Here we are, 5 days after the initial unveiling of the Killing Floor Gold packaging and the introduction of Female Characters to the game. Much has been said in this short period of time, and we have been listening. But first, lets look at the history of these characters.
Downloadable character packs started as an experiment for Killing Floor. When we created them we had no idea they would become the runaway hit that they have. But to this day, we as a company have looked at them and treated them as extra completely unnecessary content, not gameplay content. These were items players could obtain at a minimal extra cost to help them stand out (or just support further KF development) for a minimal additional cost. Being as they are still something fairly new to us, we have experimented with them even further since their release. Our commitment to keep updating Killing Floor with additional content for free remains unchanged.
Over time we have seen the community pick and choose their favorite characters, and ask for even more. There have also been those who have gone out of their way to obtain every available character, such as the exclusive The Ball character who was available as a pre-order only bonus. This was a reward for those who took a leap of faith on The Ball sight unseen. We made a promise to those who did pre-order that it would be theirs and theirs alone. We have stood by that promise. For Red Orchestra 2, we again introduced exclusive characters for those that obtained the digital deluxe edition (not making it time limited based on feedback from the The Ball character), and even allowed the ability to upgrade your version to DD after purchase.
Which leads us to where we stand today. Thanks to Iceberg Interactive, our European distribution partner, we were able to go ahead and create both the tech and voices required. As such, they have an exclusive on the very first character, so that they can recoup the costs through their retail outlets. We can then use all of that tech moving forward to introduce additional female characters for the community as DLC and/or as unlockables during special events.
But both we and Iceberg have heard the community's request on Ash. We weren't expecting such a surge of interest from the existing player base, so, Iceberg have offered to let us release her as DLC, after their retailers have had a short period of exclusivity. This way, the Gold Edition is a good deal for those who don't yet have the game - and retailers get a limited-time exclusive. We'll release her as DLC in August at $4.99 (base US price) for the special character plus the voicepack. And, for good measure, we'll donate 20% of the proceeds to charity as a bit of a penance for not realizing quite how much extra characters matter to people!