Sorry But Rising Dev Costs Don’t Justify The Dark Patterns In Tekken 8

If raking in extra cash is important, try avoiding unethical practices.

Story Highlights

  • Dark patterns in Tekken 8 manipulate consumers into willingly spending more than they need to.
  • Fighting games are expensive; this now questions the true purpose of such MTX implementations.
  • Putting consumer interest and ethics before revenue will instantly fix most of these MTX-related issues.

Tekken 8 has been out for over a month but recently began generating controversy. Despite selling over 2 million copies in a brief timeframe, the game is putting something into practice that disrespects the consumer and shows yet again how suits have ruined the industry.

Yes, I’m talking about microtransactions and dark patterns. With its latest patch, Tekken 8 added its long-awaited yet unwelcome cash shop into the game and it’s as bad as you’d expect nowadays.

Dark Patterns & How They’re Impacting Tekken 8

It’s not the first time a game has implemented this abhorrent technique in its microtransaction setup. I’ve talked about how this method works several times in the past, how it utterly disrespects the consumer and only seeks to suck every single penny out of their wallets.

A dark pattern targets the mind of a consumer creating an illusion that leads to them spending more over a set period. The reason why it’s disrespectful is that it utilizes deception and manipulation. Would you like to be deceived and manipulated into spending more money than you have to? 

The cash shop in Tekken 8 is simply unethical.
The cash shop in Tekken 8 is simply unethical.

So why is Tekken 8 “evil” all of a sudden? Lower those pitchforks, folks. It’s just a figure of speech.

The cash shop introduced itself with 8 legacy costumes along with a premium currency—Tekken Coins. You can only buy said coins in bundles which brings us to the root of this mess. A costume costs 400 TCs but the lowest bundle gives you 500 of that currency. After you make the purchase, you’ll have 100 coins left. Now, if you decide to buy another outfit, guess how much you’ll have to spend.

That’s right, five dollars for another 500 coins.

Even though you only needed 300, spending two extra dollars was mandatory because there’s no other option in Tekken 8. This time, you’ll have 200 coins in the bank and to buy another costume you just need another 200. How much would that cost you? Two dollars. However, you have to shell out five because this currency is only available in bundles.

You’re essentially spending more than you need to because the game, Tekken 8 in this case, has designed its MTX system to facilitate such an action. That’s a dark pattern. Epic Games previously found itself in the FTC’s jaws because of using this technique in Fortnite

I’m not saying that Tekken 8 will have to face some kind of lawsuit. The point here is that incorporating such disgraceful techniques will hurt the goodwill of this franchise. Even though people will continue to spend money in the cash shop, it’s a fact that this practice is repulsive. More so when you think about how much you shell on these games over the years.

Fighting Games Are Expensive

Everyone knows what developers say nowadays about game development. Harada-san and Michael Murray talked about that concerning Tekken 8 in the live stream which revealed the cash shop. That said, it needs to be understood that fighting games are abhorrently expensive for a consumer.

Tekken 8 & fighting games in general are quite expensive.
Tekken 8 & fighting games in general are quite expensive.

In case you don’t know why that is, it’s simple. A person spends too much on it over the many years before the eventual sequel. Between things like the default sales tag, different editions, fighter passes, background music, announcers, new stages, and whatnot, you end up shelling out over a hundred bucks easily.

Out of fairness, I have to say that for dedicated FGC players who may or may not engage with games on a broad scale, character passes wouldn’t be a big deal. For casual users or a step above them, however, it’s a far more expensive investment than you’d think.

Go to Tekken 8’s store page; it costs $70 if you go with the base game. Should you decide to get the deluxe version, it’ll take 100 bucks. The extra $30 gets you some customization outfits, the character pass, and early access to those DLC fighters. That’s good value but there’s a step beyond this. Paying an extra $10 can get you an avatar t-shirt and character skins to use in the new Tekken Lounge mode.

An extra 10 bucks for practically nothing is labeled “Ultimate” edition. Seriously?

YouTube video

This brings the default maximum cost of Tekken 8 to $110. Considering the game will be supported for approximately a decade, I bet we’ll see 3 or 4 character passes along with other miscellaneous “flex” additions. All of that will pile up over the years raising that maximum price tag. Honorable mention of the clutter that exists on the Steam store page which can potentially lead to duplicate purchases.

Devs Should Use Respectful Methods Of Monetization

It’s really not that difficult to excessively and respectfully monetize your game to aid in post-launch support. How hard is it to put consumer interest and well-being at the forefront of your design? In my opinion, just one addition in the cash shop will make all of this buzz around Tekken 8 subside.

That would be the ability to purchase a customized amount of coins.

Why should a player have to spend $4 extra when they only need 100 coins? It’s severely unethical and no amount of crying about rising development costs can justify this disgraceful practice. Suits have ruined game design while we’re being fed half-truths about inflation. 

Helldivers 2
Helldivers 2 is a perfect example of putting the consumer before the cash.

If things have become so expensive, focus on making good games that aren’t budget hogs. At the end of the day, players want a fun game that has substance. No amount of rock-your-world visuals or whatnot will make a title successful if it doesn’t have substance. And besides, Tekken is carried by its astronomical casual playerbase. 

Going beyond the whole problem with dark patterns, the crux of this situation is the existence of the cash shop itself. Tekken 8 is a $70, full-priced, premium-quality title. An in-game item shop shouldn’t even exist in it. If you really want to go down that path, do it the way Square Enix does it with Final Fantasy 14. Make a store for cosmetics that can only be accessed by visiting the website outside of the game.

It’s really that simple.


At the end of the day, the current state of this industry is infuriating. Leaving aside the broader tech space complications, the landscape of video games is constantly being slammed by layoffs, propaganda injection, rising costs & draconian monetization, and much more.

Amidst all of this, it’s not wrong to demand corporations and suits to at least exercise ethics when implementing MTX in their full-priced games. After all, if you’re gonna cry about price tags still being too low and then shove these cosmetics in the consumer’s face, maybe reevaluate the place where you speak from.

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Saad is a News writer at eXputer. With vast journalistic experience working for a multitude of websites, Saad currently reports to eXputer with the latest news and dishes out his opinions on a frequent basis. He's currently studying Game and Interactive Media Design, which has further increased his knowledge about the ins and outs of the industry.

Experience: 1+ Year || Covers News Stories on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Media Science.

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