Killer Instinct is free-to-play

Upcoming Xbox One fighting game launching as free download with one character; the rest must be purchased separately.

Microsoft's just-announced Killer Instinct will be a free-to-play experience on the Xbox One, according to a preview of the game from Eurogamer.

The game will be available as a free download with fighter Jago, while players will need to pay for more characters. Pricing information was not divulged.

A producer on the project told the site the decision was made because in most fighting games, many players use only a small number of characters.

"Fighting games are big and expensive and they can be complicated. It's very hard to get good at a number of characters," the producer said. "You generally gravitate towards one or two or three or four at the most. We want players to be able to experience the game that way. Just buy the characters you want or buy them all and we'll give you a discount on that."

Microsoft executive Phil Spencer confirmed the game during Microsoft's E3 2013 press conference yesterday. "We listened, and Killer Instinct is back," Spencer said.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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660 comments
king98121
king98121

so will buying all the chars with discount be around 60 bucks?

LordCrisp
LordCrisp

Wow... why haven't Gamespot removed this article? Killer Instinct is not F2P... not in the usual way anyways... You can still just buy the full game, the "F2P" version is by the developers themselfes just called a "big demo" because you get all of the content but only one character. Then if you're a REALLY casual games you can just use that or buy one or two characters you kinda like and thats it... Again, you CAN buy the full game for a normal price. This was all a IGN fucking up

Eraldus
Eraldus

Fee to play has now achieved even the fighting games... Congratulation M$!

xreadmore
xreadmore

HAHA 1 character??? Even a demo has 2 characters! What a joke

Old_Schooler_Dan
Old_Schooler_Dan

'We don't have enough money to make the game the way every other fighting game is made, so we're going to ... make the game the way every fighting game is made ... and then charge you extra to pick and choose, or let you buy everyone for... a "discounted price" (the standard price).' Then no doubt even more characters will be added, giving them a little more profit. It's a totally planned marketing snare preying on mindless consumer fanboys which they realized they could get away with it when they seen what Capcom has done, and going by all the general DLC people have been buying since DLC became "DLC."

It's pretty sickening, and I'm already not going to buy an Xbox One no matter what game comes out. It absolutely doesn't matter to me. It could be any game I ever dreamed of, and I wouldn't buy it. It's pretty obvious already that the Xbox One is one of the biggest industry mistakes ever made, and is hopefully going to cost Microsoft a ton of money.

That trailer is a farce. I couldn't help but crack up. A game where you sit on your ass eating popcorn and watching while the other opponent juggles you throughout the whole round with an announcer on cocaine and steroids forcing excitement into the ridiculous spectacle. Sure it looks cool, and it must be fun for the person dealing the damage, but looking at it competitively, I can imagine it being a total flustercuck. Imagine how cautious each player will be before attacking, and how boring the game will be while you just wait for your turn to stop being hit. I thought SFXT was bad, but I know already KI has always been the worst at this, and one of the reasons I've never really respected it as a fighter. Don't talk to me about C-C-C-C-C-COMBO BREAKERS!! It doesn't change anything I said. The game looks like the biggest and prettiest mess of a game ever made.

Also, the graphics should look way better than that, imo. Considering what the original KI was like for its time, and what Soul Calibur did for its time ... I sort of feel like it should be the same kind of thing. If these are what next-gen games look like, then why are we calling it the next generation? Looks about like what we already have now.

jlwood830
jlwood830

I used to absolutely love this game.  So I can't wait to see it retail.  This was a lot of fun back in the day.  Heck, I'd play it just for the nostalgia.  Glacius rules.

And haters are gonna' hate.  So don't worry about them.  Let them enjoy whatever it is they enjoy, while we get to play a great game!

kidnatural
kidnatural

" I stopped reading when you said, "They listened to their customers' feedback."

*snip*

Then your post lacks merit and I won't bother reading it. Straw-men can take place elsewhere. 

Techkey1
Techkey1

Well im glad this is coming out and the player model is good. And that they are not afraid to do something that is good for saving people money. I plan on buying the whole game, and if I don't have the money at that time im starting with with my cold hearted alien Glacious.

Now some of what they are talking about has to do with the statement "We listened, and Killer Instinct is back," which means that most of the people exited about this already know about Killer Instinct, they are speaking to the Killer Instinct lovers, and those people have a good idea of who they want to play with. Now new people I would suggest just buying the game full price, unless you don't mine paying to find the one you like.

