DLC Fighter Pricing Comparison (Smash for Wii U, SF4, MKX, GG Xrd, KI)

DLC price

Developers offering post-launch content has become increasingly popular as time goes on, and even Smash has joined the trend. The most common and lucrative form of post-launch DLC for fighting games involved more playable characters, so I thought it would be useful to compare the prices of DLC fighters at their time of release.

I understand that extra fighters aren’t all DLC for fighting games have to offer, but for this comparison I’ve chosen to solely focus on characters, which I think probably have the highest “attach” rate, so to speak. It’s also the easiest to compare characters across various fighting games compared to, say, stages. I recognize that, for example, characters in MKX have three different Character Variations, for example, which means a character in one game might not necessarily align with one character in another game– but I think it’s still probably the best measurement. Stages in Street Fighter IV are backgrounds, stages in MKX have interactables, stages in Smash for 3DS/Wii U completely change how the game is played; so I don’t think it’s really fair nor worthwhile to compare the value of stages across different series. Likewise, I haven’t included things like alternate costumes or Mii costumes, while these are probably almost entirely analogous across different series, I just don’t personally care about Mii costumes.

With that preamble, let’s look at the numbers.


Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Game/DLC Characters Pricing Price per character
Super Smash Bros. For Wii U 51 $59.99 $1.18
Mewtwo (Wii U) 1 $3.99 $3.99
Lucas (Wii U) 1 $3.99 $3.99
Roy (Wii U) 1 $3.99 $3.99
Ryu + Suzaku Castle (Wii U) 1 $5.99 $5.99
Fighter Bundle #1 4 $17.96 $4.49
Cloud + Midgar (Wii U) 1 $5.99 $5.99
Corrin (Wii U) 1 $4.99 $4.99
Bayonetta + Umbra Clock Tower (Wii U) 1 $5.99 $5.99
All-in-one Fighter Bundle 7 $34.93 $4.99

These numbers are based off of the assumption that each character is being purchased only for Wii U.

After buying the base game at full price and purchasing each successive DLC, this comes out to $94.92 for 58 characters, at roughly $1.64 per character. The DLC fighters altogether cost $34.93, and the bundle of all 7 characters together apparently does not include a discount, so DLC characters cost $4.99 per character (with three stages).


Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV has had three sets of priced DLC released. The original game, as per usual, was $60.

Game/DLC Characters Pricing Price per character
Street Fighter IV 25 $59.99 $2.40
Super Street Fighter IV 25+10 $39.99 $1.14, or $4 per new character
Super Street Fighter IV: AE (DLC) 4 $14.99 $3.75
Super Street Fighter IV: AE 35+4 $39.99 $1.03
Ultra Street Fighter IV (DLC) 5 $14.99 $3.00
Ultra Street Fighter IV 44 $39.99 $0.91
Ultra Street Fighter IV (PS4) 44 $24.99 $0.57

After buying the base game at full price and purchasing each successive DLC, this comes out to $130 dollars for a 44 characters, at roughly $2.95 per character. However, late adopters got a much better deal– starting with Super Street Fighter IV knocks that down to $70, or $1.59 per character, starting with SSF4:AE brings it down further to $55, $1.25 per character, and buying Ultra Street Fighter IV brings it down to the values seen on the table above, $0.91 for the PS3/360 versions and $0.57 for the PS4 version. It’s worth noting that these updates added more than just characters, but for comparison’s sake I limited this analysis to just characters. It would be remiss of me to not mention that each entry listed above introduced far more than just characters, but as I mentioned before, only characters are being considered here. So keep in mind that every Street Fighter IV addition had much more than just characters.

Other Additions

SSF4: added Ultra Combos, 5 new stages, new announcer, one new costume per character

SSF4AE: additional balance changes

USF4: several mechanical gameplay additions, six new stages, a different announcer

USF4 free update: added Omega Mode


Mortal Kombat X

Game/DLC Characters Pricing Price per character
Mortal Kombat X 24 or 25* $59.99 $2.40/$2.50
Goro 1 $4.99 $4.99
Kombat Pack 1 4 $29.99 $7.50
Kombat Pack 2 (comes with Apocalypse Pack) 5 $19.99 $4.99
XL Pack 9 $24.99 $2.78
Mortal Kombat XL 33 $59.99 $1.82

*Goro was a character that was free if you pre-ordered, but can be purchased separately, and is included in Kombat Pack 2 as part of the side stuff you get other than the 4 “main” characters you get.

Mortal Kombat X has other DLC you can buy (consumables and skins), but ignoring those, we have up to 9 purchasable DLC characters confirmed. The cheapest way of obtaining all characters is Mortal Kombat XL, which is simply the price of a typical retail game. If you had already purchased the base game, then the easiest way of obtaining all of the DLC is the XL pack, which is $74.98, $2.27 per character. If you bought all of the character DLC sequentially, that would cost $109.97, $3.33 per character.

