Tekken 8's Steam rating takes a dive as fans lament 'scummy' monetisation and battle pass

Jin Kazama gets a fist to the face from an off-screen Reina.
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

After a roaring start, rave reviews and a microtransaction-free launch, Tekken 8's honeymoon phase appears to be over. Steam reviews have slumped in the last few weeks, bringing the recent score down to a measly 'Mixed' rating of 54% as of writing, quite the difference from the game's overall rating of 80%. The culprit? Microtransactions, mostly.

Fans have taken to the game's store page to vent about their frustrations with Bandai Namco's handling of its unexpected monetisation, which some are calling "scummy" and "greedy". It started in February, a month after release, when a surprise cash shop reveal left the community divided. Some were able to get behind promises that the money would go directly back into the game's development, while others expressed their anger at the fact that Bamco waited an entire month into launch to even mention a word about monetisation.

Things have seemingly only gone downhill from there, too. Tekken 8 recently received a battle pass with some, uh… questionable premium rewards. From assets that have made an appearance in previous Tekken games to a paid reward which appears to be little more than an untextured sphere, the reception to the battle pass has been unkind. Couple that with the fact that it costs $6 of real money, but can only be purchased with Tekken Coin bundles that come in $5 or $10 increments, and the poor feedback feels pretty understandable.

A Tekken 8 negative review.

(Image credit: Steam)

One Steam reviewer called out the fact that Tekken 8 has been suffering from issues regarding netcode and cheaters but has yet to properly address them, while the cash shop and battle pass have been pushed. "Scummy doesn't even begin to describe it," they wrote. "I can't recommend a product that's leaning so heavily towards such shady practices. It's a shame, because the core game itself is a lot of fun."

It's not just microtransaction nonsense that's been drawing ire, either. The paid cosmetics have led to Bamco putting a target on modders' backs, with DMCAs and takedown notices for model and costume swaps circulating on Twitter. "The game is terrible, Bandai is extremely greedy and is even going after modders with copyright claims. It's ridiculous," one reviewer wrote. "Cosmetics, Battle pass system, expensive season pass cash cows for a fighting game that is not good".

Another burned fan wrote "Game has genuine concerns that need addressing such as plugging and general game balance, but Bamco instead prioritizes taking down mods because it'll hurt their revenue from their cash shop. Actually laughable decisions".

I've written about my distaste for battle passes on this site before, and I criticised fellow fighting game Street Fighter 6 for implementing such a thing in my review. Even as I was reviewing Tekken 8, no monetisation, cash shop or battle pass plans had been mentioned to me, and their inclusion would have most certainly influenced my final review score if they'd been implemented at launch. 

I'm never a fan of things that breed FOMO, and cosmetic-filled battle passes are just that. But Bandai Namco seems determined to continue digging its heels in, citing how expensive games are to make in 2024. Whether there are more inoffensive ways to gather revenue is beyond my industry knowledge, but the developer may want to act fast to recoup some of its reputation with its fanbase.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.