Hmm...They give you and option (freedom) and everyone is mad, they don't give you an option (no freedom) and everyone is happy? Weird!

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

What's the point of reviving the franchise if ur not giving it to rare and ruining it


finalkain
finalkain

Waited so many goddamn years for this game... and this is the outcome. Seriously feel somewhere between my lifelong pet was just ran over and my wife cheating on me with my father.


Yeah.. Somewhere in between there.

Vyktarious
Vyktarious

Ok, I thought this looked amazing at first, but now I here about this. Litteraly the 1 game that Xbox One had over PS4 for me, I've lost interest in completely. Fucking Microshit.

alzeer1
alzeer1

flame on zelda

these for xbox one onlyyyyyyyy

nintendians
nintendians

free to to play for 50 bucks per year and other dlc, okay where's street fighter v at.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

How can it be free to play if you are required to pay for Xbox Live?

Is Microsoft redefining what "free" means too?

AlexFili
AlexFili

The thing is, people will just buy the high tiered characters. This is really crazy.

fillup0
fillup0

One character? Come on, two characters at least!

Kaz32
Kaz32

Guys, turns out this report could possibly be false. You CAN actually buy the game full for the usual $60 with all the characters instead of buying each characters separately. This free-to-play 1 character available and you have to pay the rest is optional for those people that just wants to use 5 characters out of 30 in a fighting game. I just found this out from this video on youtube.


watch?v=B_qrYN0kzQs

Apparently the one who started this whole misunderstanding of Killer Instinct being only free to play is Mitch Dyer from IGN and then the rest of the web follows him. Wow, what a massive surprise.

steelmouth
steelmouth

damn cant free just be free no string attached

leeko_link
leeko_link

Now I know why Microsoft called their console the Xbox ONE. They want to give you ONE content in a game and persuade you to buy the rest.

psx_warrior
psx_warrior

I'm a little confused.  Do you only get to fight the characters that you downloaded and paid for, or do you fight the entire roster of characters, but can only fight with the characters you paid for?

jon_bone
jon_bone

How can you play a fighting game with only ONE character?

PyramidHeadGod
PyramidHeadGod

I got to play this on the floor at e3 today and OMG they fricken nailed it. Who the hell is Double Helix and why have I not heard of them before. I was leaning toward PS4 after the press stuff yesterday but now... I'm leaning Xbone... They got better games. Honestly, this game was so tight. They are also nominated for best of E3, it was that good peeps. 

pEaCe

wooooode
wooooode

This just screems the game will be crap. It most likely will be unbalanced if this is the route they are going. Just keep releasing a stronger character every month.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

I am starting to see a trend with M$, they are starting to be like Apple where they treat you like shit and make you happy at the same time....and people let them get away with this....I just don't understand...

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

Goodbye online pass.....Hello to massive micro transactions.....urgh we cant win for losing...

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

In other words Jago is a demo character and the others are pay as you play.

Glongold
Glongold

Question to MS: So suppose my wallet became sentient and decided to purchase all these characters. I figure what the hell I'll play it. Now I want to sell this, what's the protocol? Can I sell individual characters away or do I have to sell the entire "game?"

drgribb
drgribb

I just want to buy the game.  Like in a box.  With everything.  F all this "free-to-play"/pay to play/digital distribution stuff.  How do I do that?

Glongold
Glongold

MS already bent over 359° for SONY. They're really trying to disappear up their own @$$ with this ONE.

x-TwilighT-x
x-TwilighT-x

Apparently I am going to be really good with Jago.

nintendians
nintendians

@Hvac0120 paid for xbox live gold and yes, Microsoft is defining the word "free".

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

@fillup0 no you have to pay for multiplayer now lol.Watch them put in an activation fee to use a 2nd controller you bought in the store next.

Kaz32
Kaz32

http://au.gamespot.com/e3/killer-instinct-6409830/

Now it's official: so you're not forced into this "free to play only" release, you can either buy the full game like normal or just play the free game and buy other characters that you like. The Killer Instinct developer member himself said it. 

kidnatural
kidnatural

@leeko_link They give you "ONE content" for free. Otherwise, you have the option to just buy the entire game like normal. 

What if you only cared about 2-3 characters on the roster though? Then you can just pay to play with them, and thus play the game at a reduced cost.