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Guilty Gear Xrd

Game/DLC Characters Pricing Price per character
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- 15 $59.99 $4.00
Elphelt Valentine 1 $7.99 $7.99
Leo Whitefang 1 $7.99 $7.99
Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator 17+5 59.99 $2.73

Xrd is a bit of an outlier as it has less characters in general than the others games here, although you may consider that a slight against it in terms of content in the first place. As a general statement having to pay a full $60 for Revelator, which contains four new characters and some balancing feels pricey, although it has been 1.5~ years since the release of the first game. Of note is that Revelator does include a console exclusive character, as well as an extended story mode. 


Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct’s DLC plan is kind of convoluted and can’t really be summarized in the type of table I’ve been using up until now. I’m just going to link the graphic that is on the official Xbox site, which details how all of it works. Basically, start with one for free, get all of the Season 1 characters, 8 total, for $19.99 or buy an individual character for $4.99 each. Buying all 9 characters in Season 2 costs another $19.99, or you can again buy an individual character for $4.99 each. Shadow Jago was part of a donation drive of sorts, but can currently only be purchased as part of a $9.99 bundle called the Shadow Jago bundle. In the end, getting every character is $49.97 for everyone in seasons 1 and 2 plus Shadow Jago.

What Did We Learn?

Game Characters Pricing Price per character
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 58 $94.98 $1.64
Street Fighter IV (successive) 44 $129.96 $2.95
Ultra Street Fighter IV 44 $39.99 $0.91
Ultra Street Fighter IV (PS4) 44 $24.99 $0.57
Mortal Kombat X (successive) 33 $109.97 $3.33
Mortal Kombat XL 33 $59.99 $1.82
Guilty Gear Xrd (successive) 22 $119.98 $6.18
Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- 22 $59.99 $2.73
Killer Instinct 18 $49.97 $2.78

Realistically, what we learned is “wow, there sure are a lot of different pricing structures developers use.” Other than that, though, it looks like Smash 4– looking at it purely from a number of characters perspective– does really well, compared to other games with the “successive” style of DLC purchases. Smash 4, in terms of price per character, loses only to two “definitive re-release” editions of Street Fighter IV, and is close to Mortal Kombat XL, which is of a similar vein. It aligns with Killer Instinct’s price per character. In terms of just how much characters cost for DLC, Smash for Wii U’s $4.99 per fighter is less pricey than Guilty Gear, and MKX. DLC that has to come as a standalone re-release naturally increases the price, so Super Street Fighter IV and Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator end up a bit pricier than Smash 4’s complete cast of characters as a result. And, of course, Smash for Wii U’s initial cast is once again incredible– 51 characters at launch already exceeds Ultra Street Fighter IV by seven, and its price per character at launch is twice as low as its nearest competitor. If Smash’s DLC seems expensive, that’s probably just because the initial game– at least in terms of playable characters– was already an incredible deal (not that I’m saying that the number of characters is all that matters in a fighting game).

Keep in mind that a lot of the data presented here is apples to oranges. We’re still comparing fruits, but that doesn’t mean Smash for Wii U’s DLC is outright superior or a better value than another game’s, Smash 4 DLC only comes with characters and stages, while a lot of SF4’s DLC came with other stuff, like Omega Mode, Revelator comes with extra story content, etc. One last piece of food for thought– USF4’s PS4 release could be a good point of comparison if Smash 4 does get ported over to the NX– of course, that is all strictly speculative.


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    1. Right, that’s why I wanted to stress that I’m not trying to say this is an objective measure by any means. Who’s to say that one MKX character = one Smash character = one Xrd character, and so on? It’s just more of laying out the numbers and letting people who see how it all shakes out.

  1. Compared to Super Ultra Mega Awesome MLG Championship Edition of Street Fighter IV, (Capcom has been notorious in the past for their DLC practices and re-releases of existing games especially back in the Street Fighter II days), we got off better in comparison with Sm4sh’s DLC. The base game alone was jam packed as per usual with lots of things to see and do. A rarity in gaming these days as most developers would rather purposely cut out crucial content from their games and re sell it as day 1 DLC or what have you just to make an extra buck. Mewtwo was technically a free download to those who registered both copies of 4 before a certain date. The Mii Fighter costumes are only there for those who want them as most people probably only have a few costumes if any. Lucas, Roy and Ryu were fairly priced as are Cloud, Corrin and Bayonetta. The stages are also nicely priced.

  2. You also forgot to mention that each DLC character for Street Fighter V costs $6 if you choose to pay for the characters, though you do have the option to get the characters free of charge by earning Fight Money in-game.

    1. This article was actually written like three weeks ago, and then I just updated the number when Smash 4’s final DLC pricing came out. I should add those in, though.

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