The last year has been a big one for fighting games. With seemingly every major franchise releasing a new entry, the schedule was stacked and hard to keep up with. There was something for everyone, though, and in many cases, it was the perfect time to get into the genre. Mortal Kombat restarted its timeline, Street Fighter became more accessible with modern controls, and anime fighters were being released left and right.
The Monetization Curse
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, however, as the idea of monetization and rushed development has become a glaring issue. Mortal Kombat 1 saw its premium store charging 10+ dollars for skins that would normally be kept unlockables while also failing to deliver much outside of the typical fighting game modes. And with the president of WB stating this is the planned business model, it’s quite worrisome for Mortal Kombat fans.
Street Fighter also saw insane money-hungry tactics being implemented with their Ninja Turtles crossover. To have everything on offer, you would have had to shell out another $60. The Costume 3 collections totaled nearly twice as much. It’s like an epidemic in a genre whose fans just want to make their characters look cool and fight. Thanks to the new norm in business practices, many players were left with a bad taste in their mouths and several swore off the games entirely.
The Monetization Cure(?)
Tekken 8, released just last month, has decided to go in the opposite direction. Even before release, it was announced that there would be no form of microtransactions. And so far, the team has stayed true to that statement. It’s been a relief to see a company stand tall on such principles and defy the norm in every way. With a plethora of solo modes to choose from as well, Tekken 8 knows its worth and does all it can to satisfy fans and newcomers alike. It’s a shining beacon of hope in a world filled with expensive digital assets and predatory sales tactics. I didn’t give it a 10/10 just because it looks nice, although it does.
Tekken 8 has proven that it’s nowhere near impossible to follow this business model. In the UK, it has sold twice as much as Street Fighter 6. And that’s only physical sales, so it’s literally a fraction of total sales made. To top it off, it has received near perfect scores across the board, and overwhelmingly positive reception from fans and critics alike. The sales trajectory seem to be on a sharp incline, and I’m here for it. I just hope the other two fighting juggernauts can see Tekken and make a few changes to their own business model. I’m no business expert, but I think satisfying fans is more important than selling a skin. Either way, it appears the age of Tekken domination just may be upon us.