Lol. This isn't an MMO. You don't pay for better characters, this is a fighting game, where how good the character is, is dependent on the person controlling them. There's really nothing to complain about here. They could just... not give Jago and say "buy the retail version or don't play at all".

kidnatural
kidnatural

@psx_warrior Forget most of the complaints you may have read, because it's coming from a misunderstanding.

Think of it this way, if you are only interested in playing with Jago, you can effectively download and play the game for free. You aren't restricted from modes. You aren't restricted from techniques. You aren't restricted from the opponents you face. But until you pay 'something', you'll only have access to play with Jago.

So for people who look and play against the roster, and find that only 2 characters (aside from Jago) catch their interest? They can just buy those 2 other characters and essentially play the game how they want at a reduced cost. If you want all of the characters (which is the same thing as just buying a retail game), then you can purchase them all as a package deal.

Lastly, there will be a retail release of this game, which will likely be identical to someone who bought the package deal.

TL:DR? You get to fight against all of the characters from the beginning. You will however, be able to play with the entire game with 1 character for free, or you can buy other characters you WANT individually... or you can just buy the retail version with all the characters unlocked (to play with) from the beginning for no extra monetary charge.

megas1205
megas1205

@PyramidHeadGod Double Helix are the great minds behind games like Battleship and Green Lantern. Yeah I think this game is going to suck.

kidnatural
kidnatural

@wooooode I think you are missing the concept. They aren't releasing "stronger characters", they are allowing you to only pay for the characters you want to play with. For example, I typically only played with 4 total characters in Super Smash Brothers: Melee, and under this model I would only have to purchase those 4 characters to play with.

It isn't about holding stuff from you, it's about giving the consumer the option to spend their money specifically what they want to spend it on.

kidnatural
kidnatural

@Killer6b9 This is a win-win so I'm not sure why there are complaints?

If you want to play with all the characters, buy them all for likely a typical MSRP price. If you are only interested in playing with 2 of the characters from the roster, then pay less.

Basically it's like saying you don't HAVE to purchase the entire package, and hell, if you only wanted to play with ninja man (Jago), it's free to play.

kidnatural
kidnatural

@shaolinfinest To give the customer the option to pay for the entire game, or just the characters you want to play with, and IF you are a person who's only interested in playing with Jago, then the game is essentially free.

Or there is the option to (likely) just pay the normal MSRP for an Xbox One game, and buy the entire thing (the entire roster).


In effect it's cutting the fat. For instance I only really play with Uranus and Long in Bloody Roar 3, under this model I could have just bought those 2 characters, and therefore spent less money.

kidnatural
kidnatural

@Glongold It's a digital game, do you sell your individual songs you downloaded on iTunes after you're tired of them? Do you sell the stations you no longer want to listen to from your satellite radio? Probably not.

But you have the option of selling your iPod with your songs on it, or even your receiver with satellite radio service connected to its serial number. You still have that option.

robergelo
robergelo

@kidnatural @leeko_link did you get MK in the past for free with only Jax in your roster and paid for the rest? did you get an SSB in the past with only Mario and bought the rest? NO you bought the game and you could play with everyone. Do not give people a piece of something and then tell them to buy the rest. CREATE A GAME AND SELL IT FULL VERSION or make a demo. it's because of people like you that the companies like Microsoft is taking advantage of and invading our homes with crapboxes to watch tv on our tv. When I play those games with my friends we like to have a selection of characters not a few and pay for the rest.

shaolinfinest
shaolinfinest

I understand that but what if I have guests over it is hard to entertain with one or two characters.

kidnatural
kidnatural

@robergelo @kidnatural @leeko_link No I didn't get those things. And if I did...?

I would have bought all of those characters (and therefore the game anyways).

When you play those games with your friends you or your friends problem bought the game. So buy all of the characters at once at typical MSRP, and therefore own the entire game to play with your friends.

I cannot fathom how a retort would say "NO you bought the game and you could play with everyone." when the exact same thing can be said here, BUT if you don't want to buy the entire roster, you don't have to, it doesn't mean you can't.

kidnatural
kidnatural

@shaolinfinest If you had guests over who wanted to play your Super Smash Bros, Playstation All Stars, or Injustice you'd likely have bought the game so that you both can play it.

If you expect friends to come over, whom expect you to have spent the money for the entire game, and you wish to live up to that expectation, then you along with myself are welcome to just buy the entire game at once. In effect that would make it no different than how I bought SSB, and many other fighters.