Well this is unusual. We all know that pay to win is something that affects a number of free-to-play titles, but it's unusual for companies to be forthright in admitting it.
Not the case for SoulCalibur: Lost Swords' producer Masaaki Hoshino, who had this to say in reply to a question from Siliconera about the reasons for the game's lack of multiplayer:
"The reason that we went singleplayer…well, originally, we were thinking about having a multiplayer option, but because we’re going with a pay-to-win model, we were worried that by having online multiplayer, for all the new users that would be coming in experiencing the game for the first time, they might be immediately deterred by fighting against opponents who had superior equipment and gear—and we didn’t want to have that kind of negative impact on new players.
In the singleplayer experience, having a pay-to-win structure won’t impede the player’s experience with the game."
This interview has, to say the least, not gone down well with fans of the series.