Let's make KI a real Free to Play

I’ll start this topic saying that it won’t be a short thread and you need a modest amount of time in order to read all the suggestions I’m writing here. I warned you, so don’t complain for headhache after.

I tried the game in separate days for a couple of months and I liked it, but the free to play formula that is applying isn’t satisfactory for your average PC gamer. Only one free rotating character available monthly? (Moreover, it wasn’t properly regular, seen that Riptor lasted 2 weeks, Thunder was available for a month and Tj combo for around 3 weeks). No kind of opportunity of getting any character for free via playing the game frequently and constantly as a loyal reward? This is a huge hole that couldn’t go away easily when the PC version will be released. Unfortunately, most of you should know that the PC player is completely different from a console player: the first guy asks for more.
So it’s inevitable that a PC player, with this game in his hands, will make a direct confrontation with another well known fighting game that is going to be released in the same, exact, identical period of time as KI Season 3: I’m talking about Street Fighter V. Actually, as it is, Killer instinct isn’t a free to play game, it’s a well made demo that forces the player to buy at least a couple of characters in order to be competitive or, alternatively, enjoy the game.
So that’s why a PC gamer would be more interested in buying a game for 60 euros with the certainty of having a long time support, future characters that can be got for free, a well-know franchise available on a reknown digital platform that every single Windows user has heard in his life without upgrading the PC instead of spending 20 euros less for a game with a doubtful future and restricted to Windows 10 that might cost more in the mid - long terms.
Let’s be honest, what does it happen if someone is getting a character from the rotation that he doesn’t like and that’s the only one available? The answer is simple: he stops playing the game. This kind of merchandise model is the one that PC players hates the most, if not treated correctly. Just look at what happened to Rise of Incarnates. One character available for free, the rest had to be bought: the result was a shower of negative comments on the Steam reviews’ page.

So, in few words, Killer instinct needs, in my humble opinion, to have a revamp regarding characters system (how to get them, the combo-ultra packs, etc…), a in-game currency, a tutorial modify (you’ll understand what I mean if you keep reading) a change to the ranking system . 4 points that I’m going to explain in detail below.


Killer Instinct, in order to be considered a proper free to play game and not just a good demo, has to give the opportunity to the players to get the characters in another way than using real cash. But the real question here is: how? There are possible solutions:

1) IN GAME CURRENCY: Inserting a virtual money in a game will create an opportunity of playing the game to get the content you want, at least the useful one like playable characters. This virtual money must be separated from the real cash, so players that haven’t spent a single euro will have the same opportunities of competing (at least in long terms of time) as a rich guy with lamborghinis. In the days I played KI, I noticed an internal currency called KI gold: the devs can use that as virtual money, so you shouldn’t buy KI Gold with dollars/euros/insertyourvalue anymore. About the amount of necessary gold (I suggest to rename the KI gold as KI Koins…if you get the quote) needed to buy one character…that’s up to the devs to decide.

2) TOKENS: I know there are some cosmetics you can buy only with KI Gold, so in order to keep the cosmetics separated from the useful content, devs could insert a sub-system of getting characters: season tokens. Yep, a kind of ticket you can get for an amount of koins used to redeem a character from the internal store. In this case, different tokens can be made (a season 1 and a season 2 token), giving also the chance of trying the risk of the luck (random token, a ticket you pay less but gives you a random character among a restricted number of fighters or related to seasons) or to exchange a fighter you have with another of same season (swap tokens, at the cost of losing all your progresses with the previous character).

3) LEVELLING UP: Obtaining experience and raising your profile’s level will give you nothing except taunts, icons and bar backgrounds. To give more interest to the game, devs could insert juicier rewards when you level up. Of course, not every single level, but only when you reach an important step. Every 10 levels (10 - 20 - 30 - 40 and 50) would be a good idea. More important thing, the rewards don’t need to be free characters…but I can talk about that later.

4) TUTORIAL: Learning the game is always a good start. Everyone should do the tutorial which is actually well made (I did it too). But a nice reward will make the tutorial to be more pleasant.

5) RANKING UP (Just the first time): The ranking system has flaws, which I’m discussing later. With the upcoming ideas of a renewal of the matchmaking, people should get an amount of KI koins for the first time they reach respectively silver, gold and killer grade. The total amount I suggest can be equal to 1500 koins divided in the three categories (tbc, 500 when you reach silver, 500 for gold, etc…)

6) FRIENDS REFERRAL: People that persuade others to come playing KI need to be rewarded, expecially when they’re potential customers.


This point has been treated a bit in the previous part, but here’s a resumèe. The necessity of including a virtual money completely separated from the real cash would be ideal and open-minded, allowing people to enjoy the game a lot more than the normal. But the question is: what can you buy with the KI Gold or KI Koins? Here’s a list of suggestions of what you could buy with it and what you shouldn’t.


