Street Fighter V will have a new model when it comes to how players can get extra content after the game’s release.
Capcom announced Saturday at its EVO 2015 panel in Las Vegas, Nev. that the upcoming PlayStation 4 console-exclusive Street Fighter V will let players unlock new post-launch characters and content for free just by playing the game, instead of only paying for them through downloadable content or new game packages like in the past.
By continually playing the game you can earn “Fight Money,” an in-game currency, to buy new characters and extra post-release downloadable content. Players can also buy individual characters in Street Fighter V instead of an entire new bundle of content like with previous games.
Players will only need the first version of Street Fighter V as updates like balances and gameplay changes will be given to all owners for free on top of the base game instead of being exclusive to a new retail or digital release.
Capcom said it’s creating Street Fighter V to be more of a platform service that evolves over time. The game is scheduled for a spring 2016 release.
To speed up the unlocking process in Street Fighter V, downloadable content can still be purchased with real money by buying “Zenny,” the game’s premium currency. Capcom didn’t announce a pricing structure for this second currency.
Capcom is still designing how long it will take to unlock new content with Fight Money based on player feedback during beta testing throughout the rest of the year. The first beta on PS4 starts July 23.
Street Fighter V will launch with a roster of 16 characters that will be expanded post-release. Four of them are all-new to the series. Original franchise characters like Ken and M. Bison debut new looks and fighting styles in the game, with Ken having a different outfit and hairstyle while M. Bison’s hair is now grey. The franchise started in 1987 but exploded in popularity in 1991 with its second game Street Fighter II: The World Warrior for the arcade that was later ported to home consoles.
This new model is a change to the way Capcom traditionally releases new content for the series. Street Fighter IV, originally released in February 2009 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and July 2009 for PC, had several iterations like Super Street Fighter IV (2010), Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (2011) and Ultra Street Fighter IV (2014). These different versions introduced new characters, stages, costumes, gameplay tweaks and game modes but locked out previous players to the content unless they bought the full upgrade.
Capcom believes the old DLC release model made it hard to keep players interested long-term because of the length between each new major update. It also shrank the player base over time between the different game versions.
Capcom announced Street Fighter V last December and that Sony would be partnering with the company for its development. The game will also release for the PC and features cross-platform play with the PS4 version.
Watch this trailer of the game’s updated fight system: