[UPDATE] Killer Instinct Launching with Xbox One in November as Digital Title, Free-to-Play Format a Misconception

By on June 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm

UPDATE – During today’s Killer Instinct exhibition on Mad Catz’ live E3 2013 stream, representatives from Double Helix Games said that the original report saying their game would be strictly free-to-play was a misconception. Killer Instinct will be offered as a complete digital title, but the demo is where things will get interesting.

The trial version will feature Jago as the only playable character, allowing players to try out a limited version of the game. If they want to see more but are still unsure about buying the full game, additional characters, modes, and other features will be available to purchase. This will allow new players to flesh out the demo to fit their needs.

They also announced that Killer Instinct will be made available in various editions, including the standard package, collector’s bundles, and more.

By now, I’m sure many of you know all about Microsoft announcing a new installment in the Killer Instinct franchise yesterday morning during their E3 2013 press conference. The quick teaser shown during the event revealed that the title would be heading to Xbox One sometime this year, and that Jago, Glacius, and Sabrewulf would comprise at least part of the playable cast.

Thanks to a recent report by IGN, we now have a bit more information on this new game. Killer Instinct will be available as a launch title when the Xbox One hits store shelves in November, but instead of following a more traditional path as a retail title, it’s set to be released digitally in the suddenly popular free-to-play format. Jago will be the cast’s only free character, and the rest will be offered at prices that have yet to be determined.

It was also noted that the game’s roster will be comprised of both new and returning characters.

Be sure to visit IGN for a full write-up from their time with the game. We’ve included a couple of off-screen gameplay videos featuring Jago and Sabrewulf below.

Source: IGN via SpeedBrkr

  • pspness

    Everyone mains Jago. Haha

  • Vaughn Anderson

    *looks at Microsoft* …you just can’t let things go well can you…? -w-;

    • Christopher Kelly

      That would be to much like right.

  • JohnGrimm

    And all hype I could have possibly had for this game is now gone. I already wasn’t excited about it being an Xbone exclusive, having redesigns I just flat out don’t agree with, having clunky ass hitstop, and having questionable developers, but this really seals the deal.

  • o ChocolateMilk o

    as long as Xbox One has a strict DRM
    i won’t ever buy a Xbox One

    Microsoft will need more then a single game for me to buy this crap

  • foopy

    “We saw how much the fighting game community loved DLC in Capcom’s fighting titles and said to ourselves ‘Why not base our game around that?'”

    – Dr. Howard Brainproblems, VP of Crack Pipe, Rare Games

  • Rolan Alcantara

    A “free to play” fighting game with only one free character. Really? Why advertise it as a “free-to-play” title if the non-premium content is nothing more than 1 character? Stick to your Halos MS and stay fray. Way to drop the ball with FG fans

    • pandemlc

      Why not think of the 1 free character as an extensive demo? You get the game and one character to try it out and if you like it you can buy the full game which would grant access to every character, or you could buy a few characters specifically if you don’t want to pay full price. Sounds like a great model to me, gets new people interested and gives them plenty of affordable ways to do so.

    • Dain Q. Gore

      “Free-to-play” aka trial version, aka *demo*. It’s in the article.

  • SgtKardashian

    I wonder how this will affect competitive play? However, I do realize that I am erroneously assuming that all fighting games are made for competitive play but the question still remains.

    • Brad Chanley

      Everyone will main Jago and he better be top tier. As long as there is an option to buy a disc version I don’t see a problem with this. It’s just giving people the chance to buy what they want if they don’t want the “complete” package.

      I’m still not buying an xbox.

      • Kayoss860

        Don’t you see the problem? This a demo and yet they are still trying to charger their potential buyer of the full game for extra characters for the game. What happen to these characters that people bough hen the full game is released.

        • Dain Q. Gore

          They will be in the full game–which you can buy instead of buying each character separately.

    • ControlBlue

      Implying this news won’t kill any hope this game will be played competitively.

      You couldn’t design a more unfair system if you tried.

      • Dain Q. Gore

        It’s not “unfair” if you buy the full game. You can do that if you want. Jago *is* the demo/trial version.

