As has been pointed out to me, this was so that some form of the game would be out in time to allow some to practice for the pro tour. That said, I wish they would have released this at $30 and include a $30 download later for the rest of the game. At that time, they can just bundle the game with the download for $60 and call it a day.
If so, this pretty much confirms my assessment of SFV as it was released upon launch.
It would have been nice to know this before the launch, but that's really on anyone who pre-ordered or bought without reading about the drawbacks of the game in its current state.
It would have been consumer friendly to price the initial package even at $40 with the understanding that the consumer was essentially buying a trainer for the competition tour with the rest of the game to be added as DLC, but I'm guessing Capcom didn't want to do this because a big chunk of the players (the ones training for the pro tour) might not even bother with the other play modes unless they were tied to additional characters that were relevant in the character rankings (as they will be).
Seeing as how Capcom wants to charge consumers per each new character or make them grind away for hours to earn one, that's clearly the business model they want in the interest of generating more revenue at the expense of the consumer.
I understand Capcom is experimenting with a new way to monetize their main fighting game franchise and it's not without industry precedent; Killer Instinct (basic game engine and starter character is free) and DOA 5 (basic game engine with starter characters is free) have similar models, but this is far more beneficial for Capcom than it is for consumers.
I don't know when the content is being released, but seeing as how Capcom is already selling a 2016 season pass for another $30 (six characters) this feels like the worst of both worlds. Consumers have to buy the initial game in order to buy the update with the new characters.