Recently, there has been some discussion from concerned fans of Street Fighter that the next installment of the series would use a free-to-play model. This would require players to purchase individual parts of the game in order to get the full experience.
The rumors arose from earlier comments by Capcom president Haruhiro Tsujimoto, who stated that he’d like to narrow Street Fighter’s ever-expanding skill gap through a pay model. Given that the earlier Street Fighter x Tekken experimented with this model (by locking fighter powerups behind a paywall), it’s easy to see why some players were worried.
Fortunately for said fans, according to a report from Shoryuken, series producer Yoshinori Ono assured players that Street Fighter V will be “a packaged game” and not follow the free-to-play model. Looks like fans will be slinging Hadoukens and Tiger Uppercuts right out of the box, just as they’ve been doing for years.
The free-to-play model isn’t necessarily a bad thing for fighting games. For a great example of free-to-play done right, look at Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, which had a free version where players could get used to the game with a few core characters, then pay for more if they felt inclined. Series fans could still purchase the whole game for full price and get all the characters right away. That said, a free-to-play model with the purpose of narrowing the skill gap wouldn’t do the game or the genre any favors, so this is probably good news for everyone involved.
Aaron Dobbe is an Associate Writer at MONG specializing in Nintendo but playing a bit of everything else too. Follow him on Facebook and pester him to get a Twitter.