Tekken series chief Katsuhiro Harada says that Tekken will never feature paid-DLC characters, on-disc or off.
The comments come in the wake of Capcom's recent Street FIghter x Tekken DLC controversy: Fighting game fans called foul after finding that all of the game's 12 DLC characters have already been installed on the disc, but are locked until the player pays for the extra content.
Speaking with Edge, Harada explained that he thinks of the characters of a fighting game as "chess pieces that are essential [to] the game". He specified that he would not allow Namco to implement such a strategy with the Tekken franchise, including Tekken Tag Tournament 2, which is currently expected to hit stores this September.
Harada wanted to make it clear that his comments meant as an attack on Capcom or its policy: "I was saying this before the Capcom thing happened... My stance hasn’t changed."
Harada said that paid DLC isn't out of the question for Tekken Tag Tournament 2, they just won't be characters. Most of the paid DLC will be "vanity items", adding extra character customization options.
Harada also said that he wasn't opposed to releasing free DLC characters and possibly providing early access to them as pre-order bonuses, though he stressed that any characters released that way would eventually be available to everyone for no charge.