[Idea] Street Fighter V - F2P Version


Disclaimer: Everything you see below is pure speculation. As it stands, there’s no particular reason for making Street Fighter V free-to-play, at least not at this point in time, and although the sales news about the game haven’t been the best as of late - we don’t yet know if EVO has managed to push any new copies of the game. 2017 will be an interesting year for it for sure

As you guys know, the fighting game genre isn’t exactly known for an array of F2P projects (and thank god it itsn’t), but at this point in time, we do have a couple of examples of approaching a game with such a business model - Killer Instinct and Dead or Alive 5.

Although Guilty Gear Xrd and Mortal Kombat X do have in-game currencies as well - most of the content is purely cosmetic (artworks, concept art, costumes) and additional characters are locked behind real money (though Xrd has 1 unlockable character in both SIGN and REVELATOR), so I don’t think they are eligible for a comparison.

Now, let’s do a little breakdown for the two games I mentioned above in their F2P versions, what is purchasable, what is locked, etc, to have an idea of how approximately an F2P version of Street Fighter V could be done, taking into account the current state of the Fight Money and DLC

Killer Instinct

  • 1 character (rotated monthly)
  • Comes with all stages
  • Comes with all game modes
  • Online play (including Ranked)
  • Additional characters = 5$ each
  • Seasonal character pack = 20$ (~6 characters)
  • Ultra pack = 40$ (~6 characters + retro costumes + accessories + bonus characters)

That’s 60$ for three seasons, 120$ for ultra editions of all 3 seasons. Note that if you only decide to spend 20$ on a single season - you’re not getting any accessories or retro costumes. Instead, those will have to be purchased via the in-game’s currency system, KI Gold, which is not obtainable via normal play, and has to be purchased separately

  • 1500/3375/7500/18000 Gold = 4$/7$/10$/20$
  • 1 Accessory = 300 Gold
  • 1 Accessory set = 900 Gold
  • 1 Retro costume = 1200 Gold

Additional content (profile icons, titles, colors, etc) is also purchasable with KI Gold via the Store and access them instantly, or unlock them manually via meeting the conditions (win a certain amount of matches, or reach a certain level), upon reaching which you can unlock them via the Store

Dead or Alive 5

  • 4 Characters
  • Comes with all stages
  • Comes with all game modes (except Story)
  • Online play
  • Additional characters = 4$ each
  • Additional costumes = 1$-3$ each
  • Costume pack = 3-35$ (up to 30 costumes)
  • Character pack = 48$ (30 chars)
  • Story Mode = 15$

Full game unlock is 40$ (including Story Mode), so depending on how you decide to approach your DOA5 experience - you can either spend just 15$ for the Story and enjoy the default 4 characters, or chuck out some additional cash for more characters, or purchase them in packs (there’s also two male/female packs, ~25$ each).

There’s no in-game currency system, so all the additional content (characters and costumes) can only be purchased via real money

Also note that every not-purchased cast member can be used in the Training mode, without paying anything, so you can try them out before purchasing and deciding which characters

So, now that we have looked at how Double Helix/Iron Galaxy and Team Ninja introduced F2P model for fighting game fans - let’s discuss/speculate how Capcom could (or rather should) treat a Free-to-Play version of Street Fighter V, should one emerge at a certain point down the line…

Street Fighter V F2P Concept

  • Price: Free (duh)

  • Characters:
    Ryu and Chun-Li (free) / 20 Additional (4$ or 50k FM each)

  • Costumes:
    Story (2$ or 20k FM) / Premium (4$ or 40k FM)

  • Stages:
    Alternate (2$ or 20k FM) / Additional (4$ or 50k FM) / Premium (6$ or 70k FM)

  • Game modes:
    Survival, Training, Tutorials, Trials, Character Stories

  • Online play:
    Ranked, Casual, Lounges

  • Fight Money Rewards:
    200FM (Ranked) / 100 (Casual) / 50 (Lounge)

