Crunchyroll Games is Getting Roasted Over Street Fighter Duel’s Pay to Win Monster Hunter Ken - Prima Games

Crunchyroll Games is Getting Roasted Over Street Fighter Duel’s Pay to Win Monster Hunter Ken

This seems bad; is this bad?

by Lucas White

I was pretty excited about the new Monster Hunter event in Street Fighter Duel. It’s an obvious collab, but that doesn’t change the fact that fighting a Gore Magala and turning Ken into basically a Final Fantasy Dark Knight seemed like a ticket to fun times. But when the new event rolled around, something seemed off, to say the least. I had fun fighting the raid battle, but the reward potential seemed scarce. What about Ken? So I hopped over to Street Fighter Duel’s subreddit and well, everything was on fire. It seems like Crunchyroll Games has fucked around and is finding out.

Street Fighter Duel Monster Hunter Event Sparks Outrage Over Pay to Win Accusations

To make a long story short, getting a hold of Gore Magala Ken, the new character standing front and center for this event, is nearly impossible. Unless, of course, you pony up the cash. And when I say “the cash,” I mean multiple hundreds of dollars if you want a usable long-term version of this character. This goes against the general logic in just about every other free-to-play gacha-style game for events and character debuts, including Street Fighter Duel itself.

Related: Street Fighter Duel Monster Hunter Event Guide

Wait, what does that mean? Readers, here’s the smoking gun to explain the outrage. Crunchyroll’s global version of Street Fighter Duel altered the costs associated with Gore Magala Ken from the original Chinese version, all but completely locking out any non-whale player.

And it’s so egregious, even the whales are pissed. And by pissed, I mean Pissed. What was supposed to be an exciting debut event for a hot, new mobile game based on a legendary IP has turned into a burning money pit. And the playerbase is gleefully feeding the fire with righteous fury.

Again, look at the subreddit. Even now, towards the end of the afternoon as I write this, the entire front page is full of written screeds condemning what Crunchyroll Games has done to Street Fighter Duel’s Monster Hunter event. There are screenshots of refund receipts and testimonies from self-proclaimed whales, showing thousands, literally thousands of dollars in refunds taken in protest. It seems like platform holders such as Google and Apple are not hesitating to grant refund requests, and they are racking up big time.

Related: Street Fighter Duel Monster Hunter Event: Gore Magala Ken All Skills Listed

This is incredible to witness play out in real-time. Mobile games have been like this for years, but not quite… like this. “Whales,” or players who have no problem spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on these slot machine-like RPG games, are a common occurrence. It’s how these free-to-play games make money and stick around. This kind of outrage doesn’t happen often; I’ve personally never seen it and I’ve been around for several mobile gacha games. This is also the first time I’ve seen such a blatant, deliberate paywall in front of brand-new content.

Normally, free players are given chances to participate in events alongside everyone else. Sure, they may not have a guarantee for the new character, or if they do it isn’t the fully powered-up version. Even so, there are usually opportunities to earn currencies or additional chances at the exciting new content, albeit with plenty of grinding. Whales, in theory, would be the ones fueling the event and overlording the competitive metagame with their abilities to snag multiple copies of characters and/or any additional equipment or whatever. But the free players could always at least participate and walk away with a new character or two.

Since it’s day one, it’s unclear what happens next. Will the playerbase drop off so significantly that Crunchyroll Games has no choice but to respond? Will the publisher even acknowledge the major changes made from the Chinese version, which offered access to the content for free players? Has Street Fighter Duel’s long-term prospects been compromised overnight? It certainly seems that way right now. But anything can happen, especially in the free-to-play gaming space. At the end of the day, the free-to-play community is just as crucial to keep these games going as the paying crowd, and when you manage to piss off both parties at the same time, that can’t be good.

Lucas White

Lucas plays a lot of videogames. Sometimes he enjoys one. His favs include Dragon Quest, SaGa and Mystery Dungeon. You can find him on Twitter @HokutoNoLucas. Wanna send an email? Shoot it to [email protected]