  • Characters (via token system for 1500 KI koins each)
  • Fighter expander bag (from 1000 to 2000 KI koins, talking about this later)
  • Some cosmetics (OPTIONAL)
  • Story mode (OPTIONAL and only for the ones who redeemed characters via token, not for the ones who paid)
  • Some power ups (like exp character boost, etc…)


  • The highest part of cosmetics (if the OPTIONAL voice of cosmetics is adopted) or even every single cosmetic (expecially the ones reserved to the bundle packs)
  • Bundle packs
  • Shadow Jago (of course!)
  • Some power up
  • Any new character that came up in Season 3 until the end of it or after a period of time has passed (ex 3 months)

That means the actual store part where KI gold is being sold needs a change and being replaced with the tokens + fighter expander bag available to purchase via virtual money. (need an image of the internal store to make the things clearer)
Now that we have an idea of what you can get with it, you need to know where and how you can get these koins. That’s easy: only via ranked games. The idea I had in mind is something like this:

  • You get a certain amount of ki gold after a ranked match, depending on victory or loss (10 by winning, 5 by losing. The value can be changed)
  • In order to prevent abuse of this system, if you face an identical opponent for multiple times, only the first two fights will be counted for the Koins’ gain. From the third fight onwards you don’t get anything, except the calculation of matchmaking rateo.
  • Ragequitting will be punished: you get 0 Ki gold.
  • A weekly limit of KI gold someone could get should be implemented, up to the devs’ decision (this would also avoid an abuse plus will reward the previous benefactors that invested cash in this game).
  • In mid terms of time, with the possible incoming of new game modes, there could be an opportunity of betting a certain amount of KI gold and taking part in a weekly tournament where the first 3 might get the jackpot.
  • An optional action that could limit even more an abuse is to grant the Ki gold gain from a certain profile level (like level 5) and only after you qualified to a rank.


I start this part by saying the tutorial, as it was made, is perfect to learn how to play Killer Instinct. However, in order to make people to be forced of doing it and avoid some complains later, the tutorial itself needs a little rework, expecially if it becomes the first step of rewarding a newbie that completed the first discipline. The idea I had in mind is something like this:

  • FORCED TUTORIAL: before doing everything else, the player must complete the basic stuff of the tutorial (if I recall, there are 16 missions in the basic part, but I need an image to be sure). This is only for the newcomers, while the others don’t need to do it (again).
  • BALANCE WITH REPRESENTED CHARACTERS: Season 1 characters are, in my modest opinion, well made. The tutorial can use every single fighter of the group of 8 equally distributed among the tutorial missions in order to give the player a good impression of the basics, plus finding the character somebody likes most. In few words, with the change of some commands (Jago instinct bar = / = Sabrewulf instinct bar), 2 missions per character should be covered in the tutorial.
  • 8 FINAL EXAMS: After the 16 basic missions, the tutorial should implement 8 additional final tests, one per character, where every single aspect of them is analyzed (strong points, weaknesses, instinct, a couple of combo) and ending with a 1 vs 1 fight against the cpu.

After the tutorial has been completed, the new player will be rewarded with a Season 1 token that can help him redeeming one Season character of his choice.


In the last few days I’ve read a topic about how more than someone weren’t happy about the actual ranking system. I played the game and I know what’s the problem: the lack of bronze and silver players with a huge concentration of killers and gold, ruining the experience to newcomers that are forced to fight veterans ready to open axes.
So how do you solve this situation? A solution is possible and that is to make sure that everyone, and I mean everyone, isn’t going to be safe n’ sound on their proper rank when the end of the month comes. A kinda of rank resetting, with the difference that you go backwards depending on your position in the current ranking season. To be clear as water, it should work like this:


  • the first quarter of killers (1 - 25%) at the end of current season will start in KILLER rank in the following season
  • the second quarter (26 - 50%) will begin the next season in GOLD with 750 points
  • the third quarter (51 - 75%) will begin the next season in GOLD with 500 points
  • the last quarter (76 - 100%) will begin the next season in GOLD with 250 points


  • the first third of “golders” (1 - 33%) at the end of current season will start in GOLD rank in the following season
  • the second third (34 - 66%) will begin the next season in SILVER with 500 points
  • the last third (67 - 100%) will begin the next season in SILVER with 250 points


  • the first half of “silvers” (1 - 50%) at the end of current season will start in SILVER rank in the following season
  • the last half (51 - 100%) will begin the next season in BRONZE with 500 points


  • nothing new

If this system is going to be implemented, as example, that means a KILLER that placed at the end of August as 15000th out of 40000 will begin as a GOLD with 750 points during the month of September. This would help not only to secure a part of white horses, the pros, but also to refresh some ranks that wouldn’t have enough players to face with.
But this isn’t the only modify necessary to render the ranking system as accurate as possible. In fact other changes need to be made:

  • POINTS RESCALING: The actual system is rewarding too much the newcomers. In fact, expecially in bronze, with one victory and 2 - 3 defeats, you’re still up. And I’m talking about matches done in the same rank. So it’s mandatory to rescale points by giving a little bit less wherever it deserves and to punish more a loss of higher grades against low-ranked (a gold can’t lose only 25 points against a bronze when you lose the same amount even against a silver).
  • DEMOTION RISK: This is optional. Not talking about KILLER and BRONZE rank, people that decided to taking part in the matchmaking are looking for a challenge. A demotion risk in SILVER and GOLD, with the spectre of going back, is a good challenge. After losing a certain amount of matches when your score is 0, you have to face a demotion match: losing it is the equivalent of being downgraded. The way of introducing it and how to settle it is up to the developers, but I need another thread to talk about that.