  • Color Unlocks:
    Character Leveling or 1000 FM (3-10) / 2500 FM (11-13) / 5000 FM (14 & 15)

  • Character Packs:
    Street Fighter II (25$), Alpha (10$), Newcomers (10$), Seasonal (15$)

  • Costume Packs:
    Story, Premium, [Thematic] (e.g. Swimsuit)

  • Bundles:
    Super Street Fighter V = 30$ (16 Initial Characters + All Stages + All Colors)
    Ultra Street Fighter V = 60$ (16 Initial Characters + 6 Seasonal Characters + 6 Premium Costumes + All stages + All colors, bonus 50k FM)
    Hyper Street Fighter V = 90$ (22 Characters + 22 Premium Costumes + All Stages + All Colors, bonus 150k FM)

Additional notes:

  • Weekly character rotation,
  • Bonus weekends (FM and XP x2),
  • Increased FM gain from offline game modes (+50%),
  • Secondary completions of game modes gives FM (25% of original reward)

And that’s approximately how I imagine a Free-to-Play version of Street Fighter V. Let me know what you guys think of it and I’m open to suggestions/ideas for further improvements of the concept


I think this could work
It would definitely get more people in than it’s current state


So… anybody else wants to comment on the topic?


Free to play is good. That’s all i got.


I definitely agree that it would benefit SFV with a F2P release. Fighting games are perfect to just pick up and play and V is like II very easy to get into. Hope to see it happen by Xmas, or something!


Great thread @Fatal1ty_93_RUS

I think Capcom would be wise to do this next year.

But your pricing for the bundles is very expensive. Bundles are meant to be cheaper, especially for a product that is already “old”. What I mean is that this time next year, your “Hyper SFV” bundle should cost $60, especially if there is an S2 that brings to the table another 4-6 characters. Besides this I agree with your assessment. 2 “Free characters” Ryu and 1 that rotates every month possibly.

But along side this release, Capcom must also relaunch the game with all the new modes, characters, and costumes sometime in the future.


If they did this, they would have to either remove fight money altogether (but include all stages like KI does) or increase the fight money cost for characters and optional content - not decrease it. You’re asking for a free to play game, where all the downloadable content is also free. That’s ridiculous.


I’ve played lots of “free” to play games. I find that most of them have the following flaws:

Slower money gain than non-F2P games, and premium items are required to speed up progress.

-Things you require to actually enjoy the game are held back. Pretend you go to an all you can eat pasta house where the pasta is free. The sauce, meatballs, and napkins are of course purchasable, but you also have to rent a chair, table, and utensils. The only way to eat for free is off the dusty, cockroach infested floor.

-RPG elements. Not always unwelcome, but they are often implemented to slow up progression so that you don’t beat the game too quickly. Just play that level 40 more times to get enough exp to level up and equip that thing that makes the next level actually possible.

-Premium avatars, especially in competitive games. Looking good means you should also fight better. Gem system anyone?

-Play often, or miss out! This week ken can get a special avatar ring that makes his super do 150% more damage. You need to log in for 2 hours a day for a week in order to score this wonder. You main ken, so this is a very valuable item for you to have. OOPS! you have a family vacation this week without interwebz, and you can’t get the ring. Too bad it’s not coming back EVER!

Also…They hunt for wales!



I’d assume the free users would just be on the outside when it comes to collecting fight money.

It’s just meant as a way for 'em to try the game for no cost, with two available characters rotated like every week.


Its better than full price for an unfinished game.


I don’t agree with the idea that F2P is either

  • a consumer-friendly system
  • a way to get more people into the game
  • a good way to support the devs

The two cases of F2P mentioned in the OP have a very small population of people actually playing the game compared to SF5. The total cost of the game for those who want the full content is not inferior to the one you’ll have to spend for SF5 if you just want all the characters and the game modes.
The benefit of a F2P system will mostly show in the lower ranks where people casually try the game. Only a very small amount of them will eventually decide to jump on the ship and continue on.

As far as my gamer experience goes, F2P games either had so much content they never compelled me to spend the slightest amount of money on them or they get very expensive as soon as you progress. I don’t get why people would like to be in the illusion of playing a free game just to be scammed a few hours later when you realise all the good content is locked behind insane amounts of real money or of grinding. I find actually very funny that people both complain about the unlockable stuff in SF5 and want a F2P version of the game which would cost about the same.

I would also worry about F2P players giving even less shit about avoiding annoying behaviour both in-game and outside the game. The communities of F2P games are notoriously so toxic that it makes the FGC look like a Teletubbies episode. People won’t give a damn either about ragequitting when they can freely create new accounts and they’re not accountable for anything they do (they already do, but I don’t think it will help).

A demo for the game would not be unwelcome though, if anything for PCs to see if they can run it correctly, and with none or very limited online functionalities (restricted battle lounge and/or casual). Nowadays you can try the game for a few hours on Steam and get refunded, but a no cost option is always better.


if you mean full priced for ps4


It’s this kind of thinking and poor model that doesn’t work for fighting games that lead to SFV’s disappointing numbers. Mortal Kombat chose a more traditional model and continues to be massively successful, just as I’ve said since the news first broke of the free DLC and releasing a beta for full price it was a grave mistake that would cost them millions and compromise the series future . I was told that I was wrong and that “casuals” would be buying up costumes in droves and the game would be making LOL levels of money.


When news broke that Pokemon Go actually doesn’t really make money in the traditional sense but rather selling the users personal data to companies, Nintendo’s stock suffered a huge drop and Iwata rolled his grave off the edge of the universe. It’s only going to get worse BTW as real Pokemon games on actual Nintendo hardware will, I predict, have the lowest sales ever for Pokemon all thanks to Go.

Talk about pissing on Iwatas grave. They couldn’t even be assed to charge 1$ for Go…

Fighting games have an audience and it can be a big audience, 3-5 million people, but it will never be 30-50 million people. You could give the full game away for free and it still would never reach those kinds of numbers, people just don’t get it.


I actually really like the way KI has done it. I’ve ended up purcahsing ultra editions of each season and I’m more than happy with the value.

The problem I see with your model is that you’ve got the characters at $4 each, and capcom isn’t going to suddenly start charging less for characters it has already released. They would probably increase the current price to make up for the lost revenue from the game sale. I know that isn’t how F2P games make their money (they do a small percentage over a large audience), but capcom doesn’t think that way.


KI’s model is good. It’s probably the only F2P model I would accept, only because it gives people the option to skip the micro-transactions completely and just buy the full game. I’d also be fine with SFV being $20 and having additional DLC characters and costumes for purchase. $60 is a hard sell for SFV.


I don’t think a F2P version is completely essential.

I think a free PS plus month on PSN is a much better idea at this point. People love free, they will atleast download the game and maybe run story mode or something. That will at the very improve the public image of the game which in turn might lead to more sales even if it is a slow burn.

Millions downloaded Rocket League when it was PS plus fermium and look how much money they made out of that.


If they ever made it F2P I’d hope they’d give something good to all the people who bought it initially. Similar to how TF2 did I think?

Like a colour or a few limited costumes for original purchasers


A lot of KI’s success was due to being one of the only good games on the Xbox One. New game, new hardware. If the game came out today I don’t think it would have been nearly as successful. In other words it’s not the model IMO but the timing and other factors.

Reminds me of how TMNT 1989 was downloaded over 5 million times at 5$ and it was a backbone developed, nightmarishly poor, buggy, awful port. X-Men and Simpsons were amazing ports infinitely better and sold less than 50,000 units each also at 5$. In today’s flooded market KI like model for a fighter would be shit on harder than SFV was.


I think they’re going to announce SF5 is going free to play after Evo.


SFV already has a free to play business model and had content on release that can only be rivaled by League of Legends and Dota 2 free betas back in the day.

The only difference between the games is the genre and that 2 of them are actually free while the other cost 60 bucks at launch.