Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate is set to be a free-to play title after the lackluster success of the original Dead or Alive 5.
Released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Dead or Alive 5 was the lowest-rated of the series among most critics. And it sold reasonably well, but fell short of expectations. The fighting game genre isn’t anywhere near what it used to be, with games like Injustice being quite popular as of late, maybe DOA can ride that wave from mediocrity to steady profit. Team Ninja is betting on the buzzword free to do so.
More details after the jump.
Their strategy centers on making fighters Ayane, Hayate, Kasumi, and Ryu free at the start of the game with all other characters computer-controlled at first. Online play will be available right off the bat, along with tutorial and offline training modes. Everything else the player would have to pay for. This mirrors the free-to-play style some consumers love, and others downright loathe due to their feeling it’s nothing but a money-grab for publishers and loyal customers will end up paying more in the long run. Though Tecmo Koei will let players try out all playable characters on a trial basis to whet their appetites before having to plunking down any cash. As of now, a PS3 release (via the PlayStation Network) is the only one set in stone. Microsoft and Tecmo are still in talks about bringing it to the 360.
This could be a double-edged sword for the franchise. It’s very likely more eyes will take a gander at the new complimentary model to start off with, but once completionists realize they’ll have to pay for everything else, gamers might not think it’s worth it to have to constantly stop and make micro-transactions to battle with their favorite fighters. Early this fall, Tecmo Koei and everyone else will find out.
– David Chaney