You’ve probably heard this story before. A mobile gacha game launches based on a popular, well established franchise in a separate region outside of North America. The game quickly grows in popularity and everyone is eager for its global release. When it finally does arrival globally, the player base swarms the game and everyone talks about how great it is and how free-to-play-friendly it is. And then the first major event arrives with a new character introduction and the honeymoon period is over.
That’s pretty much what just happened with Street Fighter: Duel, a highly anticipated mobile game that has been available in China for quite some time now. Its global release was February 28 and today the Monster Hunter collaboration event launched and players are not happy. As is the case for many of these gacha games, players hoard resources in anticipation for the first character drop and in this case, it was Gore Magala Ken — basically Ken wearing a Monster Hunter skin and wielding a giant weapon. To the surprise of many of those players (or maybe not for seasoned mobile game veterans), Gore Magala Ken is only available with real money. And as you can imagine, the reception on that decision has not been positive. This obviously wasn’t the case in the Chinese version of Street Fighter: Duel, and that’s why players didn’t expect Gore Magala Ken to be behind a paywall for global.
Players on social media are calling for refunds and the moderators on the official SFD Discord probably have their hands full today. But let’s face it, this is just how mobile gacha games are always going to be and while some are very generous — Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia, for example — most will always appeal to whales because that’s where the money is at. At the end of the day, mobile game publishers just aren’t going to care how upset and vocal free-to-play players are since they were never going to spend money anyways.