Killer Instinct Comes In Three Flavors: Free, $20 Combo Breaker, And $40 Ultra

By Spencer . August 20, 2013 . 6:04pm


Killer Instinct from Double Helix and Microsoft has a unique pricing structure. You can get the Xbox One game for free with one playable character. Additional characters cost $4.99 a piece. Jago, Sabrewulf, Glacius, and Chief Thunder are confirmed for the game.


The Combo Breaker pack includes the first eight characters. Six Killer Instinct characters will be available at launch and this pack includes early access for two more characters. Microsoft has this priced at $19.99.


Killer Instinct Ultra Edition is $39.99. This includes the eight characters from the Combo Breaker bundle, character accessory packs, character costumes, and the original Killer Instinct arcade game.


XboxWire_Thunder_4 XboxWire_Thunder_6 XboxWire_Thunder_7 XboxWire_Thunder_8 XboxWire_Thunder_1 XboxWire_Thunder_2 XboxWire_Thunder_3

Read more stories about & on Siliconera.

  • Foxeh Shihōin

    …. original killer instinct arcade game.. i would get it just to play only that…

    • NintendoPSX

      Pft a SNES cart is cheaper than this scam.

      • It looks like it would be the original ARCADE version of the game, and anyone who’s ever played that knows it blows the SNES port out of the water, as good as even that port was…

        To top it off, neither KI arcade games have ever seen a arcade-perfect console release… it still surprises me that they wouldn’t get that little problem out of the way before making a new KI.

  • leingod

    I love the fact there’s gonna be a new KI game, but this just screams “we won’t be able to finish the game by launch”

    • Crevox

      It seems like it will be an ongoing development, like an online game. Balance patches will be constantly done, and new characters constantly added.

      In that sense, there is no real “finish” for the game.

      • leingod

        That probably means we won’t see a physical version for a long time…

        Usually that’s not an issue, but I worry I won’t be able to buy the game since I’m not in any of the launch countries.

        • Guest

          Keep in mind physical copies were originally intended to be ornamental.

    • At least the prices for such a game aren’t pretentious for once (looking at you, Activision).

    • Well to be fair to them, most new fighting games created from scratch do hit the market with 8 characters anyways (or around that number, but usually exactly 8). And I seriously doubt any of those launched at $19.99 either… oh, except Skullgirls at $14.99.

      • leingod

        Well, here’s hoping the game’s good. Love the original.

  • NintendoPSX

    This is so stupid. I’m actually glad it’s this dumb because it makes me having to leave Killer Instinct all that much easier.
    I mean, you pay $40 for a full game that has, oh I’m sorry, 8 characters?
    For a next generation, hell even THIS generation fighting game, that is not worth one bit of this.

    • OkamiKing

      The game itself is free…. You get 8 characters for 20…. Which is 5 dollars more so than Skullgirls which had one extra character. You’re adding 20 more dollars for DLC. This is also the same F2P method DOA is going to do.

      • NintendoPSX

        First of all, most fighting games come with 25+ characters now. Hell even the first Tekken had more than this! And just because its “free” at first doesn’t mean it’s any less worthless. For $40 I can buy Tekken Tag 2 and have around 50 or so characters. Or Soul Calibur V and and SSFIV.

        • OkamiKing

          You know what else has more characters? Dive Kick. You know what that consist of? Jumping and diving.
          Street Fighter 4 was sold for 60/50 dollars and had 19 characters by the way.

          IT REALLY irks me to have people complain about a cast in fighting games. So much so because said people who BUY the game either A. Play one character or B. Don’t even bother mastering one. What really gets me is the self entitlement to having a large cast of characters. Thats a lot of money and a lot of work. I agree that this game needs a year or so to come out to snuff with other fighting games, but considering the amount of work going into the game, and you’re really getting the game FOR FREE, thats not a big deal.

          There’s stuff in here I would kill for in other fighting games. The way the background and music ACTUALLY move and react to combat is something I’ve been wanting in Street fighter for years now. The scenery and stage designs are probably some of the best, especially Chief Thunders stage. Not to mention the cost of animating and redesigning most of the cast? Please….

          “Oh I can only pick one guy”

          I’m pretty sure you’re gonna be playing one character for the majority of the time anyway. And if you really want to play someone new, you can either buy a 20 dollar xbl game, NOT 40. Or you can spend 5 bucks on that specific character. There’s really nothing to complain about.

          EDIT: The only real complaint I could muster is the fact that I hate the console its for. But they are the ones supporting so there.

        • Fitzkrieg

          More characters isn’t always better. The more characters you have in a fighter, the more balance issues that you need to consider when making tweaks and the more likely it is that you will have clone characters.

          I would prefer a small cast of well-made characters than a large cast of characters that haven’t had as much thought put into them.

          Besides, there’s only 11 previously playable characters within the confines of the Killer Instinct series anyway. Cut them a bit of slack.

        • Astrotrain

          I think you are spoil by capcom games (MVC3). Most of fighting games, in their fist iteration, are launch with few characters.