  • Go2hell66

    only 1 free character? so basically the entire game is DLC?
    even capcoms dlc practices aren’t that shit…

    • pootnannies

      well said. or at least for now. if this is successful then…

    • Dain Q. Gore

      Or you can buy the full game at launch…did anyone read the same article I did?

  • Luisito

    I just had very disturbing visions of the KI announcer trying to sell me some DLCs to improve my day 1 Jago while I play:







  • ControlBlue

    Another fine example of game developers who have no idea how Free-To-Play works.

    And who also have no idea what fighting games are about.

  • SethGravijah

    AHAHAH even any random DEMO has more characters to play ! xD

    • Dain Q. Gore

      Which this is, too. A trial, aka demo. Or you can buy the full game.

  • Christopher Kelly

    Oh MS you must hate money I mean that’s gotta be it.

  • Trekiros

    So… DRM only, Big Bro Kinect cannot be turned off, no retrocompatibility, and you even allow editors to market their game as free to play when they actually give a below average demo ?
    And you expect me to give you 500 bucks ?
    Msoft, you should listen to your audience, sometimes.

    • Luisito

      *You should HAVE listened to your audience. We use past tense when something dies.

  • Chooch


  • $18114340

    How the HELL do they expect such a meagre f2p offering to go up against DoA5 and Tekken?

  • Snow Loss

    “Free games like PS+ has been doing!”

    “You start with one character, but can buy the rest!”

    It’s at this point I am convinced that the current Xbox team is made of masochists.

    • Dain Q. Gore

      “Or you can buy the full game and get everything”

  • Bobby E. Adams

    Man Ryu looks kinda different…..wait..

  • mutantmagnet

    Interesting to see a fighting game where you can pay as little as you want but this isn’t going to work.

    You should be able to play every character in the single player campaign and test lab just so you can have a feel for them.

    There are people only play a handful of characters so they would pay a lot less than they normally would.

    But anyone who invites friends over to play or hosts tournaments is going to pay a lot more than they normally would for a fighting game.

    I suspect that most people fall in the second category rather than the first.

  • Quan Chi

    Wouldn’t buying the rest of the characters end up costing more than $60. Ya’ll are some suckers lol. They pimping ya’ll HARD.

  • Watts

    I LOVED and mained both KIs back in the day. I’m far, far more likely to spend $5-$10 at a time than $60 at once. The best new KI video is the Jago combo video from the devs. THAT one got me excited, those combos are just like the old KI. It’s good they made it feel slower like SF, I had countless friends approach the old KIs like they were SF. But clearly, the KI combo system has been wonderfully preserved if done in the right hands. I’m so pumped for this i made a meme. Now I just need someone to loan me $500…

  • And to think that people joked about Capcom selling you every character. Holy shit man, this is abysmal. I’m sure KI was the only reason people were even thinking about buying an Xbone and now they fucked that up. Looking good Micro$oft.

  • Watts

    Edit: they didn’t realize they finally approved my first post, sorry for double post:
    Cash shop characters are brilliant for fighting games. Most ppl only like a small handful of characters, it gets us cheapos to play earlier rather than wait for the $60 price tag to go away. The Jago combo video by the devs is the best, really shows the old KI gameplay is still there in the right hands

    • Luisito

      But how do you know who you want to main if you can’t even try the characters without having purchased them? I like Glacius a lot but maybe his style is different in this game and I don’t like his trait or normals. Maybe Orchid or Cinder are more suited for me in KI3 but I won’t know that unless I buy them. That sucks.

    • pootnannies

      liked the meme but it doesn’t really show the old KI gameplay in that combo vid. it looks awkward and it just doesn’t fit. feels jarring actually and they sealed the deal with this dlc shit. not in the right hands whatsoever.
      saberwulf looked cool in the screen shots i guess.

      • Dain Q. Gore

        Almost everything in that description sounds like a good description of KI to me.

  • Shortbread

    I’m sort of okay with it as long as buying the complete game doesn’t equal to more than what a disc version would’ve sold for. It’d also be smart for them to have a disc version as well.

