Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate to Receive Free-to-Play Version; Four Characters Available at Start, Fully Playable Online

By on June 2, 2013 at 9:46 pm
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate's free-to-play character select screen

During a recent interview with Famitsu, Team Ninja head Yosuke Hayashi revealed that Tecmo Koei is planning to offer a free-to-play version of their upcoming Ultimate expansion to Dead or Alive 5 on PlayStation 3. Kasumi, Ayane, Hayate, and Hayabusa will be completely free of charge from the get-go, along with online play. All single-player modes (besides the story) and non-DLC outfits and stages will also be included, and free users will be able to play online with those who purchased the full game.

Additional characters will be priced at ¥400 (~$3.98 USD) and the story mode will be available to purchase for ¥1500 (~$14.93 USD). Much like other free-to-play titles, paid characters will be available to try without purchase during special promotion periods. It was also announced that save files and downloadable content from vanilla Dead or Alive 5 will carry over to Ultimate.

At this point in time, only a Japanese release for this free-to-play version has been announced, but we’ll be sure to let you know when news regarding other regions becomes available.

For now, feel free to let us know what you think of this offer. There has been a bit of discussion recently regarding fighting games possibly making the transition to free-to-play, and this is one of the first instances we’ve seen of an established company going that route with a well-known title. If this should reach your country, will you be interested in trying it out?

Source: Famitsu via NeoGAF

  • Ashilyn

    Huh. This is actually a really cool idea, great way to get more people playing the game. I’ll have to borrow the game from someone and see who I like most so I can be prepared to buy them when this hits. Beats paying $50 for the rerelease

  • ExHaseo

    Interesting. I really hope it doesn’t become a trend though. I really don’t think F2P is fighting game friendly. It will just let the developer have obviously overpowered characters that you must pay for, which will get rid of any semblance of character variety. I’d rather just pay the $60 and have real balance and character variety.

  • shion16

    Well 4 dollars per character is not a bad deal considering the 4 main characters are free.
    But obviously its way better to buy the game that paying for every charcater.
    That would be more than 60 bucks.
    I like the idea as long as we dont have to pay for the stages.

  • Yahya Osama yahya

    Isn’t that called a demo……..or did I miss something?

  • sibarraz

    Hope to see a pc version just for the sake of it

    • ThePoopTickler

      I do not understand why more fighting games are at least ported to the PC, let alone made with them in mind.

  • windsagio

    Pretty great, exciting to see if it works.

  • PointCtrPoint

    It’s a fabulous idea. 60 bucks is a big barrier to get people to play a game with an admittedly niche fanbase. You get tons more exposure. Granted, there is a trade off given their revenue per user is no longer 60 dollars. But I’m guessing they’ve crunched the numbers and decided the potential overall revenue will be higher with this model.

  • Awsumpossum12345

    Would have been better if the four characters were:

    • Tekknight

      Why is that?

      • Awsumpossum12345

        four low tier characters

    • spades111

      DOA is about boobs, traps like eliot don’t count

      • martin rush

        i need dat flat chest

        • theSN3S

          This comment killed me lol

      • Pooh Hardy

        does eliot really come under a trap
        because he isnt dressing like one, nor does he act feminine

  • o ChocolateMilk o

    i wonder if there’s going to be an add-on for DOA5 like SSF:AE but free and we just pay for each additional characters or like a season pass for all of them

  • Anjon

    I was thinking about a similar thing when I first tried to play Injustice a few days ago via GameFly. “Boy, I’d love to buy this, but literally the only character I’m interested in is Killer Frost. I don’t want to pay $60 for a fighting game where I only play one character. If only there was some way to strip out all the BS and only buy the things I want to use! There’s got to be a better way!”

  • Dynami

    The thing that really wows me here is that they’re offering the normal retail game at normal price in addition to this.

    Unlike most freemium models, I don’t really say any way to feel like this is unfriendly to the consumer. Leaves the folks who’d buy the game normally unaffected, gives what is essentially an amazing demo to people who are interested in the game, and provides a unique method of having people pay a reduced price if they’re already settled on a character.

    Owners of “vanilla” DoA5 that’re character devotees have gotta be pretty excited.

    • pressstart

      Agreed, though if I were to be cynical, you’ll probably see a flood of those free characters online, moreso than now. People do like to complain about their opponent’s choices afterall 😛

  • HombreGranJefe

    The only concerns I’d have with a model like this is if they intentionally made the free characters garbage tier. I’m not saying that this is how this game will be, but in the vast majority of freemium games, pouring in extra cash results in improved stat bonuses.

    As a casual fighting gamer, I’d probably unlock my one or two favorite characters, learn the movesets, and be extremely happy with this model.

    • doubleO7

      Its been confirmed that they’re not nerfing the free characters in any way. There movesets will be completely intact, and they’ll be exactly the same as they are in the full version.


    I remember when the SFxT fiasco happened and people said this would be next. It made people sick to their stomach and now it’s cool. It’s funny how things work when Capcom isn’t involved.

    • DRainn

      This is clearly different than the SFxT dlc. I feel like it’d work even better if it was like lol and the free characters rotated.

      • JELIFISH19

        I didn’t say it was the same. I said that people were saying “what’s next?” satirically and came up with this model and thought the idea was disgusting. People didn’t like the idea of a company selling the game in parts but now it’s cool?

        • Zonder88

          Its an ALTERNATIVE option for people who dont want to buy the full game you retard.

    • Zonder88

      Yeah, because this is totally the same case as SFxT’s disk locked content that people paid 60$ for, as opposed to an optional FREE game with optional 4$ character if they DONT buy the retail copy.

  • gigantor21

    I’d love for this model to become more common with fighters–but ONLY if it’s paired with a full retail release at the same time.

  • mikanko

    I guess due to online PC games being so successful with similar models it was only inevitable that it would get a try out in fighting games.

    It would be pretty awesome if Marvel could do this. I’m imaging free characters as Phoenix Wright, Tron, She Hulk and Hsien Ko, and they’d make some $$$ on selling Vergils and Dooms.

  • Yan Zhao

    Welp, judging by that screenshot, assuming thats the final roster, looks like no more new characters :<

    • doubleO7

      Look closer. There are still 2 question marks left. One of those will be Leon, who was already teased in a trailer. Assuming he’s on the right, that spot in the middle might be another VF character, since its right between the other ones. But we’ll just have to wait and see for now.

      • Yan Zhao

        I was really hoping more Ninja Gaiden characters would make it in, but looks like at this point its impossible. Oh well.

  • I actually like this idea, I wish they would have thought of something like this sooner. Gives people a chance to feel the game out and if you have a character in particular that you like you can pay for him. Man…next gen is going to be very very interesting.

  • b2j135


  • GHNeko

    Great idea, as long as they offer the full retail side by side.

    Straying from this is most likely suicide.

    That being said, inb4capcomfreetoplay

  • TempBast

    It won’t gain popularity unless you can earn “game points” by playing the game online and you can use your “game points” to unlock more characters. Which is closer to LoL F2P model. Still, it’s a good start.

  • Mike Jones

    one more step to the inevitable DoA x VF merger , im excited