Fighting games often keep themselves alive by including downloadable content. The additional characters can bring fans back for months and even years after a game’s release. Some games, like Street Fighter, might only release once a generation and support their game through continued seasons that add more characters.
While fans might have mixed feelings about seasonal DLC, some games are far worse at it than others. Similarly, popular fighting games can enrage their audience, either by barely supporting their game at all, or offering a ton of inconsequential DLC while still charging the fans far too much money.
The strategy for Marvel vs. Capcom 3’s downloadable content was a mess from the beginning. Everyone hailed the return of the long-running crossover fighter, but when fans learned additional characters were available on the disc, they were less than happy. This was excused when fans learned they were unfinished, but that wasn’t the only issue Capcom had with this title.
When the entire game was released as a collection in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom3, the DLC situation didn’t get any better. Now players were asked to pay for costumes. For months after the game’s release, Capcom released alternate outfits for everyone in the game, offering classic looks for characters. The upside to this was that the DLC was free at the time, and many still saw Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as a legendary title.
9/10 Street Fighter III’s Online Edition Introduced Pointless Color Packs
While considered controversial when it was released in the 90s, over time Street Fighter III turned into a cult classic. Fans came to love the game’s stylish characters and incredible music, to say nothing of its combat, which had the kind of high ceiling seasoned fighters would love. Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike was re-released with online functionality in 2011.
No one expecting Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike to feature new characters to a game, but there was no need for Capcom to get greedy. For DLC, Capcom released a series of alternate colors for characters, just to get a few extra bucks out of the game. Additionally, the opponent couldn’t even see the alternate colors unless they bought the DLC as well.
8/10 Virtua Fighter 5 Added DLC To Make The Game Look Like Tekken
Virtua Fighter is one of the oldest 3D fighting games, with a legacy equal to more popular franchises like Tekken or Soulcalibur. So when SEGA revealed they were updating Virtua Fighter 5 for PlayStation 4, fans were excited. To their credit, Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown is a great game, made all the more beautiful thanks to SEGA’s Dragon Engine.
However, Virtua Fighter 5‘s downloadable content is sorely lacking. Some of it focuses on a Tekken collaboration to give Tekken 7 costumes to the cast, and UI changes to make the game look like Tekken. Crossover characters are popular but it’s unfortunate the best SEGA could do was make Virtua Fighter look like a vastly more popular franchise.
7/10 Fighting EX Layer Had DLC Focusing On Color Sets For Customization
The good thing about Fighting EX Layer is that the developers could release several characters for free via post-launch updates. Adding characters for free is never a bad thing, and Arika’s willingness to support this game speaks to how badly they wanted the game to be a success.
In the end, Fighting EX Layer‘s DLC simply offered several color sets for all of their characters. Each set costs $5 each, which meant getting all the customization for the game would cost players an additional $85. Not many fans were willing to pay that much for an otherwise small game.
6/10 Mortal Kombat X Offered Easy Fatalities For $1 Each
The second of the Mortal Kombat revival era, Mortal Kombat X might be the most beloved title of the newer games. Fans loved the game’s fast combat, and even the campaign proved just as compelling as MK9.
The Kombat Packs added plenty of new characters for fans to try, and it gave them reasons to keep coming back for months after the game released. However, other DLC released for the game was far more frustrating. The so-called “easy fatality” DLC allowed players to get easy fatalities… so long as they were willing to pay $1 a piece for them.
5/10 Dead Or Alive 5 Featured Hundreds Of Dollars Of Costumes
One of the first games people should think of when they think of egregious DLC is the Dead or Alive series. In 2012, Tecmo-Koei released Dead or Alive 5, which was generally regarded as a gorgeous game and a decent, if not amazing, fighting game.
With nearly forty characters, people who picked up Dead or Alive 5: Last Round were in for a great experience as long as they didn’t look at the DLC. Tecmo-Koei went to the extreme with DLC, adding dozens of costumes for fans to purchase. While the main game could be purchased for $40, getting all the game’s DLC would set players back hundreds of dollars.
4/10 Granblue Fantasy Versus Had More DLC Characters Than The Base Roster
Granblue Fantasy Versus launched with an absolutely miniscule roster of twelve characters. With the first character pass, ArcSystemWorks added another five characters, then boosted the roster again with another six in its second character pass. While the game eventually brought its roster up to a respectable 25 characters, this made it one of the few fighting games that had more DLC characters than the base roster.
While ArcSystemWorks has always been known for supporting their games, this felt like an example of a studio being stretched to its limits. Two years prior, they released both Dragon Ball FighterZ and BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, with Guilty Gear Strive already revealed before this game even came out. It’s a miracle this Granblue Fantasy Versus was as solid as it was.
3/10 BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle Added Dozens Of Characters But Got Away From The Crossover Roots
Of all the different crossover ideas, this may have been ArcSystemWorks’ strangest. BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle was meant to take BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, and RWBY and combine them. Then the game launched, and half of the RWBY cast wasn’t even present. Although the missing half of RWBY were made free DLC, it was a baffling choice to begin with.
Over time, ASW added thirty-three more characters, but that just made things more frustrating. By season two, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle added even more franchises to the series, including Senran Kagura,Arcana Heart, and Akatsuki Blitzkampf. While guest characters have always been popular, guest characters in a game that’s already a crossover fighter is curious at best.
2/10 Street Fighter X Tekken Had The Nerve to Charge For Gems
Street Fighter x Tekken was a brilliant idea with questionable execution. Two popular franchises getting to clash in epic combat should’ve been a smash hit, but fans didn’t love the game’s assist gem system. For those who disliked the gem system, the DLC made things worse.
There’s nothing wrong with adding plenty of additional characters, but Street Fighter x Tekken didn’t need all the swap costumes Capcom added. Even more annoying was the fact they offered more of the Assist Gems that no one wanted in the game to begin with.
1/10 Dead Or Alive 6 Drowns The Game In Fanservice Costumes
Koei-Tecmo got right back up to its old tricks with Dead or Alive 6. While the game was good, the sheer amount of milking the publisher attempted with the DLC proved enough to lose a lot of fans. Steam lists over 400 kinds of downloadable content for the game, and while a few new characters were added, that’s not even half of what’s available.
Instead,Dead or Alive 6 got stuffed with new costumes. There’s school uniforms, sci-fi suits, maid outfits, and much more. There are hundreds of dollars worth of fanservice-y outfits, making buying everything in this game not unlike most free to play titles. Given the kind of spin-offs this fighting game has, these outfits aren’t surprising, but still frustrating for fans to deal with.
NEXT: 10 Spinoffs From Fighting Games (That Aren’t Fighting Games)