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Street Fighter 5's DLC characters can be earned for free through gameplay

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

With next year's Street Fighter 5, Capcom is changing the way it rolls out updates to the core game and adds new characters. Capcom says players will get balance updates and system adjustments for free, and that they won't have to pay up to add post-launch characters to the game.

Instead, players will be able to earn DLC characters just by playing the game.

The initial release of Street Fighter 5 is the only disc players will ever need to own, Capcom's Peter "Combofiend" Rosas said in a PlayStation Blog post.

"Street Fighter 5 will be the first iteration in the franchise where it is possible for dedicated players to earn all gameplay related content (such as characters) for free, simply by playing the game," Rosas said. "Long gone are the days of forced Super and Ultra upgrades! Enjoy free balance updates as soon as they become available, and find and choose the post-launch characters that you want to get."

Rosas confirmed that Street Fighter 5's launch roster will consist of 16 fighters, four of which are new to the series. To date, Capcom has officially confirmed seven — Ryu, Ken, Chun-li, Charlie Nash, M. Bison, Birdie and Cammy — and teased an eighth.

According to Rosas' post it sounds like Capcom plans on issuing more frequent updates to the game to keep the player base active, and letting players pick and choose which new characters they'd like to purchase.

"Looking back on the Street Fighter 4 series, we had always released bundles of content all at once, like with Super Street Fighter 4 and Ultra Street Fighter 4," Rosas said. "While these one-time updates did revive interest in the series every few years, it was difficult to keep players engaged for long periods of time unless they were competitive."

Street Fighter 5 will feature two types of in-game currency: Fight Money, which players can earn by playing the game, and Zenny, which can be purchased with real money. Both can be used to purchase new content, like add-on characters.

Capcom will release Street Fighter 5 for PlayStation 4 and Windows PC next year. A beta version of Street Fighter 5 for PS4, which can be accessed by pre-ordering the fighting game, will go live July 23.

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