30-year Tekken veteran explains why your favorite games all have microtransactions now: "If we do nothing, the game will simply stop running in a few months"

Tekken 8 screenshot PS5
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

After Tekken 8 players criticized the game's post-launch microtransaction plans, the series' creative director has explained why modern games are in dire need of new funds if they're to be supported after launch.

The whole situation stretches back just over a week, when Tekken 8's developers announced the Tekken Shop, an in-game store offering new DLC costumes and outfits, which would only take microtransaction currencies as payment. The announcement of the Tekken Shop was made in a livestream roughly one month after the launch of the fighting game, and the feature is debuting in-game later today on February 28.

Tekken 8's player base was not pleased. Players were critical of Bandai Namco adding microtransactions on top of the game's $70 entry fee, and were further incensed by the fact that the microtransactions were being added after reviews for the new fighting game were already live. Some were accusing Tekken 8's developers of trying to skirt negative press by adding the microtransactions in after reviews had already been published, in short.

Shortly after the original announcement, Tekken series creative director Katsuhiro Harada took to Twitter to respond to a player complaining about the new Tekken Shop. In the lengthy tweet below, Harada attempts to explain how modern game development has changed over the last few years, even compared to when Tekken 7 was released in March 2015.

See more

Harada explains that the Fight Lounge servers are "costly to maintain," and that development costs are double, or even triple, that of Tekken 7. Harada also points to players wanting lengthy post-launch support for Tekken 8, like new characters, which again costs the development team a lot of money. "It costs money to continually update the game for that reason," Harada says.

Tekken 8 producer Michael Murray also voiced similar sentiments in the livestream where the Tekken Shop was revealed. "Games are so much more expensive to create than even Tekken 7 was, several times of that for the current platforms of games," Murray said at the time, in the broadcast below. "So when we take some of these legacy costumes that people are asking for, you can't just take those assets from Tekken 4 and paste them into the current generation of hardware and make it look fine."

Right now, we know that Bandai Namco has at least four post-launch characters outlined for Tekken 8, the first of which is Eddy Gordo, but there could be many more characters coming to the game after the Playable Character Year 1 Pass concludes later this year in Winter. Read up on our Tekken 8 Eddy Gordo guide for a full look at when the character should be dropping. 

You can also read our full Tekken 8 review from back at launch to see why we awarded Bandai Namco's latest fighting game full marks. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.