Orchid has replaced Thunder as a free character in Killer Instinct. The news follows the release of the new patch and the reveal of Spinal as a character. They seem to be rotating the free character around to give players a taste of each character so they can then buy the characters they like the most. Last month Thunder replaced Jago who replaced Sabrewulf as the free character. It is unknown whether they will cycle through all of the characters, even the new ones like Sadira and Shadow Jago as I would imagine they would come as more of a premium than the classic characters.
Personally, I think this is a great way to price a predominantly multiplayer competitive fighting game. Although there is no definitive tier list for this game yet, it’s good that you can only pay for the characters you actually want to use. You could also just buy the full game for $40 (USD) which is at least not the same as a full price game. Considering it lacks a proper single player story, the price could possibly be seen as exorbitant, not that many people really care about single player in fighting games.
That being said, Mortal Kombat’s (2011) story was awesome and the “Komplete Edition” was way cheaper and a physical release so maybe I’m just talking out my butt. For a free game, their pricing and the overall quality of the game is good, and I think rotating the free character is a good strategy to incentivise trying before people commit to buying characters.
Last Updated: February 3, 2014