      • AkuLord3

        Oh yea free game of 1 character to play with but need to play all of them for 20 and another 20 for another set in the future. Aweee man that FREE, i didn’t spent a dime

        • I guess it’s not really a good idea with a series that’s pretty much “new” (since it’s been too long since the original), but the idea behind the option to get the game for free and buy characters separately is that a lot of fighting game players only need to stick to one character. Maybe with this KI, someone could check out the game at a friend’s, find their one character, and just go spend $5 and train. Otherwise, just go with the $20 deal.

          Personally, to me the arcade version of KI 1 is worth $40 alone, lol…

  • TrannyMagic

    I only play girls so I’ll be able to nit-pick the low amount of estrogen filled characters with glee. Hopefully they’ll release character seperate costume/accessory packs as well as I don’t want the ultra edition.

    • rurifan

      Are there actually females in this game? All I’ve seen are ugly men.

      • AkuLord3

        There are 2, Black Orchid and Maya

        • And Kim Wu and MAYBE Riptor.

          • I just honestly fear to see how they look in this game if even the men turned out ugly, lol…

            The way I see it, a lot of fighting game series have been hitting their characters with the ugly stick lately :/ mainly SF4, Injustice, and now this…

      • Tee Niitris

        B.Orchid (there are two others, but we’re not seeing them anytime soon).

        Edit: Ninja’d

      • TrannyMagic

        this isn’t a Jojo’s bizarre adventure game where all men are as fabulously/erotically-built as the next and there have only been an alien, a werewolf, and 2 men revealed(lol), granted all are male but yeah ://. Everyone else seems to have answered your question though and the devs said they’re looking into bringing more females into the franchise.

  • Letiumtide

    Chief Thunder’s redesign is awful, well, they all are. I’m sad, I was one of those people really pushing for Killer Instinct to get a new release, I just… never wanted it to be like this. This is probably the saddest thing ever, even Mortal Kombat got it mostly right.

  • eilegz

    this game looks so incomplete almost like kof xii quality, i guess i wait for a complete edition….

    • Yan Zhao

      Hell, even KoF12 had way more characters, and that was all done in hi-def 2D sprites, which takes way longer.

  • Tee Niitris

    I’m just going to compare price points. The $20 for 8 characters (6 at launch I should add) isn’t a bad deal itself… It’s the minimal content.

    BlazBlue [Calamity Trigger] and Persona 4 Arena had a lower character-to-price ratio, but made up for it with great single player content, character diversity, and good online (on top of having good gameplay).

    KI3 isn’t guaranteed to have any of these, and it has to compete in an (arguably) over-saturated genre. The backlash (although a bit excessive) is justifiable.

    • P4A had 14 at launch. Atleast in the west.

      • Tee Niitris

        That’s right, characters were added… I was thinking of the arcade version. :P

    • AkuLord3

      Blazblue and Persona 4 Arena were never 60 dollars…

      • Tee Niitris

        P4A was $60 at launch… I remember pre-ordering it (something I rarely do) in a financial crunch.

        Calamity Trigger I don’t remember as well (so I could be wrong), but I’m certain it wasn’t $40. Most original installments of a series aren’t.

        • OkamiKing

          BBCT was 60 dollars. More so for the collectors edition.

          Continuum shift added three characters. 60 price.

          CS2 added three characters. Round 40/50 price range.

          CSE added 1 character. 40 dollar price range.

          If people are complaining about the price or the game, you could essentially get the game free and buy your main for 5 bucks. For people who play competitively this isn’t a bad deal. Considering there is a free story mode coming out when the initial 8 are all for purchase, its not that bad a deal.,

          • Astrotrain

            BB Continuum Shift was $40, sir. BB Continuum shift Extend added more contet, not only just 1 chacacter.

          • OkamiKing

            It changed the Burst system. Again. And added four new story modes and a retelling. A halfway done redub. There were two Hazama voices in game. Translations that weren’t finished. Rebalanced. AGAIN. If you wanna go in depth about fighting game mechanics and the Gold burst go right ahead. I prefer the Overdrive System thats coming in Chrono Phantasma.

            It seems like everytime someone says its a reasonable price, someone brings up the cast. And whenever someone brings that a fighting game is a LOT MORE than its cast, people bring up playable characters again.

    • Hunts Rattata

      Persona 4 Arena’s single player wasn’t very good at all. Most characters’ paths could be cleared with jump forward > Gold Burst > Instant Kill (I don’t think you can even increase the AI’s level to make them less dumb). The story for most of the characters was the same – they go through the tournament fighting their friends/strangers because illusions provoked them, while also befriending Labrys. There were some good character-specific segments at the start and end of each character’s story, but doing the tournament in between each time got old fast. Oh, except for Labrys’s, which starts with an animated fight scene – instead of, I dunno, playing the fights – 90 minutes of talking heads, then a single actual match. And that was still the best path of the lot because OH MY GOD, LABRYS NEEDS A HUG ;_;.

  • Believe me when I say that everyone will only pay the $40 only for the original game included in the bundle. Nothing but. Even if it won’t have online.

  • AkuLord3

    They could have just make Killer Instinct Gold HD or some shit and have even better results than this shitty practice. I really hope this doesn’t do well because this type of practice on DLC is horrible.

