Yesterday, floor reports from E3 2013 indicated that Killer Instinct would be a free-to-play title on the Xbox One, but we are now hearing that this might not exactly be the case.
The confusion over Killer Instinct‘s business model started with a report from IGN stating that the fighter will be a “day-one digital-only release on the Xbox One” that can be downloaded for free with one character. According to that initial report, Jago would be free for players to use and all other characters in the game’s roster would cost some unspecified amount of money to unlock.
Basically, Killer Instinct was initially described as being the very worst kind of free-to-play.
Double Helix Games has since set the record straight, revealing that there has been a small misconception about the game’s free-to-play status. Killer Instinct will be a launch title for the Xbox One, and customers will be able to buy (not own, because nobody really owns Xbox One games) the full title when it is released.
There will also be demo launched with the game that will come with Jago as a playable character. This demo is the “free-to-play” aspect to the game, as it will allow access to all of the game’s modes, including online multiplayer, and allow users to either buy the title outright or purchase packages of various characters.
For all the initial confusion surrounding Killer Instinct, this ended up being a pretty decent way to sell and demo the game. The only downside that I can see offhand is that there is a very good chance that almost every online match you play in will be against Jago.