With Capcom throwing its weight behind Street Fighter and Nintendo finally recognizing the competitive Super Smash Bros. community, developers of fighting games are pushing esports in droves. Now, Microsoft is getting in on the act.
Killer Instinct, the brutal brawler known for massive combos and ultra-violent action, is getting a boost from the Washington-based computer juggernaut thanks to a fan-fueled fundraiser. Microsoft is hoping to provide a substantial boost to the Killer Instinct prize pool over the course of several tournaments this year.
The community fundraiser begins with the release of Cinder on April 30. For two weeks following his debut, Microsoft will accumulate up to $100,000 of all player purchases into a fighting games community fund. The first $50,000 raised will directly support Killer Instinct at EVO in July, with any additional funds distributed to various tournaments throughout the year.
In addition, Microsoft promises to develop Shadow Jago, currently only a character skin, into a unique, fully-playable character should fans hit the $100,000 limit. The push is a clever combination of crowd-funding and fan fervor that signals further growth in the fighting games world.