Killer Instinct is "Not Free-to-Play"

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Killer Instinct is "Not Free-to-Play"

Killer Instinct Screen

Microsoft says that Killer Instinct is "the world's most generous demo."

There were more than a few fighting fans disappointed to discover that the long-awaited reboot of Killer Instinct, announced at Microsoft's E3 press conference, will be a free-to-play title that comes packaged with one playable fighter and charges players five dollars for each additional character they want to unlock. According to Microsoft however, the game isn't actually free-to-play at all, but rather, is "the world's most generous demo."

Elaborating on the subject Ken Lobb, who is working as the creative director behind Microsoft's first party Xbox One titles, affirmed the company's position on the game. "Some people are like, 'oh, free-to-play.' No. It's not free-to-play." According to Lobb, a free-to-play game is "a thing you really can't ever own." He would peg Killer Instinct as being the direct opposite. "Day one, if you want to buy our game, buy it. You own it. There's no grind for little coins that unlock things later. None of that."

The free part of the game, according to Lobb, is just available to "get as many people playing" as possible. That version's extremely limited nature, in turn, supposedly disqualifies it from counting as a free-to-play title. Likewise, Lobb believes that Killer Instinct's plan to have players pay for individual characters is very much different from what real free-to-play titles do. "If you buy the $40 pack, there are a couple of other little things you'll be able to buy, but you're done. It's not like there's some buy coins to unlock thing. That's why I've always said this is not a free-to-play game." Whether or not gamers will agree, however, and how their opinions will affect Killer Instinct's success, is the real question.

Source: Eurogamer

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StewShearer:
"Day one, if you want to buy our game, buy it. You own it. There's no grind for little coins that unlock things later. None of that."

Good enough for me, I might actually play LoL if they had this scheme. Hate PvP based games in which you either grind, pay way more cash than a normal game would cost or be locked out of in game items that affect the gameplay.

Thaaaaaaat's how you pack it. Now rename the unlock all characters thing to "full game" and no harm was done

How was that a generous demo? Seen plenty of fighting games with a larger demo-paid character ratio than 1 of 6. Still a good ratio, just that big words always hurt Microsoft more than anything

I was part of the pile-on against all this kind of stuff. But I will now confess, that's because I'm a Sony fanboy and was taking a very wrong glee in it all.

This is actually a really neat idea and fighting games are the perfect sort of game for this, because it's all about very discrete figures. There will be kinks to work out (specifically character imbalances online) but if they really do work out a nice 'buy everything' reasonably priced deal, then that eliminates one of the truly bad things about free-to-play, the way they game always niggles and bothers you trying to get you to pay up.

It works well in LoL and I think it will work well here, and if it's not for you they offer a way to forget about it completely

Microsoft says that Killer Instinct is "the world's most generous demo."

When I read that I was under the immediate impression this would be a full AAA-game bundled for free with every xboner.
After reading the article, it just leaves me dumbfounded!

Remember a time when you'd have at least half of the cast unlocked in a fighting game demo, Microsoft???
Remember demo's AT ALL?????
No, no you do not. It's as clear as day. Sighhhhhhhhhh

I don't have a problem with this, but I really hope it doesn't mark a trend to kill my favorite part of old fighting games (really the only part I liked because I'm terrible at them), wherein you would unlock secret characters by beating the game and meeting certain requirements.

It was always so much more of a personal achievement to turn to your friends and be like "Yeah, I unlocked the boxing kangaroo by beating the game with every character" (full disclosure, probably not accurate), and it would be a shame to have it replaced with "Yeah, I really wanted that crazy character... so I paid five bucks and now I have him."

So it isn't a F2P title at all, just a very crappy demo?

That's good to know I guess.

My issues with the game aside, if this was never intended to be a Free-to-play game to begin with then why did so many people believe it was?

Because of the massive screw ups Microsoft was having trying to get the message across about Xbone and any of it's titles. To me this is another example of how folks behind the scenes have had to come out and set the record straight because Microsoft's PR did an incredibly terrible job of properly explaining to consumers and investors alike just what the heck any of these games were supposed to be.

Either that or it's just one of many 180's being pulled because of fan back lash which if you ask me either way Microsoft's PR brought upon themselves.

So it's free-to-pay?

I can see their angle, it makes sense, quite the mature move to not turn it into something laden with grind.

So, theoretically, I would pay $50 for a god damned DEMO?

and then another $40 if I wanted all the characters.

so, essentially, it's a $90 fighting game that was resurrected for the sole reason of selling your console.

yea, fuck you too, Microsoft.

Tanakh:

StewShearer:
"Day one, if you want to buy our game, buy it. You own it. There's no grind for little coins that unlock things later. None of that."

Good enough for me, I might actually play LoL if they had this scheme. Hate PvP based games in which you either grind, pay way more cash than a normal game would cost or be locked out of in game items that affect the gameplay.

Yes, but League of Legends does a nice thing with the whole free thing. Every week they switch out 10 champions that are free for any one to use as they please. This way you can, in time, try out all the champs, learn them, get to know your favorites, and then buy said favorites with FREE ingame money that you earned from just playing.