  • BlackMasamune

    And here is actual proof in this comment section that no matter how poorly executed and anti consumer your practices are, people will still buy the game. These are the people Microsoft is counting on.

    • pootnannies

      and some of them are just simply assuming an xbone exclusive digi title will be disc based at some point. maybe if the game is hugely successful and suddenly it stops selling with it’s current model will they consider that. as it stands now, they can dlc whatever they want and make more especially since nothing is manufactured on a bluray disc.

  • Trevor Clarke

    Free to play fighting game with only one free character…

    Holy Shit I know you took quite a vicious beating from the sony conference but come on Microsoft don’t go loopy on the 4 people who might by XONE

    • I’m guessing they didn’t expect Sony to stand up for the consumers and would just adhere to Microsoft’s grubby methods. Glad to see Sony proved them wrong.

  • Jason Slade

    For their sake I hope characters are cheep, $5 would be reasonable. If they start charging $10 per character like LoL does you can forget it.

    • Trevor Clarke

      You buy champs in LoL? /offtopic

      More importantly the $5 a character would make the full game cast (not including 2) $50 for this piece of shovelware

  • Zonder88

    All my hype for this game is now gone after seeing how shitty Xbox One will be for gamers.

    And it doesnt help that this game seems to have awful hitstop during combos either. Even KI2/KIGold didnt have it this bad during combos.

  • Darklurkr23


  • Marvin Choi

    Fuck you, Microsoft.

  • JDK002

    Well the two Xbox One exclusives I actually gave a damn about just dropped to “the one Xbox One exclusive I give a damn about”.

    A F2P fighting game…. Microsoft has shoved their head up their own ass so quickly it’s already come back out of their neck hole and is hurtling towards orbit.

  • Guest

    If it’s like PC F2P games,you always end up paying way more for the game,

  • Cype

    They are taking a page from LoL, the most popular competitive video game in the world. Free to play, but you purchase chars/items. Not that that’s a good thing, per se, but don’t act like this is somehow unprecendented. I see Namco and Capcom going this route in this future

    • MisterFive59

      Namco is already doing it with Tekken.

  • Ja-Kal

    You guys are complaining now, but you will all still buy an xbone, play KI3 and happily pay for the DLC just like all other games. Kappa

  • Exy

    They shoulda made Spinal the only free character, given how barebones the game will be on release.

    • Severla

      Ba-da-da-dum. Tish!

    • TripleAgent


    • Andrew Fein


      You win.

      • Exy



    • Trevor Clarke

      You win.

      • Exy


    • pootnannies

      damn. nice one

  • Nybb

    This is LITERALLY the thing people joked about when they used hyperbole to make fun of Capcom. “LOL might as well release a game with only one character and the rest as DLC.” Truth has finally caught up to parody. What the hell is MS thinking??

    • “What the hell is MS thinking” seems to be this E3’s mantra.

      I echo the sentiment.

      • pootnannies

        wow we agree on something

        • I suspect the toneless nature of empty text on screens leads to enmity. We’d probably agree on a great many things otherwise.

    • Hol_Up

      Namco is doing the same and no one is complaining about that.

      • Trevor Clarke

        Well you see the thing is Tekken is an established Franchise that made it out of the 90s alive and Namco can afford to give us a F2P probably god-awful Tekken force based game because we still have TTT2 to keep us satisfied

        We gotta boot up the emulators for KI if this new one falls flat. And if it does fall flat then guess what’s not getting another game, certainly not an experimental Tekken game

  • Joshua Jenkins

    I’m thinking they won’t do a strict “only one is literally free” concept. I see more of a LoL style “earn or buy” kind of thing coming out. Seems a much better concept, and could be adapted well to a fighting game which has the same kind of character attachment we see in other games.

  • Lawrence Ohh

    Wow, this will literally be tournament host NIGHTMARE to run it in a tournament? Let’s say this game is REALLY GOOD. But even then, how the flying crud can Evo or any of the big tournaments host this game? They literally need the console WITH all the chars downloaded in the system for every freaking char with every freaking console, and THEN have online access for every freaking console so it won’t shut down in the middle of the game because of the 24 hour checks.

