Upcoming Xbox One launch title Killer Instinct surprised many when it was initially announced that the game would be available for free with one playable character and others available to be purchased. Some scoffed at it, distrusting or dismissive of the term "free to play". But creative director of first-party published Xbox One games Ken Lobb told Eurogamer that Killer Instinct is not free to play, rather it is "the world's most generous demo".
"I just want to get as many people playing as I can...Some people are like, 'oh, free-to-play.' No. It's not free-to-play.
"What is free-to-play? It's a thing you really can't ever own at all. Day one, if you want to buy our game, buy it. You own it. There's no grind for little coins that unlock things later. None of that."
"The free part is, day one, you can download Jago for free and you get the whole game with Jago. The story mode comes later, but you get his full tutorial, full practice mode and you can go online and play against everybody. So you have the full game with just Jago.
"Then if you decide you like Thunder for example, you can buy Thunder for five bucks or equivalent. Maybe that's all you want, so why should you have to pay forty bucks? Just pay five and then you have Thunder.
"If you buy the $40 pack, there are a couple of other little things you'll be able to buy, but you're done. It's not like there's some buy coins to unlock thing. That's why I've always said this is not a free-to-play game."
"I like to call it, we've just made the world's most generous demo. And if you want to buy the game as a bunch of little premium DLCs, go ahead. It's not free-to-play."
Killer Instinct will be available at the Xbox One launch with Jago as the only playable character in the free version. Additional characters can be purchased separately, and an Ultra Edition that costs $39.99, £34.99, €39.99 will contain all eight characters. This will be the first season of content, as a second wave of content will be available in 2014, using the same price model.