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So, What’s Going on With the Tekken 8 DLC Characters?

Elizbar Ramazashvili
8 min

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So, What’s Going on With the Tekken 8 DLC Characters?
Who gets to be in Tekken 8?

Bandai Namco Entertainment made some very bold calls with the cut characters in Tekken 8. Many of the fan favorites simply didn't make the cut, and at the moment of writing, we have only one released DLC character – Eddy Gordo, and another one announced to be coming soon – Lidia Sobieska. And even though her release is already close, we still technically don’t know who the rest of the fighters in the first DLC wave are. There have been rumors, false leaks, speculations, and even some refutals from the Bandai Namco devs. But what is going on with the DLC characters? How many are we going to get? And what’s with the price?

Tekken 8 came out this February with much fanfare, and it delivered on its promise and then some. A cast of 32 characters on release is more than any other game has given us. Still, considering we’re closing in on one hundred playable fighters in the series, someone would have been inevitably left dissatisfied at the exclusion of their favorite. Yet some make less sense than the others. If we take a look at the first two arrivals, they just make sense. Eddy Gordo has been a staple, a fan favorite. Tekken just simply isn’t Tekken without Capoeira. Yeah, some people are asking for Christie to come back in some way – and it would be fair if she got her own chance – but Eddy is just too iconic. Lidia is a different story. She’s been added late in Tekken 7’s life cycle, and many were wondering if her appearance was tied with the upcoming game in some way. Some of Harada’s comments were also taken as somewhat of a confirmation of her importance to Tekken 8’s storyline, but it ended up not being the case. Nevertheless, out of all the late Tekken 7 newcomers, she was looked at in the most positive light – people hated Fahumram and were quite fed up with Kunimitsu. One other thing to note is that there will be updates coming to Tekken 8’s story. And while it would be very hard to justify her blatant insertion into what’s a relatively cromulent and straightforward plot, giving Lidia credit for some of the things that happened in the background wouldn’t be too difficult.

But what about the other two DCL wave 1 characters? Well, the cat’s pretty much out of the bag – it’s most likely Marduk and Fahkumram. Not the most exciting choice, if you were to take a look at the community reactions. Marduk was never a fan favorite, with many people finding it quite frustrating to face him due to his nature as a fighter. But this Aussie brawler has earned his place on the roster – through the storylines with King, through his archetype being underrepresented in Tekken, and even through several high-level pro players picking him as their main.

Still, Fahkumram’s inclusion makes more sense, but it’s also more frustrating. Before his kneecaps were removed by some brutal nerfs, he was very dominant at any level of play in Tekken 7, and oftentimes, it was a case of “what do I even do against him?” At the same time, he also very much felt like a character that was being prepared for the next entry in the series, though not to the same degree as Luke was in Street Fighter V. Yes, Harada loves having characters from various countries and different backgrounds to be in his game. And yes, Tekken needs a Muay Thai fighter. But people just don’t like him or his playstyle. And while it’s not a people-pleasing contest, of course, it feels that even milquetoast Josie with her Eskrima-diluted Muay Thai would be a better choice with proper updates. Or they could have simply brought back Bruce – everyone would love that.

Four characters is what we’re getting with the DLC wave 1, but it’s far from the last bit of content Tekken 8’s going to receive. Tekken 7 had a 6-year post-arcade life cycle, and if 8 is relatively the same, with the Tekken team maintaining approximately the same release schedule year after year, we’re bound to see at least 24 characters added to the game. Now, we couldn’t possibly know if this is what Bandai Namco has planned, but we can be totally sure that there will be at least several DLC waves. So, who could possibly be added to the game?

Tekken has lots of cool characters to pick and choose from, but not everyone is made equal. There are certain fan favorites that will make it into Tekken 8 sooner rather than later. One such fighter is Armor King. He’s fun to play as, his design is over the top and striking, and he’s deeply loved by the community. It’d be shocking not to see him in the second wave. The other popular one is Anna. She even won the popularity poll versus her sister on Harada’s Twitter, but she still missed out on the base roster, just like in Tekken 7. It’s very unlikely that the developers will keep the sisters separated for too long. Julia was quite an eyesore in the later stages of Tekken 7, but she’s also someone who could be safely brought back. Though many people would love for her to drop her streamer persona, it felt ill-fitting

The thing with Tekken 8 is, we could be picking any characters all day long and there’s a justifiable case to be made for their inclusion. But we also should keep in mind that so far, we’ve had only three newcomers in Tekken 8, and there are bound to be more. We’ve already talked about hits and misses the series has had over the years with newcomers in our old video featuring Reina, Avictor, and Azucena, but our main point was and still is – they should be fitting and compelling first, balanced second. True, no one wants to experience the release versions of Leroy or Fahkumram again, and it’s disruptive both for casual and professional game. But Tekken’s balance turnaround is much faster than, say, Street Fighter’s, and it’s better to have a strong character that will be brought in line later, than a character that’s going to be dead on arrival because of some of their inherent features or traits.

Another thing to consider when talking about the upcoming characters is the guests. Harada has always dodged the topic to the best of his ability, never outright confirming anything, mainly stating that the team is more focused on the existing roster. He also cited some of the difficulties of acquiring permissions to even consider some of the more popular wishes like Tifa or Kiryu.

But it’s also unlikely that we’ll have a game entirely without any guest fighters. Trite speculation on who can, can not, should, and should not be included is pointless because it seems like even Harada doesn’t know at this point. While there is a rising sentiment of “leave Tekken to Tekken characters,” the incredible amount of marketing the guests could bring isn’t something that Bandai Namco will ignore. Just take a look at how 2B’s release affected Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising’s active playerbase.

One more thing to ponder about before we finish is yet another price increase for the paid content. DLC fighters for Tekken 7 were priced at $5.99, with the guests being a bit more pricey. Eddy Gordo is $7.99 out of the gate, and this increase is coupled with all the rest of the controversial monetization decisions Tekken 8 has made. Tekken 8 was released to incredible acclaim, but slowly and surely luster is wearing off, and controversies are mounting. Sadly, the DLC characters did not remain untainted either.

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