Now that I’ve explained my ideas, there are still two flaws left to cover: one is the reaction (and that would be unavoidable and rightful) of the “console payers” that spent cash and see new people getting free characters for free when they paid, while the other one being a necessity of a f2p limit, in order to be grateful to the console gamers that invested cash. The two things are related someway and I’m going to tell you how to solve these big flaws, concluding my long wall of text.

BIG FLAW 1: The payers’ complainers’ corner

Of course, this new concept of free to play, if ever being considered and so implemented, will make a ton of Console gamers upset because they paid for the characters and raising a question is mandatory: "Ehi, I paid 20 dollars for my f*****g 8 characters, why PC gamers can get them for free?"
I thought to this also before even writing in this forum, so don’t worry. Starting from the S3, KI, in order to being grateful to their beginning benefactors and to limit abuses of this concept of “free to play”, some changes should be done:

a) COSMETICS: The accessories, with the exception of colors, won’t be available anymore when you buy a character, independently on the fact you bought it with cash or with a token. Cosmetics and accessories can be bought only with real cash (acceptable) or with a high amount of Koins (ideal). However, for the ones who bought the character via the packs or in single stance before S3, they’re keeping all the stuff. That means only the PC gamers and the newcomers in the Xbox one console version will have to face the new system, not the previous buyers. Of course, this needs also to regroup the cosmetics into sets and sell them in one piece.

b) LOYALTY REWARDS: The Xbox players that had the game before S3 will get something, a reward from the devs based on their contribution (an ultra pack buyer will have a higher reward than someone who bought 2 characters). But what did you think about the substance of this “reward”? Up to the devs to decide, even if I have a couple of ideas in mind…(like Shadow Jago, a special cosmetic for SJ, special background/icon/taunt, a veteran grade, etc…)

c) PREMIER CONTENT: To give a reason to the buyers to keep trusting their money to IG and Microsoft, the devs can transform the season 3 access as a premier content. What does it mean? Until the end of the season 3, the buyers will get the incoming characters and only them. The f2p players can’t get these characters in anyway than spending real cash for a pack or for a single purchase…but only until the end of the season or after a period of time (like 3 months from the release)

d) RENEWAL OF THE BUNDLE PACKS: Considering the fact that the cosmetics could be available only by purchase, the bundle packs can be remade and divided in 3 different sets:

  • ULTRA PACK = The same
  • DANGER PACK = The former combo breaker pack (Characters + standard cosmetics)
  • COMBO BREAKER PACK = Only characters without cosmetics

The prices can be rescaled, keeping intact the combo breaker set price and highen up the other 2 (considering that an opportunity of getting the characters for free might exist).

e) EXCLUSIVE SHADOW JAGO: This character might be one of the rewards, but restraining him for pc players unless being paid with a bundle or something special would be a huge gift to the loyal Xbox buyers that have invested money in the game so far.

f) FIGHTERS ROTATION: Just because new players are getting a character for free from the start, the free fighters rotation can be moved to higher levels (like from level 10): the newbies have already something that keeps them busy.


This last part can be considered as another point to give console gamers and eventually pc gamers a reason to invest their money. I said you need the opportunity of getting characters for free, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put some limits. Think about League of Legends for example or even Warframe. The second, a third person action game, gives you the opportunity of getting the playable Tennos (aka fighters) for free, but at the condition you have the necessary material to craft it and a slot to host it. Well, Killer instinct can do something like that…I mean, the slots.

  • Every 10 levels, you have the opportunity of getting 1 additional character for free. That means you can get a maximum of 6 character for free at level 50 (consider the one you should get from the tutorial).
  • You can expand your available slots for characters redeemed by token via a tool. Do you remember I talked about a fighter expander bag before? Well, that’s your stuff: by paying a certain amount of KI Gold, you’ll get the opportunity of unlocking one additional character. In order to prevent abuses, you should be able to redeem one of those only from a certain level, possibly high (like level 30 - 40).
  • Paid fighters, bundles, code redemption and rewards coming from friend referral won’t be counted for the free characters slots.
  • As said before, you’re able to gain a limited amount of KI gold per week.
  • For now, only Season 1 and Season 2 characters (with the exception of shadow Jago) can be obtained with tokens.


Having a good response on the topic I opened, different opinions came out. Some of those are constructive to help improving the game and, for this, I decided to mention them here below, with the original quote and author’s credit. For each one of them, I’m doing criticism in order to polish them:

1) SPECIAL TRIAL TOKENS[quote=“swordman09, post:30, topic:1303, full:true”]
Might I add a suggestion?

Maybe there could be a special token to try out any fighter for a week. That would include S3 characters as well.

CRITICISM: The starting idea is nice, but how to get it? I thought this trial token can be given once per month when you connected frequently and it allows you to test any character that has been released from a period of minimum 3 months (S3 included) in any game mode for a certain amount of days (3 or 7). The testing fighter won’t level up (remains always at level 1) and, after the trial, you can’t try him anymore until you tried every single other character (or, alternatively, after a span of time in weeks) you don’t own. You can’t pick bonus characters such as Shadow Jago (credits to swordman09).


CRITICISM: Nothing to say regarding the penalty to repeated ragequitting, if not perhaps the entity of the penalty. I think a no-money for someday is counterproductive, but a 25-50% detracted profit of KI gold for a certain amount of matches would be ok. About the 5 gold for the repeated ranked wins and no gold for losses, that would be an obstacle at the beginning, when the PC community has to form. I can accept a rateo of 5/2 as victory/loss. Btw, good idea.


CRITICISM: One of the best idea purposed around here, except for the last part for which I can’t agree at all. It could be a little bit exaggerated with the system I proposed, but it remains a great typ.


Link to the inherent discussion

CRITICISM: Some ideas have been expressed in that topic I linked just over this sentence. If you agree with some of those or have different opinion, just write them in this topic or, even better, in the original thread.

Hoping to have your attention and consequently constructive criticism / wave of insults and opinions, I’m looking forward to responses. I apologize for my bad English, but it isn’t my native language, and if there’s someone kind, I need some images regarding the internal store of KI GOLD, an image of the matchmaking screen (possibly a gold/silver guy) and an image of the internal store of characters.

Thanks everyone and take your time to read.


Buy the game if you like it. And no there are no items that you can get only with KI gold, where did you get that from?

It seems you haven’t read it completely or misunderstood something. This is a whole bunch of suggestions. The idea was to give the people the chance of buying stuff with KI gold
Actually, to be honest, you can buy only two thing with KI Gold: some cosmetics (an example is a TJ combo shirt with the KI logo behind for 300 KI gold) and characters. If you check the inside store of fighters, you see you can buy a character for 5 euros or for 1500 KI gold.

KI gold is being sold for real cash and as example 1500 KI gold are sold for 5 euros, that’s what I mean to the necessity of separating the two things. Check it out.

Regarding the buy the game if you like it: the risk is, if you find a character you don’t like in the rotation, you have already lost a potential customer. One character per month is a reason somebody is going to have a prejudice and can’t appreciate the game completely. When I found thunder, I hadn’t played KI except for two matches. Thanks God Tj Combo came on the round because I could play more because I liked that character. Think there are some games that give you free stuff from the beginning and earned, despite that, a lot of cash. Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 should ring a bell. But that’s my point of view, expecially as a PC gamer. And I tell you this because my friend restrained himself from putting money into the game and uninstalling it.

I only skim read your post but I liked some of your ideas (Friend referrals for instance). I definitely agree that the free rotating character model can potentially disinterest someone because the playstyle of that specific character didn’t suit them. IMO tho, it would be easier to just keep things simple and enhance the Dojo Mode so each character has a basic tutorial where you can test out characters without having to wait for the rotating roster.

From what I can tell, allowing someone to choose 1 character to own after completing the tutorial would most likely hurt sales pretty badly considering a lot of players stick to 1 character (Like me). It would be cool if you could eventually unlock characters through experience points like SF5’s DLC characters (you have to buy the full game first in that case) but it doesn’t seem profitable to me. Maybe you should be allowed to choose a character of your choice for a week when you first play the game before it resets back to the normal rotating roster.

Also you reminded me with your section about the tutorial mode that I’d like to see first time players get a notification asking them if they want to go through the Dojo Mode. Correct me if this is already in KI but I have vsed some newbies and it’s like as if they don’t know the controls at all.

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The PC player getting KI already knows what he’s buying, he’s a KI fan that does not want to buy an Xbox.

Also no details about the PC version have been leaked, the business model may slightly change to appeal PC crowd.

Most people aren’t going to make it past the first suggestion, so be prepared for that.

I personally didn’t make it past the part where you said PC gamers are more demanding than console gamers and therefore more of the game should be given to them for free, since they would rather spend 60 euro on SFV. Most people aren’t going to move past this unpalatable statement and then consider whether the rest of your text wall has merit.

How about they just buy KI then? The game has more characters than SF will at launch. The reason they can only do one character in rotation is that, unlike a MOBA that can churn out 50 characters, this game started with 6. It will be up to 18 in the near future so they might think about making two available.

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I think this is probably the most important point you made. My solution to this is to make every character playable to everyone in training mode. So new players can get a feel for the characters. Keep the rotating character system for all the other modes though.

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You have to consider not only the short terms of time, but also the mid - long terms. I know that KI will have more characters (actually, one more, two if you consider shadow jago) than Street Fighter V (with 16 characters) at the launch.
But it’s official Capcom is going to release at least 10 characters in one year arc. That means SFV and KI will have the same amount of character after this period of time (I counted the season 3 to have 9 characters). The huge difference is you can get these 10 characters in another way than spending real money, in KI you can’t. And with a possible season 4 release, KI will cost more than SFV because of that. So the battle will be won by Capcom as the time passes, with the advantage at the beginning for KI. An advantage that might fade if not taken properly, expecially during Steam Sales, where SFV’s price will be cut.
Not considering also the franchise, the fact it’s available on Steam (that means a huge potential market) and the fact it doesn’t require only Windows 10. Small things, but crucials.

