Killer Instinct screenshot
Killer Instinct screenshot

Killer Instinct and Project Spark will both be free-to-play digital downloads available on the day Xbox One launches this year but with a catch. You'll have to pay to get the full experience.

While Project Spark will offer DLC to expand your creations at some point, Killer Instinct, in a way, requires it from the off. Coming from IGN, the starting roster contains a single playable character - Jago - whereas the rest are available if you're willing to use your actual, real-life cash.

The Xbox One will be released 21 November this year at £429.

Source: interview and IGN

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User Comments


"If you decided after playing the demo that you liked the game, you can selectively purchase packages which feature various characters." Which is pretty much the definition of Free-to-Play.


One full price version and one Free-to-Play version. You can choose between them.
Posted 12:46 on 12 June 2013
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm@ BrySkye

Story here
Posted 12:40 on 12 June 2013
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH@ BrySkye

Developer Interview going over the nature of Killer Instincts pricing system.

YouTube Video

Multiple editions (at different price points) of this game will be released garruateeing you different amounts of content at launch. Upfront fee's that get you all the characters, or garuantee that you get any characters realised between launch and a certain time period after release etc. You can also get it free if you are a new comer and buy any specific character you want via micro-transaction.

That's pretty much cleared up all my worries.
Posted 10:06 on 12 June 2013

BrySkye@ Bloodstorm

I thought you were offering your opinion on the situation. :P

So what's the story?
Posted 08:37 on 12 June 2013
Bloodstorm's Avatar


Did you not read what i put? It's not free to play.
Posted 02:55 on 12 June 2013

BrySkye@ Endless

I'm factoring things in just fine.

All you're really pointing out is the flaws of trying to apply 'free to play' practices to anything other than fairly straight forward and very addictive indie games that can easily recoup their costs through a couple of tiny micro-transactions in the order of maybe a fiver.

The podcast went over this perfectly really.

What we're really getting with Killer Instinct is a demo.

I can assure you that the work that's going to go into a KI character is considerably higher than what went into Flight.
Those aircraft models didn't have anything even remotely approaching Forza 4 levels of detail, even the ones with VCs.

What I can say is that the cost of buying all the DLC for Flight is in the area of £80, and yet is still significantly less content than Microsofts previous Flight Simulator X which was a normal retail game, and quite a successful one at that.

People might not believe it, but there is a complete payware industry built around Microsoft Flight Simulator, with it's own retail developers and publishers for add-ons, such as Just Flight in the UK, Aerosoft in Germany or Flight 1 in the US.

It's not strictly about recouping costs.
It's about trying to make a worthwhile profit. That's a key difference.
Indies are happy enough to recoup their costs and make a new game.
Big publishers trying Free to Play want to make significant profits out of it, and it definitely has the potential to do that for them given how much more it typically costs to buy multiple small DLC packages than it is to sell a single retail product.

We'll have to wait and see on KI, but I won't be remotely surprised if buying all the stages and characters costs significantly more than a retail game with the same amount of content.

The best solution? A bundle that contains all the content at the price of a retail game.
Then you can either pick and choose what you actually want, or get the whole lot for a totally justifiable standard price.
Posted 02:06 on 12 June 2013
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ BrySkye

You're not factoring in the demand for said add-ons though.

If it cost the same amount to produce a new aircraft in MS Flight as it did to produce a new Killer Instinct character; But only 1000 people would buy an MS Flight aircraft, yet 10,000 people would buy a Killer Instinct character, the cost per item can easily be offset where more people are likely to buy it. The price of goods always goes up the less likely it is to sell.

In the case of free to play there's an additional premium to add to each item that pays for the initial development of the game. At the moment you download that game for free the publisher has made no money from consumers yet spent potentially thousands on funding. Costs have to be recouped somehow!
Posted 01:10 on 12 June 2013
Bloodstorm's Avatar


Confirmed......NOT free to play.
Posted 23:36 on 11 June 2013

BrySkye@ Neon-Soldier32

Well for add-on aircraft in MS Flight, the prices ranged from 560 MSP for a 'base model' (no virtual cockpit) to 1200 MSP for a single deluxe model.

To put that in context, their 'add-ons for free to play' were considerably more expensive then add-ons for normal games, such as a car pack in Forza.
Posted 18:37 on 11 June 2013
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH@ Endless

Personally I'd rather have both. The free to play version that allows new comers to give it a try with little risk. And the full price option on a disk, for those who would buy the whole game anyway so micro-transactions is more of an inconvenience.
Posted 14:48 on 11 June 2013
Endless's Avatar


This...sounds like the perfect candidate for this kind of distribution. Whats the problem now? You get one character and a full game for nothing. You pay a small fee for your favourite character and more than likely stick with that character for the rest of your play time. Maybe you want to try another character? Small fee gets it for you. Maybe you want all the characters anyway? Pay your £40.

A flexible system.

So are you saying you'd rather your only option was to pay £40 for the full game with no guarantees that you'll be able to get on with it or even play it for that long? All this talk of MS restricting us and taking away our freedom, yet when they actually provide something that offers just that, people are still clouded by the DRM/used game stigma.

Fighting games are notoriously difficult to master, and in some cases even to begin with. The free to play model suits them perfectly imo.
Posted 14:01 on 11 June 2013


This definitely dampens any excitement that the exclusive on Xbox factor may have had. I can't see this being too much of a problem if characters are £0.99 each, but I have a feeling they may be £3 or even £4 each.

Fighters seem relatively niche anyway, but this free-2-pay (as I'm now going to call it) will make it even more inaccessible to the general gamer, myself included.
Posted 13:04 on 11 June 2013
Bloodstorm's Avatar


Someone name me a good game Double Helix have done please.
Posted 12:58 on 11 June 2013
guyderman's Avatar


Great - micro-transactions on my console - just what I wanted! :0/
Posted 11:42 on 11 June 2013
CheekyLee's Avatar


Somebody, please, make the MS stupid train pull over. I don't think I have ever seen a company so completely and utterly determined to destroy themselves. I'm not one to have any problems with free-to-play at all, but there is a definite anti-F2P feeling amongst many consumers. If the console price reveal was less painful, and the DRM was not so evil, not to mention illegal in the EU, then this small item wouldn't have been a thing. But it is another brick in the wall the MS are building between themselves and people who wanted good news from the conference.
Posted 10:48 on 11 June 2013

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Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct - No boxshot available.
Available For: Xbox One Genre: Fighting Score5

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