Killer Instinct Will Receive An Arcade Mode After Launch Says Microsoft

By Ishaan . November 11, 2013 . 11:05am

The new Killer Instinct, a revival of the classic fighting game by Rare, will launch on Xbox One without an Arcade mode. However, Microsoft have confirmed to Official Xbox Magazine that one will be added to the game post-launch.


“Our Arcade mode is going to come out when we’ve done the eight characters,” Microsoft Game Studios game designer Daniel Fornace clarified. “So it’s not going to be at launch, at launch we’re going to have six—Orchid’s the last—and then we’ll have two more following up post-launch.”


While Arcade mode won’t be present at launch, the game will have an endless mode called Survival, and an extensive training mode titled Dojo. Fornace feels Killer Instinct’s tutorials go above and beyond other fighting games by teaching the player about fighting games and terminology in general.


“We start out, we go through the basics, stuff you’ll see in other fighting games like navigation, blocking, crouching, jumping, throws, specials, and then we go into Killer Instinct specific things, like combos; Ultras, which are the finishers, and Instinct Mode,” says Fornace. Following the basics, Killer Instinct will go on to teach cross-ups, combos, and other such advanced playing techniques.


Killer Instinct will be available alongside Xbox One on November 22nd.

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  • Cazar

    It seems like almost everything is being added to this game post-launch. I don’t see what’s so hard about waiting until a game is complete before releasing it.

    • doubleO7

      Because Microsoft demanded a launch title. Development was started in fall 2012, which gave them barely a year to make it. So they cherry-picked features to include by launch, with plans to update the game with whatever they left out afterwards.

    • Shady Shariest

      Don’t forget that this is quickly becoming DLC : The Game.

    • Normally I’d agree, but the situation is commonly different with Free to Play titles. A lot of them start out calling themselves a “public beta,” even, but the end result tends to be that content is added over time. What concerns me is that they’ve drawn such a strict line in terms of scope; eight characters seems a bit paltry these days, and they don’t seem to have a follow-up plan if this ends up being a resounding success. If you’re going to have a stream of content come out post-launch, you need to plan more than a couple months ahead…

      • neo_firenze

        To be fair, they HAVE discussed a follow-up plan of having a “Season 2” in 2014 adding 8 more characters (bringing it up to a total of 16). They’ve also made reference to wanting to continue to keep updating the game if it does well, and have it as more of a constantly evolving fighting game platform as opposed to shipping a “final” game. (see Maybe you like idea that, maybe not – it’s at least an interesting concept though.

        It does still feel very rushed that they will only have 6 characters and no arcade mode at launch, and I would have hoped they could have at least had the initial “season” of 8 characters and arcade mode ready to go. But it’s clear that this was due to Microsoft wanting to have something ready to go for launch, and they’re delivering what they can. Maybe something to be said for that, instead of trying to push out content that’s not ready prematurely. And at least they’ve been fairly open about the intended roadmap.

        • Sounds like a chicken/egg problem though, since lacking initial content might hurt plans for future expansion if it’s based on how well it does earlier on…

  • doubleO7

    They’ve also said that story mode would be coming with that last character, but that they’re not going to do a big, cutscene-filled story like what Mortal Kombat had.

    So, perhaps the delay of Arcade mode was because they’re planning to include arcade endings like the old days?

  • Judgephoenix


  • I know some people are excited about the Killer Instinct revival,but honestly this game seems to be going in almost every direction that I don’t want fighting games to go. DLC “seasons” to constantly mess with the game balance, an unfinished patching mentality that will never allow for the game to just settle until it’s dead, and lack of a disc. I feel like this game is gonna be a nightmare to run at tournaments due to all the updates and DLC it will require to run at a fair level. I also was never a fan of how KI games played in the first place, but that’s just my own personal preference.

    The one nice thing I can say is that I hope the tutorial mode is as good as they’re making it sound. I know so many people who think fighting games are all about button mashing and learning special moves, but that’s such a small part of the overall experience. I thought Skullgirls had a nice intro the fighting game mindset, hopefully this can top that in terms of accessibility.