  • Joshua Jenkins

    They just talked about the f2p “misconception” in the madcatz stream. It seems that the free version talked about in the article will be kind of like a demo, wherein Jago is the only available character, but all features will be accessible, including online multiplayer. There will also be different “versions” of the game offered for different prices that come with different amounts of character and/or extras. So no, the game will not be strictly DLC oriented. If you want to pay full price for all the character, you can.

    • KingBlackToof

      I’m going to have to upvote this guy so people notice it.
      This is the truth.
      – Standard full price, all access edition.
      – Demo edition with only Jago(Full Singleplayer & Multiplayer) + single character DLCs.

      • Dain Q. Gore

        Again, someone downvotes this. I guess they literally don’t like facts.

    • Trevor Clarke

      Interesting but unfortunately very easy to loophole

      • Dain Q. Gore

        Not sure how easy it will be when they own the content on their servers.

        • Trevor Clarke

          Well say I want to play just one character, I pay for one and then play the FULL GAME with little to no consequence

          Might as well just give it free

          • Dain Q. Gore

            Except for the part about having to pay for the full game to download it from their servers. And the part where they own all of your content and keep it on their servers.

    • Mash Harder

      Hopefully there are lots of gems and costumes and hats as well!

      But you may only use them if there are less than 3 people in the room. The game will pause as a 4th person enters and prompt you to buy hats for everyone.

    • Dain Q. Gore

      Misconception, exactly!! Gaah! Why is this all the way at the bottom? This comment is responding to the actual, updated news rather than the DLC OMG NerdRage…but hey, don’t let the truth get in the way of the tantrum…and on top of that, someone actually *downvoted reality.*

  • Chau Nguyen

    I just can’t see this game being that popular since it’s on ONE system … :/ Will a hardcore player get the system just for KI?

    Don’t get me wrong, I would love to play KI but I plan to buy a PS4 and can’t justify a whole new system just for KI … :/

    • windsagio

      Don’t worry, you can play half-assed tekken RPG instead!

    • Dain Q. Gore

      Microsoft owns Rare, and Rare owns the KI IP. The PS has their own exclusives as well, so I’m sure they will stay competitive.

  • windsagio

    Lol, big misconception ><


    I really dig that model though. "You can buy it straight, or buy it in essentially installments up to the full version".

    Literally everyone wins.

  • windsagio

    Also, can’t believe nobody’s said it yet (damn kids).

    “Leggo my Jago!”

  • Kevi Johnson-el

    Xbox one

  • Jake Klippert

    Do you think it will be a much bigger pain the in the ass to run tournaments on a Xbox One than it would be on PS4? The hundred dollar difference alone aside from the DRM questions about purchasing the game for every console and having to connect online every 24 and have a kinect sensor running make it seem completely impractical. I don’t think we’ll be seeing Killer Instinct at Evo next year.

  • Jalen

    Well there you go. Check out the demo version of HD Remix and you’ll get like Ryu only I think. Purchase the game, which is like 15 bucks, you get the entire game. Same thing here it’s looking like. KI revamped as an arcade game.

  • pootnannies

    misconception? more like exactly the same thing but told in a different way. it doesn’t change shit. call it a demo or whatever, it’s the same thing. pay to unlock the game piece by piece. who cares if it’s called f2p or not.

    • windsagio

      or buy the full version from the start, if you prefer.

    • Dain Q. Gore

      Exactly the same thing, as in you can *buy the full game* (Updated news–see above) instead of only being able to buy each character separately (Old news)? Yeah, exactly the same thing.

  • Gojira Twit

    I’m even more confused now. Why call it a demo version if it’s using a F2P model? This makes me think they want you to download the demo, pay microtransations to try out more characters in just the demo, and THEN pay for the full game. That would be shitty.

    • Jake Klippert

      You must be slow. The idea is that the FTP game only has Jago unlocked, you can go online and fight people with the full game but you can only choose Jago.

