DLC plans, however, are on the fence.
SNK has announced the latest installment of the King of Fighters franchise possesses a roster of 50 characters, all of whom will be available from start.
According to director Yasuyuki Oda (in an interview with Famitsu, via Siliconera): “All 50 characters will be playable at launch… and we don’t plan on adding more bits at a time, so be sure to properly jot that down [laughs].”
He also replied to the subject of DLC characters, stating that SNK hasn’t decided about what to do after the game launches.
“[DLC] will have to wait until we see how the 50 characters do after launch, so it has yet to be decided.”
With such a big roster just for starters, it’s understandable the developers are more concerned about the patches that could come in need to balance the game before ever thinking of expanding.
This presents a contrast with other current fighting games like Smash Bros 4 and the upcoming Street Fighter 5, which launch (or will launch) with few characters before adding the (yet unplanned) rest as DLCs.
SNK has stated its interest on “staying true to the gameplay roots of the series”, as been demonstrated, for example, by the foregoing of the “Hyper Drive” (Hyper Mode from any fighting game) that was present until KOF 13, in place revamping the “Max Mode” from the early games (unlimited special moves for a small period), among other similar changes.
They hope KOF 14 will be as popular as KOF 98’ and 2002, which still have their following and organized tournaments, a la Smash Bros. Melee and Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo.
So far King of Fighters 14 has been scheduled for Japan in January, for PS4… and nothing else, though it’s unlikely it will remain a PS4 exclusive, as the previous KOF games had ports to Xbox and PC too. We’ll see the first demo gameplay at the Tapei Game Show, this January (warning, Chinese).