Capcom responds to Dragons Dogma 2 microtransactions backlash

Posted on March 23, 2024

Dragon’s Dogma 2, Capcom’s hotly anticipated open world fantasy RPG has released to a surprisingly tempestuous reaction from fans, despite generally positive acclaim from critics. Currently sporting a “Mixed” review average on Steam at time of writing, the main points of contention are a poorly optimised PC version featuring controversial DRM, and a litany of unpopular microtransactions allowing players to purchase rare items and essentially circumvent the intended way to play the game. Following this backlash, Capcom has responded to at least some of these concerns, however not all of them are likely to be addressed in the foreseeable future.

In a forum post on Steam, Capcom states “We would like to update you on the status of the following items, about which we have received numerous comments from the community. To all those looking forward to this game, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.” On the subject of technical issues in Dragon’s Dogma 2, such as bugs and crashes, Capcom confirms that it “will be addressing crashes and bug fixes“. The developer also acknowledges that “where numerous characters appear simultaneously, the CPU usage can be very high and may affect the frame rate” and that it is “looking into ways to improve performance in the future.

On the subject of the monetisation scheme in Dragon’s Dogma 2, Capcom seemed somewhat less flexible. “All the items listed below can be obtained in-game or as paid DLC items” the developer simply states, before listing which of the in-game items which can be purchased for real money can also be found in-game. Such an explanation doesn’t touch on the fact that these items are often very rare or outright strictly limited; for instance, the Art of Metamorphosis item, which allows the player to recustomise their Arisen or main Pawn, can only be purchased and used once per playthrough, unless you pay $2.95AUD for an extra copy. Furthermore, the very limited form of fast travel is an intentional element of Dragon’s Dogma 2’s design as per an IGN interview with the game’s director, Hideaki Itsuno, which makes the fact that the game is selling Portcrystals (rare placeable items which the player can teleport to in order to skip the commute) for real money particularly incongruous.

Admittedly, Capcom is fairly well-known for egregious and controversial monetisation schemes. Devil May Cry 5 had contentious microtransactions as well, and Street Fighter V’s incorporation of sponsored content didn’t go over all that well either. Capcom’s President is on record as stating that games don’t cost enough. As such, it is unlikely that it will stop trying to wring every penny it can out of its games as long as they’re still well-received. The fact that Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a single player game does mean that there is no competitive advantage to paying any of these microtransactions. However, as long as they’re there, the temptation to shell out a few dollars to skip the grind for Rift Crystals or make traversal a bit more convenient or safe with another Portcrystal or Wakestone will always be there.

At least we can look forward to some of the technical shortcomings in Dragon’s Dogma 2 on PC being addressed (even if the Denuvo DRM doesn’t seem to be going anywhere). As for the microtransactions, they’re probably here to stay, no matter the reaction from fans thus far.