    • Not to mention the general pessimism that it’s being developed by Double Helix.

  • Astrotrain

    Not even an arcade mode!? Yes, a very rushed game.

  • MrJechgo

    This game looks dead on arrival…

    – XBOX One launch title; it means that the game has been rushed to get to that date.

    – Awkward marketing; the pricing is off and the stuff that come with it is underwhelming. The whole season pass deal sounds more like “We’ll deliver the rest if you buy the first part.”

    – Small roster; everyone is expecting their favorite characters to be in the game except that they might never make it to the roster. The game could have gotten 21 characters at release instead of a measly 8 at launch.

    – Missing modes; that speaks for itself…

    Seriously, would it have been THAT hard to make this game post-console launch with 21 characters? Think about it: KI on XBO for 60$ with Jago, Black Orchid, Sabrewulf, Glacius, Spinal, Fulgore, T. J. Combo, Chief Thunder, Cinder, Riptor, Kim Wu, Maya, Tusk, Gargos, Eyedol (both downgraded to playable status and attributes), Sadira and 5 new characters (one being the new boss) on the roster, would have been a great revival, just SFIV was.

    Right now, you probably have to wait for 3 years before you get the entire roster, and that if they make it that far.

    • Shady Shariest

      Don’t forget that added characters will need to be bought…
      *cheers* We have seen too many flops in one year, maybe it is good that KI-will hit most of us on 2014…

      • MrJechgo

        Well, the way I see it, if you buy the 8-character package for 20$, you’ll eventually get the equivalent of a 60$ game after buying a total of 3 packages. However, there is absolutely no guarantee that Double Helix and Microsoft will get to a 3rd pass. What if the sales just aren’t high enough to warrant a 2nd pass? What if Microsoft screw DH and close their studio? What if the XBO doesn’t sell as well as expected?

        That’s why I’m kinda against episodic-like content, because you never know when the next segment will come out. perhaps it will NEVER come out. Yes, it worked for the Walking Dead game, but not for Sonic the Hedgehog 4. It’s a major gamble to go episodic. However, if I get a 60$ game, then I feel like I bought a complete game, or a game with the essential elements with the rest being just for extra stuff if released as DLC.

    • Shippoyasha

      I have some faith that the community support may keep it going. MS should not have rushed it out, but the work Double Helix is putting in is nice. We won’t know for sure how full fledged it will be once they add arcade, story and finishing moves.

      Kind of backwards but hopefully they can get a proper disc release someday.

    • Juan Andrés Valencia

      Don’t forget about the 720p60 resolution. Does anyone else remember Injustice? A UE3 fighting game running at 60 FPS on 7-8 year old hardware at that exact same resolution.

      I still can’t believe that Microsoft made a next gen console that runs most of it’s games in 720p when most PS4 games are probably going to be 900p or 1080p.

  • I swear this “game” is becoming more and more of a joke.

    • It’s killing me as a die-hard series fan.

      But then it’s not like it’s really Rare anymore…

      • Shippoyasha

        To be fair, they picked up many core Killer Instinct devs to oversee the project.

  • xAKUM3TSUx

    ugh…Ya know I’d rather them delay the game a few months and sell the game at full retail rather than have a clustered-rushed mess of a fighting game. I mean sure the game looks great but just think of the loops it will go through in the long-term cycle. That’s one thing I’ll give Capcom. They make you think your done spending then they say “No my son, this is just the beginning.” Not that I like it but I’m just saying: If the games not finished or isn’t the full version yet and you already have gimmicks planned for it; why not sell it all together?..but then I think I know the answer to that Q

  • leingod

    Guess I’ll wait till the first season is done before getting the game. Or even a XBOX One for that matter.

  • Yan Zhao

    Apparently, “Arcade mode” where they just take you through 8 fights with CPU opponents back to back is SOOOOO hard and time consuming to program into the game for launch!

  • The_Superior_Spider-Mon

    I have this strange feeling that M$ will release Super Killer Instinct w a new season pass a few months later.

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