Some excellent news from Capcom out of the EVO 2015 tournament. Street Fighter V’s initial roster count will cap out at a reasonable 16 characters, but more importantly, any additional characters released afterwards can be earned for free!

Indeed, those who believe that DLC is only extra content that used to be free in video games now have a reason to celebrate. Each and every character in Street Fighter V can be obtained through sweat, tears, and hard work thanks to imaginary money won through winning fights. This fake cash can be used to purchase content and characters, just like your granddaddy used to do!

Those who wish to purchase characters can also do so with “Zenny,” taking it back to the 90s Capcom currency. Nice touch.

Unlike your granddaddy’s Street Fighter though, Capcom will be shedding the incremental Ultra and Super updates. Instead, Street Fighter V will be one constantly evolving platform.

Looking back on the Street Fighter IV series, we had always released bundles of content all at once, like with Super Street Fighter IV and Ultra Street Fighter IV. While these one-time updates did revive interest in the series every few years, it was difficult to keep players engaged for long periods of time unless they were competitive. This also punished players who took a break from playing the game, because if they wanted to start again in a few years, they would be forced to purchase an upgrade to join the existing player pool who had already moved on to a new version. On top of that, this old method also forced players to purchase all of the new content, even if only a few characters may have appealed to them.

Capcom’s not wrong. I jumped back into Street Fighter IV after the first upgrade, and never turned it on again. Scared me away pretty quickly. You couldn’t have announced better news for this game, shedding the two biggest complaints made towards it.

As for the character roster, Capcom confirmed 16 characters will be available at launch, and four of them will be completely new faces. That leaves 12 spots for veterans, and we know for a fact that these are taken up by:

  • Ryu
  • Chun-li
  • Ken
  • M. Bison
  • Charlie Nash
  • Cammy
  • Birdie

Blanka has also been teased for an announcement, and lesser known fighters Alex, Urien, Karin Kazuki, and R. Mika are also rumored to be coming back. Again, it’s not known if these will all be DLC characters or part of the initial roster, but that’s twelve right there, accounting for all the spots.

Great news all around, and I’m sure my “non-Ken” favorites Dhalsim and Sakura will also be turning up eventually. Best of all, I don’t have to pay for them! Scrapping the incremental launches and giving this free option for DLC? You have my full attention, Capcom!

Street Fighter V will launch for the PC and PlayStation 4 in March 2016.