At last, my statement regarding the PC gamers to be more demanding is true, but you misunderstood one part: that doesn’t mean more of the games should be given for free, but to give an opportunity of getting a part of the content for free, time by time. This has been learnt not only from the mobas, but also from fps, action games and even a well known trading card game made by Blizzard. In fact I noticed you didn’t read even the last part, where I said clearly that the Season 3 won’t be available to f2pers or a limit to the free characters you can get, as example of the new concept.

EDIT: It seems the topic has been cleaned, thanks

I have read the original post, and I have to say I still disagree with a majority of it.

Yes, and it’s that very mentality that I dislike more and more now. For some odd reason, PC gamers have gotten some weird sense of entitlement, as though they are special and deserve more while paying less than console gamers. We deserve free betas, we deserve free content, we deserve free this and that, and before long, they’ve got the whole game without paying a dime. I’ve read your portion on the S3 remaining locked to a free2play earning process, but I hardly think that will sway anyone into paying money at that point when they’ve gotten such a large chunk of the game free already.

A dollar from a console gamer is worth the same amount as if it were in the hand of the PC gamer, yet somehow, when the PC gamer seems to hold the dollar, it seems to be worth far more. Console gamer bought a character for $5, but PC gamer bought the character, all accessories and some KI gold for $5. It creates an unfair double standard that encourages this entitled mentality. Console gamers are no less important in the sale of cross platform games.

At this point, the rest of the post is just how to cater to a free2play model, but my arguement is the PC version should NOT even adopt the free2play model.

I have always been irritated by the misnomer that comes from KI being called f2p. You’ve accurately described what it really is.

As far as other arguments:

If the characters could be acquired using something other than real cash, whats to say they should buy anything at all? Even with a proposed limitation on S3 content, it alienates the consumer base already established, which you may have covered, but underestimated its weight to the argument. They also had a system of in game currency before season 2 called KI points, where it could not be bought with real money. That system failed, and was replaced by the current level-up system.

Also, with the characters being able to be acquired through non-cash purchases, where is the return on profit to the developer/publisher. Microtransactions? What you’re also suggesting also allow for any content thru those can also be acquired for free as well.

Some of us are familiar enough with fighting games they don’t need tutorials. A forced tutorial isn’t exactly the best idea from that standpoint. New players can seek that information for themselves if they need it within the game’s modes, but considering fighting games are a niche genre, and KI is a niche within a niche, must of us came in knowing what we were doing from the beginning.

You’re ideas of reworking the ranked system I find a little flawed, as sometimes life intervenes, and we all have to put the game down once in a while. Your system suggests that unless you can put into the game a constant effort of nothing but ranked for several hours a day, eventually, we could be back down to bronze. I think this is a much BIGGER problem, as it misrepresents skill levels to new beginners, and will force more of them to come back and play against the hardened players FAR more frequently. On top of that, there is more to the game than ranked, as exhibition is a great way to test new characters and strategies, level up characters, and play friends. What you’re suggesting penalizes the use of exhibition by sending your ranked level down for not playing that mode.

My final opinion is just that the game needs to maintain the current model. Making a true f2p model just to please one customer base will cause a far bigger rift, and given that fighting games generally do their best on the consoles anyway, I don’t see how you can justify giving free stuff to people on PC without giving the same privileges to the console base. You are basically unleveling the playing field, and telling people the PC base is more important, let’s throw all the free stuff at them we can spare. My experience with PC gamers, givin I’ve got a few friends who are, you can give them an inch, but they’ll always want a mile.

PC gamers are already going to have a leg up anyway on the console version. The online for the PC version is free, even with the cross-platform function. The console version requires you have to pay for a Xbox live subscription in order to do online activities. It’s one major advantage they already have out the gate, the PC gaming crowd doesn’t need any more lead way.


Ny OPs logic nobody that has ever played SF will pay 60$ for it since they don’t know if they like any characters and they don’t have the chance to try even one of them for free.

I think most people buy the games by impressions they have before the game even releases, its the only option for most games anyway. Most people that want KI will buy it before even trying the f2p version, I never played KI for free. I thought the game looked fun and like with other games I just bought it.

Want to state a point: the new f2p model would have been applied even to console gamers, not only to the PC. I apologize I hadn’t been clear before, but I thought it was crystaline.
Now onto the other points

  • Related to where the profit is: Well, there are pratical examples of games where, despite getting useful content for free, in a way or another, people spent a lot of money for pure cosmetics. I’m not only talking about mobas (Hots, Dota, LoL), but also other genres like first person shooters (Team “Hat” Fortress 2) or MMOs (like Tera). Don’t underestimate the PC crowd when you talk about money to spend. Removing a pair of accessories you should get for free when you buy a character (I’m referring to beards/stuff you get when you level up) and change it into a set to sell in one piece for 5 dollars will give you an equal profit, if not even more (think about a well made costume that can be charged for more). In fact cosmetics won’t be available if not by real cash (and I mean also the standard ones, those ones that paying console customers will keep instead).

