Killer Instinct isn’t free-to-play, it’s the world’s most generous demo says dev

Tuesday, 27th August 2013 11:37 GMT By Dave Cook

Killer Instinct isn’t a free-to-play game, it’s just the world’s most generous demo according to Microsoft’s Ken Lobb.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Lobb said, “I just want to get as many people playing as I can. Some people are like, ‘oh, free-to-play.’ No. It’s not free-to-play. What is free-to-play? It’s a thing you really can’t ever own at all. Day one, if you want to buy our game, buy it. You own it. There’s no grind for little coins that unlock things later. None of that.”

Microsoft has confirmed that Killer Instinct Ultra Edition comes with six characters, an emulated edition of the original game, early access to two DLC characters, as well as some accessory and costume DLC. It costs £34.99 / €39.99 / $39.99.

Discussing the game’s payment model for regular customers, Lobb continuied, “The free part is, day one, you can download Jago for free and you get the whole game with Jago. The story mode comes later, but you get his full tutorial, full practice mode and you can go online and play against everybody. So you have the full game with just Jago.

“Then if you decide you like Thunder for example, you can buy Thunder for five bucks or equivalent. Maybe that’s all you want, so why should you have to pay forty bucks? Just pay five and then you have Thunder. If you buy the $40 pack, there are a couple of other little things you’ll be able to buy, but you’re done. It’s not like there’s some buy coins to unlock thing. That’s why I’ve always said this is not a free-to-play game.”

Eurogamer added that Microsoft plans to release Killer Instinct in ‘seasons’, with eight characters this year, and a further eight in 2014. Lobb said of the season two characters, “You can pay $20 again and now you have 16 characters, or you pay $40 again and you’ll get the everything version.”

In closing he stressed, “I like to call it, we’ve just made the world’s most generous demo. And if you want to buy the game as a bunch of little premium DLCs, go ahead. It’s not free-to-play.”

Does this payment model make sense to you, or is still a mystery? Let us know below.



  1. Pytox

    yea thats fun a game with 1 characther at least give 4 for free or so …

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 what gets me is £34.99 for eight characters. Then you have to pay for the other eight. Super Street Fighter 4′s count is now what? 36? Probably more.

    They claim no one plays them all, but I dabble in the rosters for sure, as I think a lot of people do.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. actuallyisnotafox

    in a demo you atleast get more than one charcter.. so it gives you a feel of variety to let you know how they play.. so umm yeah i think ill just.. yeah *skips it*

    #3 1 year ago
  4. ps3fanboy

    so we see another 180 turn here like micro$hafts do, lol…. i guess the backlash on selling one by one game character at overpriced prices, have finally gotten to them. so now its become an world’s most generous demo, lol… yeah right.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. VibraniumSpork

    So I guess this can be chalked up as another failure on Microsoft’s PR department more than anything else. This week’s lesson: differentiating between an extended demo, and a free-to-play game.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. ps3fanboy

    you can expect this game to come to the ps4 in not a to distance future… in a updated version with extras… its a given, after they got burnt with micro$hafts, they gotta get their money back.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Hcw87

    MS is the publisher, dumbass. It’s like saying The Last of Us or Infamous is coming to Xbox in the future.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. OwningXylophone

    @6 & @7

    MS is not just the publisher, they own the IP.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. ps3fanboy

    @7 & @8 listen up you two dumbasses, it dont help if they are the publishers they are not the developers.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. SplatteredHouse

    @2 I think they’re looking at it more like a mobile game (android, ios) with the idea that the more you’re exposed to the game (especially online) the more likely they are to break their way through reservations to people reaching for their wallet.

    If they were to set a pack setup to release the characters, there’s still a higher chance of time spent playing earning them nothing.
    Their gamble is around the desirability of the experience/deal they’re offering, with the added stake of the idea of a mass-propogation of unpaying Jagos flooding the servers, curtailing variety for the paying populace.

    I agree with you, that the character pricing sounds steep for what’s on offer. The one drawback to their approach is that players have no try-before-buy on the rest of the roster – although, maybe interpreting the play of others proves enough of a “demo”?

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Hcw87

    Oh.. The stupidity.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Tech-N9ne


    As the author of this article you should know better.

    Its £16.99 / €19.99 / $.19.99. For 8 characters.

    £34.99 / €39.99 / $39.99. is for 8 characters, plus an emulated edition of the original game, accessory and costume DLC.

    KI never had a large number of characters. 8 characters for a start is kinda small I agree, 12 or 16 would have been ideal, but lets see what happens in a 1 year or two. I’d expect it should be up to 24 characters.
    This is gonna be an ever evolving game, and feedback is gonna make each release of a set of characters better.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Dave Cook

    @12 Erm…yeah I know, I was talking about the Ultra edition specifically.

    £34.99 for the same 8 characters as the standard version, plus an emulation and some cosmetic DLC.

    That’s some mark-up.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Clupula

    @9 – Dear fucking Christ.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. TheKeyPit

    Soul Calibur 5 had 28 playable characters and I only played with 2 of them. I think that I’ll download Killer Instinct when it launches and just buy sabrewulf for the “five bucks”. No problem for me.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. The_Red

    Wait, I’m pretty sure Injustice had 4 characters in its demo so… How is this 1 character “demo” so generous?

    #16 1 year ago
  17. OwningXylophone


    The argument is, and I just want to point out that I don’t agree with it, that you get the complete game (SP, local & online MP) but just with one character, whereas your typical fighting game demo just allows single offline fights between the unlocked characters.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Zeronohero

    A generous demo…. What a joke. People have been waiting for this IP to return for a while. Can’t believe they put it out with thus business model.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Lengendaryboss

    You have lost it.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Major Mayhem 70

    @9 Dude, it’s ok to an opinion but retarted ideas is just that. Retarted…

    #20 1 year ago
  21. wowtgp

    So why dos it have to be an online game? Are you fuckin’ kidding me?

    #21 1 year ago
  22. Kanok

    I actually need a retail box and include all content. I fucking hate free to play game.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. darthroseman

    So, 8 characters for $40. People complained about the roster on Skullgirls have 8 characters for $15…And it had some of the best gameplay around. We have no idea if the gameplay will even be any good!

    #23 1 year ago
  24. MAGIK88

    It’s not even 8 characters.. Look close.. One character for free and 5 at launch for $20.. The two characters that are added later are not even named nor do we know when they’ll come out.. So in reality the game is free with one character and $20 for the other 5.. It’s been said late February is when the other two characters will come out.. Thats not good… At all..

    #24 1 year ago
  25. PS4FANB0Y

    @6 – inFamous and Uncharted are releasing to the XB1 with dedicated servers.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. fearmonkey

    I’m old enough to realize that “world’s most generous demo” was called Shareware. Nothing beats Doom and those days, where you got an entire episode of levels for free. Thank you Apogee and ID :)

    #26 1 year ago
  27. NOLDaemon

    They gave an entire episode of levels of Doom for free, and then made a bunch of money because of that decision. If a game is good enough, it will sell a lot of copies. Regardless of how much of the game is given away in the demo.

    #27 1 year ago

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