Fighting game series trying out the "Free to play" model Good Idea or Bad Idea?
Pay for only the characters you want to play as...
Tekken and Dead or Alive seem to be trying out this pay model. The idea is to give you a few modes and characters to play with and if you want to use other characters and modes, then you pay real world money.
Tekken Revolution is a game that was just released earlier this month (2013), exclusive to PS3/PSN. 8 playable characters from the start. Dead Or Alive 5 Ultimate: Core Fighters will have only 4 (Ryu Hayabusa, Ayane, Kasumi, Hayate) will available for free.
I suppose the crux is really whether you view them as a demo or a half finished game. Killer Instinct will have one free character buy for fighting games especially, when the lions share of game time is multiplayer, the whole character roster us needed for balancing. It could become very expensive than it would normally have been.
Bad idea. Do you know what I call games that give only a few modes and characters to play with? A demo. And that's what these are. They are demos. Except they are demos design to rake in money from players.
I remember seeing news that this would happen for Killer Instinct for the Xbox one. It really depends on how you implement it. with DOA5, as you say, four playable characters will be available. In Killer Instinct, there has been said to only be one available character, requiring the player to purchase the rest. the Free to play model can easily be done wrong, as can be seen in games like WarZ. With a Free to play build, you have to entice the player by offering them a FAIR advantage (caps for emphasis). with a fighting game, it's doesn't seem very fair unless the prices for the character unlocks and modes are affordable compared to the others around them. It's all about creating a fair advantage for the money. There's also Tank Tank Tank for the WiiU. it's free to download, but you're only allowed the multiplayer modes with the free version, meaning the story mode you have to pay a separate $10 for. this doesn't have to be a bad thing, provided the story mode is worth $10 in the people's eyes. again, the trick to a free to play build is offering a reasonable advantage for paying, without making the "free" part of it feel weak.
Capcom received so much flak for doing this kind of thing with "on-disc DLC". The characters were there, but you had to pay to unlock them, even though they were already on the disc. If it's on the disc it should be fully available, not be unlocked with cash but with reward or time investment.
If developers and publishers think sooner or later we'll give up and buy the damn characters, they're idiots. No, I'm not sorry to be so blunt because when you think about how much the base game costs, how few characters you get in general there are and if the game is DRM, they must think we're made of money.
The F2P model only works if the game is FREE TO PLAY. These games cost £60 a pop and are still going up in price. So-called limited and special editions are being released for up to £150 - we don't have that kind of money to casually throw on the base game, let alone characters to play the thing for a satisfactory level.
They tried with Playstation Heroes and Capcom versus Whoever, and I know for a fact people are boycotting them to this day because there's not a large enough roster or characters people know.
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