  • Sergio Briceño

    I like it that they aren’t backing off on their promise of delivering it for launch. Even if it is incomplete, it’s not like they are asking full price for it. Unless you go freemium and buy each character separately.

    I think the best choice is to get the $40.00 version and play the heck out of it. In time it’ll become the “complete” version, hopefully…

  • Logan Moll

    This is oh so sweet to all the people that were being completely unreasonable as soon as they heard the ‘free to play’ term.

    Sweet because their faces can be rubbed nose-deep in how fair this pricing schema is lol.

    • Ace Trainer Chris

      How is $20 and $40 for 8 characters fair? That’s still LESS than what the first Killer Instinct’s roster had.

      • Logan Moll

        What I got from that article is that $40 will get you all the content that the game will launch with. $40 for the full game (assuming that is the full game) is pretty nice, actually.

        • Ace Trainer Chris

          The thing is though you’re basically paying $40 for a small roster, alternate costumes, accessories and the original arcade game. Alternate costumes and accessories being something you pay for in a fighting game is getting ridiculous and out of hand. Holding the original arcade game as incentive for spending $40 is a slap in the face. Especially when this game is developed by a group with a very poor track record.

  • ndjn3979

    This actually looks REALLY good. Watched some videos and am thrilled to see another tourney-worthy fighter coming up. I really want this for PS4…

  • Zeonsilt

    The only important factor here guys… it’s Double Helix.Remember Front Mission : Evolved and Silent Hill : Homecoming?
    Don’t get your hopes high,yet.

  • Chee Yang

    Free to try. $20 for the game without the side stuff, $40 for everything. It’s not really a bad deal. Now the question is, how many characters are in the full roster?

    It’s ridiculous buying a single character for $5…that was a reason why I never got any of the new MK games at launch and waited for the deals. Matter of fact that goes for SF4, MVC3, SFxT and any other fighting games, except Tekken.

    The point is don’t commit to a game if you’re not willing to fork out the cash. If you are going to fork out the $$$. Get the best deal they offer. Free to try + 7 characters times $5 is too pricey. It doesn’t beat the $40 package.

    • Ferrick

      wrong, the $40 pack is only for 8 characters, so that’s 8*5 = 40, there is no cheaper deal, and if they are going to bring the other seven characters from the original 2 KIs, then it would rise to a total of $75, which costs higher than every other fighting games that has more characters than KI does

      • Patrick Lucas Honeyman

        You are wrong Ferrick as that is the cost of the Ultra Edition with the arcade version of KI1 included. If you insist on paying for those characters separately to prove your point, go ahead. Everyone else can buy the Combo Breaker pack for $20 dollars less and agree with how right you are.

        • Ferrick

          oh i’m sorry, did i stutter? you might want to read what the guy before me said before trying to prove me wrong, and the elite pack is still going to be expensive no matter what angle you try to cut it, because its ONLY 8 characters, meaning when the other 2 characters come, they will still have to buy them separately either ways

          and even if they buy the CB pack for 20 bucks, they will eventually have to pay up an extra of 25 bucks to complete the roster, which totals up to $45 bucks

          and we’re not accounting new characters (by new, i mean those that has never appeared in past two KIs) just yet either, and if they do add new characters, then the price will be really high, even with bundles

          • It’s actually 1 character for free, so then buying the rest of the 7 characters separately would be $35 (although you can’t buy two of those at launch), but you’d miss out on a free game (the original KI) and the extra stuff that would have just cost $5 more than that.

            But for $20 you get the base game with all 8 characters anyways, which is almost half the cost of buying them separately.

            These are just options for different people depending on what they want and what they care for. Some people will only need to spend $5, some only need to spend $20, while everyone else will go with the full deal for 2 full games for $40.

            Now don’t get me wrong, so far I’m not looking forward to this game at all.. I can’t stand the art direction so far and I’m not getting an Xbox One anytime soon. It’s just the KI1 part that’s got me interested at all now… lol. I just have no complaints with their pricing or F2P in fighting games in general.

  • Linhua

    … LOL… you win for life with this header, Spencer.

    … I came IN here laughing… XD

    ._.|| S-seriously though, I felt the force tugging at my wallet for a second there with that $40 Ultra Combo. But not quite.

    … now if the $40 Ultra Combo came with ALL the Killer Instinct games… then the whole “ULTRA COMBO” shtick would really truly be living up to its name.

    … and my wallet would have surely been freed from the shackles of my pockets.

  • Jake_Indiman

    If I was getting an Xbox One I would honestly buy the $40 combo. Or better yet, a physical disc version would be nice.

  • Jake_Indiman

    I guess Microsoft is testing the waters with free to play fighters. But honestly, I would rather pay for the “whole” game.

  • Oh man, the original Arcade version of KI? I seriously just want that and the 2nd arcade game on my 360… please!?? :(

    Even both KI1 and KI2, arcade perfect, released as a collection on a physical disc, hopefully with online play added, would be the best thing they could ever give us. I’d pay $59.99 for just that right there! I could imagine a lot of people complaining about that with that price, but I wouldn’t be one of them.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos