Project Soul and Bandai Namco opted not to offer multiplayer modes for free-to-play fighting game Soulcalibur: Lost Swords due to the game's pay-to-win model, Soulcalibur series producer Masaki Hoshino told Siliconera in an interview.
Soulcalibur: Lost Swords launched in Japan on Feb. 6 after a short delay and was released in western markets late April for PlayStation 3. The Soulcalibur spin-off features a focus on single-player and mission-based modes, without competitive or online multiplayer modes.
"The reason that we went singleplayer...well, originally, we were thinking about having a multiplayer option, but because we're going with a pay-to-win model, we were worried that by having online multiplayer, for all the new users that would be coming in experiencing the game for the first time, they might be immediately deterred by fighting against opponents who had superior equipment and gear-and we didn't want to have that kind of negative impact on new players," Hoshino told Siliconera. "In the singleplayer experience, having a pay-to-win structure won't impede the player's experience with the game."
Hoshino said at a pre-Tokyo Game Show press event last year that the decision to focus on single-player missions in Lost Swords was due to players' interest in the characters and world setting of the series, not the game's versus modes. According to Hoshino, Namco's marketing research showed that many Soulcalibur fans were not into competitive play.
Hoshino added in the recent interview the reason for going free-to-play was to expand to casual players and "wasn't so much about the business model itself." The producer said the team is looking at the potential for pushing SoulCalibur onto mobile platforms in the future but the focus is currently on Lost Swords.