Soulcalibur VI producer expresses regret over the way Tira announcement was handled

Motohiro Okubo talks of Tira troubles and more

There was a little confusion this week concerning the announcement that dangerous trickster Tira was coming to Soulcalibur VI. At first, it appeared Tira would be arriving as a pre-order bonus, then a day-one DLC character, then even a season pass pre-order bonus. Bandai Namco eventually confirmed that Tira will be purchasable, day one, as priced DLC or comes as a free bonus to those who pick up the Soulcalibur VI season pass.

All of the above was quite a muddle. It was made worse, in the eyes of many commenters, because it happened at all. The delivery of Tira via a separate price-tag is being seen by some as a cynical cash grab, especially as the announcement came before Bandai Namco has even finished revealing all the characters on SCVI’s main roster.

At Gamescom, Soulcalibur pro-player Marie-Laure Norindr – known on the circuit as “Kayane” – managed to get some time with SCVI producer Motohiro Okubo and, among other subjects, asked about the week’s DLC controversy.

“Having her as part of the Season Pass and unlocked day one was the result of a lot of internal discussion and debate within the company,” Okubo stated. “As for the timing of the reveal, the pre-orders for the Season Pass started yesterday and, since she’s a Season Pass bonus, we had to make both announcements at the same time. Opinions do differ wildly about these announcements. I personally think we should’ve been more careful about the way we have announced all this.”

Okubo would also mention that Tira did not, in fact, make the original cut for the game, but was designed later, specifically due to hearing fan requests for the hoop-spinning assassin.

This is the self-fulfilling problem. Bandai Namco listened to the people and gave them what they wanted, which is a great gesture. But also, by the very nature of Tira being a fan request, charging for her separately automatically appears exploitative, holding a character you knew the people wanted “to ransom”, regardless of whether that was intended or otherwise.

Elsewhere in Kayane’s interview, Okubo gave veiled information on the mysterious bearded figure who debuted in the new “Soul of Libra” trailer, simply teasing that “He’s an important character in the Story Mode we just announced. He has a purpose to save the world… But that’s all I can say.” Okubo also remained tight-lipped on the suggestion that further guest characters would be joining The Witcher’s Geralt of Rivia on the Stage of History.

Soulcalibur VI is shaping up to be an excellent title, with superb aesthetics, a classic roster of heroes, a deep story mode, custom characters and other great features. It’s a shame that shenanigans – once again involving DLC and season passes – have cast a shadow over the release for some fans. We’ll see if Bandai Namco can win those folks back into the fold in the coming weeks. Soulcalibur VI launches on PS4, PC and Xbox One on October 19.

Soulcalibur pro-player Kayane interviews producer Motohiro Okubo [Kayane]

Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s and writing about them since the 1880s. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse