For those unaware of the humble beginning of Killer Instinct on the Xbox One, be aware that its success was derived mostly from a dedicated fanbase. As one of the launch titles on the Xbox One, Killer Instinct launched with less than 10 characters from an unproven studio called Double Helix. Before the game launched rumors spread across the internet that KI for the Xbox One was going to be free to play meaning a model that would try to nickel and dime you. On paper all the information that was known at the time should have led to a dead game. In fact the exact opposite happened.
With its release a community formed around the game. The free to play model many feared turned out to be a lot more flexible than anticipated. You had the option to just buy individual characters or buy the full game outright. Not only that, MS also offered a free option in which you could play a free randomly rotating character. With its low barrier of entry, KI found itself supported by the fighting game community on Xbox.
Now the Killer Instinct fans have come together lead by fighting game influencer Maximillian Dood. The pitch is directed towards Xbox Studios Head, Phil Spencer, in hopes of a revival of the franchise. Unlike many of the original intellectual properties released by Microsoft during the Xbox One generation like Recore, Crimson Dragon, Scream Ride, and Zoo Tycoon, no other game has had the following KI has. Max argues that because of all of its success, KI deserves a revival.
Hi @XboxP3! On my behalf of myself, @KillerInstinct fans & the community, we'd like to show you how much we love this game. Please, for the next Xbox, consider a new KI or bring KI Definitive to Switch. We're willing to support. TY & Please RT #BringBackKIhttps://t.co/ljxx0evpo0 pic.twitter.com/UwbIfvzg0c
— Maximilian Dood (@maximilian_) July 25, 2019
The words of praise by Max are not just from a fan of the series, Killer Instinct has done some remarkable achievements. Killer Instinct would eventually grow to the point of becoming the highest paid game at fighting game tournaments like Evolution and would even pass a million downloads. Not only that but the funding for KI would even mostly come form the fans themselves. While Microsoft would sponsor tournaments for then newcomer Mortal Kombat X, the Killer Instinct community would need to self fund their own tournament scenes.
Perhaps one of the finer moments of the KI community comes from a live rebalance demonstration at the first ever Killer Instinct World Cup.
Ofcourse one has to wonder how Killer Instinct achieved all of this. The main reason it has succeeded where other Xbox IP’s have failed is that Killer Instinct is just unique and fun. It’s hard to explain but the combo system Killer Instinct uses is just so different from any other fighting game. It’s smooth and really satisfying to play the game. On top of that no other fighting game has the roster Killer Instinct has. What game that you know of pits a Tibetan monk against a cyber raptor. The characters in the game are varied but when you think that you can categorize the characters in KI as horror film inspired BAM! You see a BattleToad fighting the Arbiter from Halo.
Somehow Microsoft and the studios developing Killer Instinct were able to bring back the game, modernize it, and make it something special. Take the character Maya as an example. In the original Killer Instinct arcade game the character was perhaps the most janky looking 90’s inspired character of all time. Yet somehow they were able to bring her forward to a more modern time.
With all that Killer Instinct has accomplished it’s strange to see MS not support the game. It’s a success story in a console generation that was less than stellar for Microsoft. The only recent news KI related as of late is a potential appearance on Mortal Kombat.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) June 14, 2019
Perhaps the KI community can reach Phil Spencer and somehow get a new KI game for the next generation of consoles. While some may he cynical of a new appearance we haven’t seen what developer Iron Galaxy has been working on for a while now. A potential new game could be on the horizon. Until then follow and like @TicGamesNetwork on social media.