOA5... again.... -_-   at some point.

Lord_Daemon
Lord_Daemon

Well I'm certainly happy all the stuff transfers over from DOA 5 at least. 

gt350tsc
gt350tsc

How about they bring it to the PC as free to play?  :)

EPaul
EPaul

Game must of bombed hard........

tylercheetham
tylercheetham

F2P for the fighting game genre would work surprisingly well in my opinion. You could run it like a f2p moba with a rotating "free" roster. The game would stay fresh with a steady stream of new characters, stages, outfits etc. 

People complain about microtransactions all the time, but fighting games are a genre where people tend to main 1 or 2 characters. So not owning every character in the game isn't going to hamper the vast majority of the audience (hardcore fighting fans aside). 

Techn1c4l
Techn1c4l

Gentleman, we've officialy found something that is worse than day-one DLC and online passes.

Tripwolf
Tripwolf

Man, I hope this fails. More microtransaction garbage.

It's the same principle drug dealers use. The first bit is free THEN they start to charge. And it's just as gross in games.

Chui_GamingX
Chui_GamingX

What Global sales of DOA 5 ? is it Break 1 Million allready ?

Chui_GamingX
Chui_GamingX

More Freebie Boobs is always Welcome! But playing in ONE HAND is really HARDCORE :D

USAPATRIOT21
USAPATRIOT21

This was not the picture I would have used for DOA5 news.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

Why so homosexual article picture?


Seriously though this is exactly what I've been asking fighter games to do for a while. Give us just the very basic build and then let us buy the characters, stages and game modes we want. This is just the wrong game, with something like Marvel vs Capcom this would be an awesome model. Want Cyclops? Want Daredevil? Want Megaman? Want Disco King?

czdesigns
czdesigns

Oh I got this on my Vita... It was labeled as "Demo". lol

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@AtheistPreacher Do you use all of them?

IMO all fighting games could be like this. Build the fighting game you want. The hardcore fans who use everything pay more while the people who don't need a 20+ character roster pay less. And if you want everything, in this case you can just buy the full disc version. It's just more options for those who don't breathe fighter games and learn every character.

Ofc this is the wrong game because in DOA I want everything, playing as any character is fun and while story is basic I still like playing it. This practice should happen with Tekken (in which I only use Yoshimitsu, King, Nina and Jin) or Mortal Kombat (in which I only use Sub-Zero and Stryker)

Redblaze27
Redblaze27

@csward Team Ninja is the only reason Tecmo-Koei makes money nowadays.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

After a bit of digging, apparently Ultimate is some kind of "expansion" for DOA5.  Weird concepts at play here.  Guess I'll have to wait for release to really understand what's up.

Articuno76
Articuno76

I've read the same story on Shoryuken that said that all offline modes (excluding story mode) are part of the free game.

Fursnake
Fursnake

@gt350tsc 

Looks like some of the "features" definitely could use PhysX for extra...bounce.

179107199999
179107199999

@tylercheetham Since SoulBlade I've used Mitusrugi Taki Sophitia Seung Mina Hwang and Cervantes as time went buy I used Kilik Xiangua,a little Ivy Tira,Raphael,YunSung,Talim, However my mains are Mitsurugi Taki and Seong Mi Na, In Tekken My mains are Baek Christie, The Laws and Alisa.Just being able to use 2 characters makes a fighting game unfun to play.Having a diverse cast makes thing fun. To learn different styles and play mechanics of more than 2 characters is way too much fun.I didn't but SFxT because I love playing as Asuka and Alisa and Christy and I really liked Sakura since SFA2. The fact that I had to buy her to make my Asuka Sakura team made me skip buying the game.And although TTT2 is a  super hyper jugglecentric game now as opposed to past Tekken games i liked having all the characters and stages given to me.THAT is how it should be.I disliked SC5 for how they did Dampirre.He was already free in Broken Destiny but you had to pay for him in SC5? No.A fighting game is best when all characters are unlocked.It sucks if you fight a person using a character you haven't paid for and you get beat because you don't know the match up.That hampers learning all match ups.I am a fighting game fan.and I disagree with your idea

Articuno76
Articuno76

@Techn1c4l Can you explain how?  Day-1 DLC and Online Passes reduce the utility/value of the game you purchased by limiting the game/content in some way.  

This isn't even on the same level as regular F2P microtransactions either (which can grant people who dig deeper into their wallets with increasingly larger benefits).  

This is actually quite an empowering move for players.  You can play (what is essentially) the demo version of the game, play the full game. Or if you choose, just selectively buy the content you actually want (and if that sum should exceed the price of a full game, then you can always just buy...the full game).  I am not sure what the issue here is.  If the customer wants the whole package the can all have it for one fair price (well, presumably it will be fair).

To me being upset abotu this is a bit like being upset that a demo you downloaded (for which not one penny was given) didn't have everything that was in the $xx retail version.  

179107199999
179107199999

@PrpleTrtleBuBum I don't agree with that.I liked when stuff was added in the game as a bonus.It was unlocked due to you actually loving the game.Why would anyone want to buy half a game I will never know.But LOL at TecmoKoei.They took Capcom's idea of franchise milking and content locking and combined it in to a new cancer. I fail to see how your idea will benefit consumers

179107199999
179107199999

@Articuno76 The Story for the game was really good.Its good they cut it out because you have to play as other characters in the story.Their idea is frubbish. Yes Frubbish. F***ingRubbish

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@179107199999 @tylercheetham But if we think about this DOA5U then you'd get 4 characters for free and if you bought other 4 or 5 it'd still be a lot cheaper than buying the game at full price. And if the game has ability to try out each character, you don't even have to buy a character just to try it.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@179107199999 @PrpleTrtleBuBum This is way cheaper. Basically free and even if I'd end up buying a few characters it'd still probably be cheaper than the $60 full game. If I only want a half of the game I'll pay for half of it. IMO this is a much better strategy than asking $60 for the "full" game and then adding DLC on top of it.

