Tekken Revolution's free-to-play fights attract younger players

By Andrew Yoon, Oct 02, 2013 10:00am PDT

Namco Bandai's free-to-play fighter Tekken Revolution launched amongst the buzz and hubbub of E3. And while it could have been lost in the noise, it appears the title has been a resounding success for the Tekken team. At Tokyo Game Show, the company revealed that there have been more than two million downloads on the PS3 so far, with the largest audience coming from North America.

One of the reasons why Tekken Revolution is so exciting for series producer Katsuhiro Harada is that it's introducing the franchise to a whole new audience. "The audience is quite young," Harada told us, saying that the free-to-play game appeals to teens, versus the franchise's typical fanbase of 25-35 year olds. Revolution is also attracting players who may have skipped more recent entries into the franchise.

"It's important to have young fans," Harada explained to us. "Because they'll become interested in future projects from us." Ultimately, that will prove more valuable than making a quick buck, the company believes.

While Namco Bandai wouldn't go into details on how well the game is monetizing, Harada says that the game has been doing well. "Your typical consumer is used to monetization in Japan and the US," he told us. If there is one sour note, it's the European market, which isn't quite used to the business model.

Tekken Revolution is currently exclusive to PlayStation Network, but Namco Bandai would love to see their free-to-play efforts reach other platforms. "It just happened that PlayStation 3 platform was more open to that business model so it was easier," Harada said, adding "Microsoft might be more flexible with Xbox One."

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