What Microsoft is doing is giving you one character, and that's it. Wanna buy a new one? Well you better hope you like what you buy, because you will have no way of trying it out before hand. And that's with real money mind you.

Also, LoL doesn't allow you to buy any thing that can affect the game. Only Champs if you are in a hurry, and skins. That's it. Nothing that you can pay real money for will break the balance. What happens if some of the characters you have to pay for in Killer Instinct are OP? Seeing as you can only get them with real cash, that's a way more borked system.

It still is F2P. Look at Smite as an example. You could buy all the characters EVER for a flat-fee ($30 when I got it) or you could buy them individually with in-game currency/real money. Sounds pretty similar to what these guys are doing, doesn't it?

My eyes are rolling so hard that engineers want to hook up wires to them and use them to power southern California for a year.

Go go bullshit rebranding.

I said that in the other Killer Instinct news story, sounded more like a glorified demo than a free-to-play title. I like this style, overall it's cheaper than other new games, that's good.

sid:
Thaaaaaaat's how you pack it. Now rename the unlock all characters thing to "full game" and no harm was done

Pretty much my thoughts on the matter. They shouldn't have tried to spin it, just tell it like it is: it's a glorified demo.

How was that a generous demo? Seen plenty of fighting games with a larger demo-paid character ratio than 1 of 6. Still a good ratio, just that big words always hurt Microsoft more than anything

Well now that it's been reclassified as what it is - a "generous" demo - it's description actually is much more fitting. Sure, you can drop $40 to get (apparently) all the characters and unlock the full game. But if there's a fighter or two that you don't like/suck as/whatever, you don't have to get them. Suppose you know for a fact that you're only going to be using 3 of the 8 fighters, you now can just drop $15 and get what you want from the game without dropping the full $40.

sid:
Thaaaaaaat's how you pack it. Now rename the unlock all characters thing to "full game" and no harm was done

How was that a generous demo? Seen plenty of fighting games with a larger demo-paid character ratio than 1 of 6. Still a good ratio, just that big words always hurt Microsoft more than anything

I think its because you can do anything with that one character instead of the typical 3 arcade matches and back to the title screen or multiplayer against the only two characters available.

*cue the whiners in 3... 2... 1...*

Really, I never saw this as "free to play" from the start, exactly more like a demo and nothing more, then people flipped out because of the $5 for each fighter (wich is still outrageous IMO) but didn't want to see that you can buy all of the fighters (or buy the game) for a mere $20... much less than many other fighting games could ask you to pay for.

Seriously, I don't plan on buying an Xbone, but sometimes I think that people just don't want to see the obvious and keep bashing the thing just for the sake of it.

So, by that logic, is League of Legends ALSO not a free-to-play game? Since you can just throw down a ton of money at the start to just own everything right away? I think Microsoft's definition of free-to-play is questionable.

Fappy:
It still is F2P. Look at Smite as an example. You could buy all the characters EVER for a flat-fee ($30 when I got it) or you could buy them individually with in-game currency/real money. Sounds pretty similar to what these guys are doing, doesn't it?

Smite and LoL let you buy all of the champions (or most of them in LoL's case), but as you said, you can still earn them simply by playing (a lot).

That's NOT the case here. There's no way to earn any of the fighters in KI any other than ponying up your hard earned cash for it.

Also, at the very least, both Smite and LoL has a rotation of free champions each week, here you can only play as Jago, tough luck if you want to buy a single fighter without having the option to trying it out before making any purchase.

So yeah, it's just exactly that, a demo not much different than Marvel vs Capcom 2* wich only let you to play as 6 characters before unlocking the rest by buying the full game.

*By comparison, MvC2 has a more generous demo than this.

I just want to know what the total price for all of the content would be.

Kalezian:
So, theoretically, I would pay $50 for a god damned DEMO?

and then another $40 if I wanted all the characters.

so, essentially, it's a $90 fighting game that was resurrected for the sole reason of selling your console.

yea, fuck you too, Microsoft.

Uh no. The initial part (with only a playable Jago) is free. No purchase at all. $40 gets you all the characters in one shot. It's actually a pretty nice deal and FAR better than Marvel Heroes (good GOD that is bad).

Now that said:

"the world's most generous demo."

My Microsoft is loving the exaggerations as of late, aren't they? "Best launch lineup in history", "1 billion consoles sold" and now this. Someone get a pin. We need to pop those egos. This is nowhere near the "most generous demo". There are ones out there that put this to shame.

There is one downside to this nobody seems to have pointed out yet. What happens if my friend normally plays a character that I don't own and wants to play locally? Guess I'm shelling out for that character after all.

Also, this model becomes less viable the more characters the game has. I haven't been keeping up with KI since I don't plan on getting an XBone, but I assume it's going to have a relatively small roster of characters, otherwise this would quickly become MORE expensive than a full retail game.

Could you imagine this model for the newly announced Ultra Street Fighter 4? The game is going to have FORTY-FOUR characters, so unless the sell each character for $1.4 each, it's going to cost more than a full price game.

And what happens when the inevitable updated re-release comes out? Do I keep my old characters? Do I have to re-buy the characters? If I bought the bundle before, will I get the new characters free of charge? (Okay, that's REALLY unlikely, but a guy can dream)

Zer0Saber:
I just want to know what the total price for all of the content would be.

40, plus dlc and all the usual stuff

I'm still interested in whether the single player mode presents you with all of the computer opponents, or if there is no single player and you just have a glorified practice mode. Likewise is there online multiplayer with characters you haven't paid for since the players you are playing with presumably have.

Please quote.

Technically it's not the worlds most generous demo, it's the world's stingiest free to play. You play the game for free, but you need to cough up money to even enjoy the damn thing. Then, after you've paid enough to have seemingly bought the game, you are given even more things to buy.

I get it, the industry needs to make money. This isn't how.

Ralphfromdk:
-snip-

Glad you like LoL system, glad also you think being able to pick different champs, runes and masteries affects nothing the gameplay. I think its BS and you are totally wrong, but honestly have zero interest in discussing it.

On the other hand I find totally legit the business model KI is proposing and can't see how a free demo + being able to choose to either buy the game or buy just the toons you want it's a bad thing at all... that i would be interested in discussing.

It's funny, because the way you say it actually makes it seem a lot worse than a f2p game.

If it limits free content like a FTP-game, and charges you for characters like a FTP-game...

The real tragedy here is that free to play has become such a dirty term that no one wants to call their game that. TES online doesn't want to do it. Microsoft obviously doesn't. You know free to play was never a bad idea in my mind, yet thanks to terrible business practices this is what it's become.

According to Lobb, a free-to-play game is "a thing you really can't ever own."

eh wut ?

i know a whole guild who dedicate themselves to doing exactly that (paying no fees in f2p games).

pretty sure they aren't alone either.

you look at f2p and all you can see is what you think of as ($)($) kerching! potential.

what you don't understand that its mass based and the kerching is leisurely, voluntary and optional and is only acceptable to the masses because of that.

the future of gaming as MS sees it:

mooks pay monthly fee to even go online
plus mooks pay addional monthly fee for some games
mooks pay fee for gear micro transactions in QTE based games where the gear doesn't even matter.
mooks pay per model and map in as many games as possible.
etc, etc, etc

if you can fit all of the above into the same game MS is probably your new best buddy.

Day one, if you want to buy our game, buy it. You own it.

really ? i can sell it on to a friend as per my statutory rights and the sale of goods act and it will last until it rots will it ? noooooooooo...

y'know sony are just giving dev kits to PC f2p providers...at least 4 will be launch available downloads apparently...

ps i bought virtua fighter 4 today. it cost me £2. :|

Tanakh:

Ralphfromdk:
-snip-

Glad you like LoL system, glad also you think being able to pick different champs, runes and masteries affects nothing the gameplay. I think its BS and you are totally wrong, but honestly have zero interest in discussing it.

You don't even want to discuss that you don't even have the OPTION of buying Runes and Masteries with real money, and that they can only be gained from in-game points? Um, okay then. Clearly, effecting the gameplay by buying tiny upgrades with fake currency you get from playing is a load of bullshit.

OT: What, so I 'own' my games now, do I? Oh good, now I know that if KI is a steaming pile of shite, I can always sell it to someone else without incurring EULA wrath.
In any case, I don't understand what the hell this guy is trying to say. A single fighter isn't what I'd call 'the most generous demo ever'. Then again, if what he's saying is that you can pick and choose what parts of the game you want and cut the fat that you don't, that IS quite interesting... though it sounds even worse than the F2P in some ways too...

Really? So you can buy all the content at once for a discounted price?

RatherDull:
Really? So you can buy all the content at once for a discounted price?

Potentially buy all the content at a discounted price. They're having 7 characters at launch, and the $40 DLC offers you 6 characters plus 2 future/unreleased characters. If the game turns enough profit, I'm sure they'll be inclined to turn out more DLC. So while it offers you all content for now, I doubt it'll offer you all possible/future content.

StewShearer:

There were more than a few fighting fans disappointed to discover...

Blatantly obvious backtracking is blatantly obvious.

...

...

...

...

Well befuddled as all hell. Okay, okay, so there are three ways of buying the game
1. Pay the whole $40 bucks (here's six characters, we'll get you the other two later on. Promise)
2. Pay Twenty Bucks (same amount of characters, with less features)
3. Pay Nothing (once character, pay five bucks for each additional)

Um... nope still not sure how I feel about this. They're going to give me a character I may or may not like for free, and if I want to buy a character which may or may not better suit my style I have to pay five bucks first.

Fuck it, I may as well just pay the forty bucks up front. Not gonna fight about what other people want to do either way. I guess I'm just confused as a result of all the BS that they've tried to pull previously - this just "sounds" like more arrogance.

To all those saying its not a particularly generous demo....how many demos allow you to complete the game?

From what i understand this is the full game, beginning to end with just one character playable...i dont think i ever saw that in a demo before, normally a fighting game demo allows you to play a 1 single player fight or some 2P matches with 2-4 characters unlocked.

If, like me you live for single player and consider multiplayer a needless hassle, its a pretty sweet deal.

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