  • Related to tutorial: You have a point here. I concepted the idea of the tutorial as a way to get your first reward and to teach something. And that’s for a simple fact: instead of getting the rotating character, you get only one character at the beginning and that’s the tutorial’s reward. The rotation will become available by level 10.

  • Related to ranking: I agree, but we have to start somewhere to put a stop to an eccessive concentration of gold and killers. Unless you want to try to extend the season by another month (so 2 months = 1 season) or another suggestion is to increase the ranks (platinum and diamond). A third option is to play a certain number of ranked match in order to maintain your group and to reach a certain amount of points, but it’s a hole into water. And, last but not least option, the monthly or bi-monthly reset (as qualifiers back again): this would put everyone in the same situation. But in this case, you need to do some changes on the points’ distribution so to recreate in short terms the block of white horses.

I respect your opinions and that deserved a like from my part. I hope it made you a bit clearer what I had in mind, expecially concerning the f2p part which would have been extended even to console gamers (with the addition, for console gamers, of concrete rewards). If not, I’m here.

One last thing: I would like to know how the KI points worked and why they failed, because I played the game in February (so during S2).

@DANECKBRE4KER: You would have been right if Street Fighter hadn’t been so well known. Never heard the said “The advertisement is the soul of commerce?” It’s a franchise that gives you certainties, huge possibilities and with a concrete support of minimum 5 years, it would be never a risky purchase. Everyone in his life has heard at least once this name if you talk about fighting genre. Expecially when you get 16 starting fighters (you’ll find at least one you like among those for sure) and future characters for free. But it isn’t a f2p game, so you don’t feel mocked under this point.
Instead, regarding the KI part, you’re supposing, and that would be correct as you said specifically in your last sentence, that the ones buying KI are the aficionados and the game has been created for them. It could be right and it is, but the worst thing to do is stopping here, close your mentality for a restricted group for what…a new title? Your average Joe knows that if KI will come out with a price it will lose the competition against the others because it isn’t so famous as the bosses. It needs a name before doing the greater step to the Moon, or the Earth in our case. I don’t even discuss some hardware choices made for the PC release, but you know I’m right here.

I think others have hit on the heart of the matter. Is KI a F2P game? Well, you can get all the achievements in the game without spending a dime, so I guess you have to say yes. But it isn’t a F2P game in the mold of most other F2P games. There is no question that the OP suggestions bring KI closer to the F2P model used by other games, like LoL or World of Tanks. But will it make KI more successful? That’s really hard to know.

There are a few F2P type fighting games out there. Soul Calibur something or other - which is pretty much reviled and has no MP mode. Tekken something or other, which has had pretty positive reviews but isn’t all that popular (and certainly has no tournament presence unlike main line Tekken for whatever that’s worth) and DoA 5 Last Round, which may well be popular. This last one is also a bit strange in that it’s F2P with two permanently available characters and two that rotate. And then $30 to unlock all the cast. and about $200 to unlock various upskirt variations of costumes.

Anyway, the point being none of these really follow a F2P model akin to LoL or other F2P games. SFV is even more outside the mold, although it borrows the “unlockable character” idea. I suspect the grind to get those supposed 10 characters that you “never have to buy” is going to be real, but we will see. Incidentally, I am also anticipating a delay in the release of the PC version of SFV, but that’s a different thread.

So, adding to my initial statements which may have seemed somewhat dismissive (I was on the train and didn’t have time for a real analysis), it’s a fine suggestion if you want to move KI towards a more “traditional” F2P model. I’m not convinced that’s necessary.

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Thanks for your opinion. Noticing the avalaible fighting games around here, KI seems to be the one with the upper hand right now. Everything depends on how Capcom is dealing with the character gain system…as you said, if they’re going for a greedy option, that would be only an incredible advantage for KI. I have to tell you I heard that Tekken Revolution had some problems with some coin system, but I don’t know this thing a lot. And I agree with your statement regarding the delay of SFV, considering the first beta was a fiasco due to the servers overload.

However, only time will tell us what’s going to happen: KI might also become famous in a blink of an eye during PC launch, despite some hardware choices that give the chills. But to discover that, Developers could do a pair of stress tests of servers before the official launch or even a granted early access a couple of months before with a certain price/giveaway: this would contribute not only to an initial PC community, but also a way to test the real game capabilities.

Dont expect to be able to buy all the sfv characters just by playing in a realistic amount of time. Chances are you have to play around 100h to buy one single character. Capcom doesnt want you to get the characters for free, they want you to pay for it and its gonna take a loooong time of playing to buy even one with ingame currency.

Okay I have no desire to get into a console vs. PC debate, happy to do so in a thread specific about it, but in regards to this topic I have to say the OP is correct in his assessment of how the current business model will be received by the PC Gamer Base.

As far as I’m concerned we’re all gamers, we just have different platforms that we prefer and there are pro’s and con’s to whichever one’s we use. At the end of the day so long as you’re having fun it doesn’t really matter. I think one thing that is universal regardless of the platform you’re playing games on is that we all want our enjoyment to be sustained overtime. When it comes to fighting games this involves updates and a solid playerbase in which to play with. The majority of fighting games have horrible single player and bad AI so you typically rely on playing with friends locally or playing with people online.

This brings me back to the heart of the topic. Regardless of whether you feel PC gamers are in entitled the the way the game is received by them is important. This is because they will be contributing the success of the game and adding to the player pool online. If that doesn’t happen the game will inevitably die as the same people you have been playing over time will eventually stop playing and there will be nobody else left online to play.

I hope that makes sense to you. Now let me just speak to the entitlement you suggested. The thing with PC is there are options to players, lots of them. This is a great thing, there are community mods and an amazing amount of variety to choose from. What this means however is that if your product is to be successful it has to be decent, as good or better than what the competition is offering. While you might see that as entitlement some would most certainly argue that it’s simple logic, why spend time playing an inferior product when there are other better products available.

The TLDR of this, is I think the OP is correct in his assessment of how KI’s F2P model will be received by the PC community and I think it would be smar tof MS and IG to adjust their model as to best support Season 3’s success.

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Okay, well since we are talking about it let’s try to look at some facts. Forget whether the PC player base will be large, important or valuable to the KI community - that’s a whole separate conversation. Instead let’s just focus on how to maximize the PC player base for KI (whatever that will be). One way is to take a look at the experience with other games and see if that tells us anything. I have already commented pretty extensively about whether KI is really F2P in the sense of LoL etc. So let’s look at other fighting games available on PC. What’s doing well and what’s not?

SF IV - not free to play. Released much later on PC than console. Followed by DLC game updates, which everyone claims to hate. Widely considered to be a pretty if not extremely successful PC fighting game - tons of mods and lots of people prefer playing the PC version.

MK X - Terrible. Not because it’s not F2P - because of a bad port.

DOA Last Round - Terrible. Not because of the strange F2P model but because it is also a terrible port - looking more like the last gen console version than the current gen one.

Skullgirlz - considered to be a smashing success on the PC release. It came much later than the console versions and does nothing differently. There is no F2P and no differential pricing.

Rising Thunder is currently making a splash in Alpha, but I’m not sure what model the game will release under.

The other F2P model fighters aren’t even on PC. SF V is currently scheduled for launch alongside the PS 4 version (as an aside, have they confirmed cross play?). I will believe this when I see it…

So, without judgment and accepting your argument about PC gamer preferences, I still don’t see any evidence that an enhanced F2P model is going to grow the PC gamer audience for KI. I really don’t think that KI is ever going to draw from MMO, MOBA and RTS players, even if it adopts a F2P model. I think it will appeal to fighting game fans who game on PC, and grow from there not suddenly pull in a huge crowd of random PC gamers based on its F2P model.

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This is exactly the reason I made this post. The fact to present a title that might appeal a PC crowd and to build a permanent, stable and numerous gaming community inside KI. And I think my suggestion could be one of the solutions.

@BigBadAndy Regarding what you said, I have to make a consideration. I agree with the fact that fighting games aren’t as popular as a mmo or a moba, but Killer Instinct has a huge advantage and that is letting PC gamers to know this kind of genre without paying. Testing it and a successful appreciation would be natural and can attract several people, also the ones who never played a fighting game. This game MUST focus on his strongest points and this will make the grand difference. I want to make a real example with two games that are on Steam: Warframe and Dota 2. Most of the people that started playing the well known Valve’s MOBA were completely noobs that didn’t ever heard about this genre or never tried the direct opponent (LOL), like me. Same for Warframe: a genre that never got so much interest in Multiplayer (action games). However, thanks to the hard work of developers, a stable community has been created with the result of being constantly filled with 5-numbers amount of people.

In few words, when the word “Free to Play” appears, the PC gamers are like bees with honey. And, if a product is worthy and unless being a huge hater of the genre, a stable community can be created quite easily, at the pact to not behave like russians on steroids.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a lot about PC gaming, so please pardon my ignorance on the subject, but the idea that KI is “free to play” has been a mislabeling from the start. I still remember when the game was first announced, and everyone in the media called it free to play.

I specifically remember Ken Lobb vehemently telling any game journalist that would listen that the game is NOT free to play. You get a free character that you can use in any mode and that character rotates, or you can buy each character one by one, or you can buy the whole package. The idea was to give people more options in terms of how they pay for the game, with the free option seemingly meant to be more of a very nice way of sampling the game.

The fact that you can do certain things in the game for free does not make this a “free to play” game in the traditional sense of the term, but because IGN and others were too lazy or too stupid to comprehend what MS and DH were doing back then, they just threw the label on and it stuck.

So where does that leave KI on PC? Personally, I don’t think that KI should have to change itself for the console version just to suit PC gamers. While my initial reaction was “okay, PC gamers finally got the game after requesting it for so long and now it has to be changed to suit their tastes? Really?” But no, I do get what you’re saying when it comes to successfully growing a community of players in a gaming subculture that’s different from your average console players. I can absolutely respect that idea.