I love unlocks but on the other hand most of the unlocks are stuff I never use.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@179107199999 @PrpleTrtleBuBum @AtheistPreacher I understand you want to play as all characters, but I fail to understand why you have a issue with this? You can buy the disc version that has all the content, while less enthusiastic players can play the game for free as Hayabusa or pay $4 to get a character they like more.

I'm going to buy the disc version of DOA5U, but I never pay full price for Mortal Kombat or Soul Calibur. I could either wait for sale, or download the game for free and buy the bits of content I want. I'd say both I and developer benefit from the latter.

179107199999
179107199999

@Articuno76 @179107199999 In the story mode on DoA5 you play not only as The characters mentioned but you play as Lei Fang Hitomi,Brad,Eliot,Jann Lee,Bass,Rig,and others.Oh and Jacky Bryant is going to be in it too and I have to buy him?? I already like Jacky.Also I doubt the story will be vastly changed.A few thing perhaps but overall not much

Articuno76
Articuno76

@179107199999 @Articuno76 That reasoning doesn't really work as we know that all characters 'can be tried out'.  I assume by that they can all be used in practice mode.

This also points to their being an entirely new story-line as well (why would they charge for content that is already finished?).

Articuno76
Articuno76

@179107199999 @Articuno76 You can have it all. There is still a full stand-alone title that has all the characters and modes in it.  If you want everything, buy it.  If you don't, buy the parts you want.  Where is the issue?

179107199999
179107199999

@PrpleTrtleBuBum @179107199999 @tylercheetham right.No.Only 4 characters then test random characters.How about doing what Skullgirls is doing.New DLC characters free for 3 months. That game had a long development cycle and new characters are still being designed.Didn't have to pay much for the game. Not a lot of characters at the moment but it has everything that counts. If Tecmo Koei can do this with this game then they shoulda made it half price in the begining. Looks like this game hit hard times like SC5. But still only paying for 5 characters and then trying random? No Its best to pay for a full game at a reasonable price.I won't play a half a video game.espcially if its a fighter. That's why I won't buy injustice.Another cheaper version may come out.It happened with MK.Besides giving in to foolishness like that will let companies know we love half done video games

179107199999
179107199999

@Articuno76 except if you get a character you don't like or actually end up not liking the game.I still rather have all. I can't imagine any current fighting game taking that route.just to play random characters and not even get a chance to learn all the ins and out until you get a random selection again.That's something I won't pay for.

Articuno76
Articuno76

@PrpleTrtleBuBum @179107199999 @tylercheetham Fighting games are one of the few genres you can compartmentalise quite well without issue. 

This isn't quite like the BlazBlue problem that came about because the audience (who had all bought the full retail game) was divided between those who got the DLC and those who didn't as all people buying the retail game will get the same deal.  

I think the idea of rotating the character roster in the free game is actually pretty cool.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@179107199999 @PrpleTrtleBuBum How many of those I use? 5-10 max and I'd do just fine with the Cap/Spidey/Mag team I mentioned. I see the other characters used by other players. Besides MvC2 is a cookie-cutter game with a bunch of characters from various games slapped together. And finally, THERE WILL BE A DISC VERSION of DOA5U.

What I'm thinking is that this kind of practice could encourage devs to make more content straight to the players. If they had to create individual characters that players want to buy, no way M.O.D.O.K. would have gotten in before Green Goblin, Daredevil or Megaman

179107199999
179107199999

@PrpleTrtleBuBum @179107199999Everyday Legend ex275w2 days ago

Let's pull an MvC2 here, 56-character roster.

Now, I bought this game for $50, mind you. $50, on Dreamcast, and on PS2, and on the original XB. Also, $15 on 360 and on PS3 as well. So, let's see what this really means for fighting game publishers.

Let's give them 15 fighters out of the gate, for free. Let's sell them the other 41 at $2 a piece.

That $50 game just became $82.

$3 a piece? That $50 game just became $123.

Don't think for one fucking second that they're not ready and willing to do this to their customers. It's bullshit, because to play the full game you used to pay $50-60 for at max, you now are paying much, much more just because it's "free" to get. This is a lie sold as value, just waiting to happen." From Destructoid author Everyday Legend.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@179107199999 @PrpleTrtleBuBum Being a fan of fighting games explains a lot. Most fans of anything want the entire package whether it's some NFL service or anything, at the cheapest possible price.

But as a player who plays this and that it would be a lot more affordable to me if I could just pay for Kasumi, Zack, Hitomi and Bayman in DOA or for Spiderman, Cap and Magneto in MvC. I don't like to pay for the content I never use, IMO the players who extensively use every character should pay more than the ones who settle for less.

A case of agree to disagree.


179107199999
179107199999

@PrpleTrtleBuBum @179107199999 You'd be out of luck if you buy a few characters and someone else has a full set.Chances are they'd end up with a character that has a strong advantage over the characters you use. Tekken Tag 2 gave everything free.costumes had to be unlocked though.Also with how digital distribution works chances are you'll end up paying more than nessecary for  a few characters.I'm a Fighting Fan and I have to have all characters.I shouldn't have to pay for a basic build and then pay for charcacters I want to use. Some Fighting games in this age go beyond 20 characters and seeing as how some companies like to charge the idea would be a thorn in the side of the consumer.Its as good as communism.What I mean is communism could work if humans weren't greedy.