Talking to Polygon, Killer Instinct producer Torin Rettig described how Killer Instinct will be free-to-play with the first character, and explained why the rest of the roster will be independent purchases.
“The way this game will work is when it releases, you’ll be able to play one character for free,” Rettig told Polygon. “You’ll be able to jus download the client and play that character—Jago—as much as you want. And you will be able to buy other characters and other content as you see fit. So as much or as little as you want. We wanted there to be basically a wide funnel. We wanted as many players to get in and enjoy the game and experience the game as possible, and to engage in it at a level that they want to engage at.”
According to Rettig, the reason they’ve taken this route is to avoid bogging players down with an overabundance of unwanted content, citing how “some games have anywhere between 30, 40, even 50 characters” and how “most players don’t play that many characters.”
Developer Double Helix also informed Polygon that there will be a season pass for Killer Instinct that allows players to purchase the game in full.