But as a console player, I personally don’t want to see the game contorted in to something that it was never meant to be to begin with just to suit an audience that may or may not even be there in large numbers. That might sound selfish, but the flipside is that it might be selfish to ask to begin with. Either way though, that’s my sticking point.

This also just my opinion, but I don’t believe that anything you mentioned as far as compensation for console players comes close to the $80 I paid for season one and season two ultra packs. So if this isn’t actually a free to play game (and was never supposed to be), and I can’t imagine they’d use that term at all in trying to market it to PC gamers, then why should the whole game be adjusted rather significantly in order to fit in to a model that MS never wanted it to be in to begin with?

Do you honestly believe that KI will sink or swim on PC when it comes to what you’re proposing? It’s either total free to play or bust? I’m not asking a rhetorical question, I honestly don’t know and I’m curious what you think. Can’t PC players just choose between buying complete seasons or just a character here and there or just sample characters the way console fans have done since this came out? Why wouldn’t this appeal to PC players?

As has been said in this thread… Street Fighter V will likely require a massive amount of time played in order to earn the free characters. So I’m not entirely certain I see the advantage that SFV currently holds over KI and even if there is one, which is debatable, I’m not entirely convinced that MS has to bend over backwards and significantly alter it’s current product just to be similar to another product in terms of pricing. If this were a piece of hardware, I’d be right there with you, but two games, both providing different playing experiences?

I think that they can have different payment structures without a large number of PC players looking at the two side by side and picking the one that’s less expensive or has the pay plan that they prefer. Then again, I’ve never purchased a PC game, so maybe I’m not sure what motivates PC players to buy a game or not. It just seems kinda sad to me that PC players would be so up in arms just because they’re not getting something for free when it was never supposed to be free to begin with. Who knows, maybe that’s irrelevant to them?

My suggestions are a way to give more appeal to a game that actually hasn’t a known franchise despite being well made. As you said the etiquette “f2p” has been given by others and I thought it was meant to be f2p. Just after reading different stuff here and there I got the point. However, most of people that asked for KI to be released to pc didn’t do that just for fact of affection, but also because it would have been interesting to have the first fighting game on PC that you could access without paying. MS and DH before, IG now did what I define as a “Revolutionary action”. The boom of KI in the media world wasn’t done only because of the revamp of the title, but also because he had so many good features an ordinary F2P could only dream, unless you talk about Valve or Blizzard. MS doing a free-to-play game? It’s a bomb!
Like me, there are for sure other PC gamers that could be mislead by that etiquette, without knowing how the stuff really works. I knew that just because I tested the game from a friend of mine during the months of February - April.

About the question of sink or swim, only time will tell that. Perhaps it will bring people, perhaps it won’t. But I’m sure of one thing: without proper actions, the game won’t have a good impact as expected from the PC community, ergo not a lot of people joining in. We can say this could happen mainly because of some choices that would exclude a huge part of the computer gamers (Steam is the main and the most used digital platform, boasting around 3 - 8 million players depending on the time zone. It isn’t spam, it’s a real statistic). So a nice damage has been done already. At least, we should avoid to waste the second shot.

And now the part of why pc gamers won’t be appealed by that. If you check around websites for the most known and played f2p games you’ll find names like Dota 2, League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Warframe, Hearthstone (a TCG, nuff said), World of Tanks, Heroes of the Storm, Tera, Path of Exile and, hardly but a part of it is, World of Warcraft. Some of them might be grindy, some aren’t but every single one of this titles has one thing in common: they allow people to get the essential/useful content in another way more than paying real money if not having all the heroes/characters/stuff for free since the beginning, making the cosmetic part to be restricted as “Purchase only” or by drop. This model is what made these games so famous and with a huge community. When a game is well done, also, people tend to spend a lot more than expected for it.

Never heard the said “Who pays, pays less, but who doesn’t pay is gonna pay more?” That means if somebody is forced to make a purchase in order to enjoy a game, he tends to spend the littlest. In our case, 1 - 2 characters. But if the game gives a huge space, somebody would spend more because he thinks developers deserve a reward for that. In our case, you could get an entire season for free but because of that the player thinks he can spend more on the game and purchases the other season plus a pair of cosmetics for the two characters that got for free at the beginning. From a profit of 10 euros you gave up, you receive a profit of 20 - 30 euros to 40 - 50 euros (consider cosmetic sets can be sold easily for 4 - 5 euros each to 8 - 9 euros the best). Not bad, right? It’s hard to explain the reason this happens and I’m not studying psychology, but it’s a matter of mind and mood: a f2p that hides a form of p2w tends to have less success than a real f2p because you feel like teased and so you can’t trust the company.
Unless the developers are looking for changing the etiquette with an official statement or by being specific in their store page when the moment comes, I guess KI should be considered as F2P, being IGN guilty or not.

At last, if you want to see a real example of how much a f2p can gain with hard works, pm me. Because I guess I can’t post a link here: that would be spam/advertisement for real.

Time is money, and reading this post would leave me broke…Ironic because its about making “KI” a true Free to play game…which in then usually turns to pay to win. No I did’t read the post. I have a post why I don’t read long posts lol.