Even Tekken 8 Has A Battle Pass Now, And Players Aren’t Happy

Image: Arika / Bandai Namco
Image: Arika / Bandai Namco

Tekken 8 is an excellent fighting game that finally makes the somewhat convoluted franchise more digestible with accessible design and approachable mechanics. Unfortunately, whenever you reach the top, the only way to go is down, and it seems the highs of Bandai Namco’s recently released brawler have given way to some lows as the company peeled back the curtain on a new battle pass system coming soon to Tekken 8. Can you guess how the players reacted?

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During a March 29 Tekken Talk Live special revolving around capoeira master Eddy Gordo, some members of the Tekken 8 development team spoke about the additions and changes being made to the game when the third update drops on April 4. This includes account bans, bug fixes, character tweaks, and more. But the sticking point for this livestream was the segment on the “Tekken Fight Pass,” a new feature that’ll include daily and weekly missions you can complete to unlock various in-game items. During a specified period, you can increase your Tekken Fight Pass’ rank to get gear on the free tier track, but there’ll also be a premium tier track you can buy into. You know, a traditional battle pass.

As you might expect, players aren’t too happy with this. The top commenter on the above livestream called this “a far cry from being consumer friendly.” Another said they were “disappointed” that Bandai Namco and co-developer Arika were adding a battle pass and in-game item shop after launch. A third commenter said it bluntly: “[battle passes] are for F2P [free-to-play] games, not paid titles,” underscoring the fact that Tekken 8 does, in fact, cost $70.

The sentiment is also being voiced on the game’s subreddit. One poster called the battle pass and microtransactions “scummy,” while another said it was “dumb for many reasons.” A top post in r/Tekken simply said “I don’t know what to think,” with players in the comments fearing that classic outfits will get siloed to this new system. That last point, character customization, is really the crux of the resentment toward this particular battle pass. Tekken as a franchise is known for its character customization options, which let you completely alter a fighter’s appearance. Tekken 8 has plenty of clothes and accessories to style your fave characters with, but players are worried that the drippiest fits will either be expensive or grindy to unlock, especially after an in-game item shop was added one month following the game’s January 26 launch.

Kotaku has reached out to Bandai Namco for comment.

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Of course, this isn’t the only fighting game in recent memory to drum up controversy over its monetization strategy. Both Mortal Kombat 1 and Street Fighter 6 caught some heat from the community for the price of their characters and costumes. It seems that, while these new fighting games enjoy quite a honeymoon phase, all that sweetness often turns sour as game publishers seek to extract as much money from people as possible.

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