Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Goes Free to Play

This is a surprising turn of events. Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate is relasing later this year, and is supposed to be the definitive version of the game, but it looks like Tecmo Koei is giving gamers another way to play the over-the-top fighter. Reported by Famitsu in a lengthy interview, starting September 5 in Japan, Tecmo Koei will be offering a stripped down Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate that will be absolutely free.

This version will only include four playable characters (Kasumi, Ayane, Hayate and Hayabusa) with every other still available to fight against. All costumes and stages will be accessible, and with the exception of the campaign, all online & offline modes will be playable. Additionally, anyone with a retail copy will be able to compete against those who own the free to play version. This is currently only planned on the Playstation 3 in Japan, North America and Europe, but there’s a chance the Xbox 360 version will be coming as well.

If you’re into the whole micro-transaction thing, you can purchase additional characters for $4 with the single player campaign available at $15. I personally love this idea as it gives some flexibility to consumers and isn’t your traditional “play-to-win” model. You can pick one of the four free characters and master them without having to reach into your pocket. For me specifically, this is perfect considering I always played as Ayane, Hayabusa and Jan Lee.