      This works out great, if they just keep releasing characters for 3 bucks a piece or something you can choose which characters you want to play as and not pick up the rest. You still might need to if you want to practice against them…. Even if you bought 20 characters at 3 dollars a piece you would still only pay the normal price of a game.

      This would also put pressure on the developers to make new characters awesome or no one would pay to use them. It could end up like LoL in a way and that might be cool.

  • Oniros

    Please come to PC eventually. Otherwise you won’t have a shot at tournaments!

    • ReddChief78

      Yea because PC is the standard for FG tournaments lol

      • Oniros

        Standards change you know. Besides there’s no way in hell this is coming to the PS4.

      • Dain Q. Gore

        And the old standard was the arcades…where are they now?

        • ReddChief78

          Still being used and when they can at tournaments its kind of hard carrying around a arcade cabinet and aren’t cheap to buy but when they touchdown all eyes and hands are on it using PC’s at a FG tournament is just retarded WILL NEVER HAPPEN nice try tho

          • Dain Q. Gore

            I wasn’t “trying” anything. I was pointing out that standards change. I am no loyalist to any system, nor should anyone be. This whole “team” thing is getting old. The nature of actual gaming these days is pragmatism, not loyalism.

          • ReddChief78

            I agree but this is one standard that won’t change things change for the better not for the worst i’m just pointing that out nice try tho

    • Dain Q. Gore

      It just might. Microsoft owns Rare, after all.

  • Bobby E. Adams

    Ryu looks different…..wait…

  • SgtKardashian

    Knowing the FGC, EVO 2014 Top 8 will either be:
    A. All Jago’s


    B. Every Character but Jago since no one knows the match ups lol

    • Jake Klippert

      So you’re saying the results are going to be anyone in the game…. that’s a bold prediction sir. The even bolder prediction is that Evo will deal with the hassle of using Xbox Ones.

      • ReddChief78

        Maybe MS will supply them if they want their game at EVO they will make it happen some how and the console only needs to check in once every 24 hrs. which probably only takes a moment its not rocket science

  • vastreammonster

    Thank you morons for jumping to conclusions. Good day.

    • Exy

      The presenters miscommunicated. It’s their fault all the sites reported it as a free-to-play game in the way they did.

  • Crapgamer

    This is a day one, want to get the Collectors Edition, I fully support developers by only buying new games, and this one looks great!

  • Arjay

    Is there a way to have a tourney for this game (Evo or Final Round for example)?

    • windsagio

      Wizard is apparently a big KI fan from the old days, so… most likely, yes.

  • Arjay

    Watching Sabrewulf, I can’t stop thinking about John Talbain.

  • Trekiros

    Alright guys, take back the hype from the trash can, they used the ”that’s not what we meant” card. We were clearly mistaken when we bashed their marketing policy.

    • Dain Q. Gore

      Can someone sticky this comment?

      Woah…it worked…??

  • Dain Q. Gore

    Has anyone commented to this *since* they updated the news?

    “They also announced that Killer Instinct will be made available in various editions, including the standard package, collector’s bundles, and more.”

  • Lawrence Ohh

    Answers couple questions

  • Exy

    So if someone buys a partial version, how is upgrading to the full version going to work? Will they pay an automatically calculated difference for everything they’re missing at once?

    • pootnannies

      they won’t be clear on that unless they get even more bashing because of releasing bad info. honestly i’m surprised at how many people don’t mind being nickle and dimed. we don’t know how much the full game will be off the bat but there’s no reason to use this business format unless it makes more money than the old one.

      i know BF3 uses something similar. if u buy the premium version then you pay 110 for the entire game if you were an early adopter. if you buy it in installments it comes out to be like 135. if you waited for the disc version with everything on it you saved a ton of money but you still pay 60 or whatever it’s going for right now and waited a year(or more?) after launch.

      it doesn’t come with a “demo” version where you can play with only one class and one map/gun/etc… for free but i don’t see why it won’t in the future if this is a successful business model.

  • CaioNV

    Xbox: One character.