Skip to Content
Video Games

Capcom Shouldn’t Be Selling Dragon’s Dogma 2 Items, But This Whole Thing Is Kinda Funny

There's a nuanced, complex discussion to be had about micro transactions, but it's not happening on Steam

I am not interested in your wares, thank you. Credit: Capcom.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is out now. I have been playing it quite a lot, and really loving it. It is also currently being review-bombed on Steam, for general performance issues and Denuvo (valid!), the inability to restart your game easily (also valid!), and for single payer microtransactions for items. While I conceptually agree with that last criticism, I think the entire conversation has happened in a way that’s funny, largely misinformed, and does a disservice to the game itself.

Happy cake day sir, you have won the internet. Credit: Valve.

Two of the largest issues stem from a few key items being sold: a single use item called the Art of Metamorphosis, which alters your appearance, and a single portcrystal. The Art of Metamorphosis is available to be bought in the capital of Venworth for 500 rift crystals. Dragon’s Dogma 2 only allows for a single save file and you can’t restart your character from scratch without manually deleting your save file, and so that in particular rustled a few feathers. In response, Capcom issued an apology and said they are working on patching the feature to restart your character. Meanwhile, Portcrystals are found organically in the game.

You absolutely should be able to restart your game, but you can also just buy this thing. Credit: Capcom

I have the utmost respect for being a hater, and people are entitled to whatever red line internally they have for giving a game a bad review, but whenever something like this happens it feels less like gamers pushing back democratically and more like people trying to speak to a video game’s manager. Capcom should absolutely not be pulling this kind of shit, but Capcom always pulls this kind of shit, so why are you shocked? They pulled this with Monster Hunter, so the righteous indignation felt right now feels a little late to the party. 

You can buy this, I guess. Credit: Steam.

The second is the issue of design. Director Hideaki Itusno has said frequently that he wants fast travel to be rare in this game, and that lines up with my experience playing Dragon’s Dogma 2. You are meant to walk and wander, to doze off while riding ox carts to strange cities and to trek through dangerous territory. I will agree that the presence of a fast travel microtransaction does conceptually undermine that vision on some level. If you are given an easy out on this stuff, is your vision of fast travel itself untainted? How much input, if any, Itsuno had on that decision is an interesting question I doubt we will get a solid answer to. But the practical reality is that paying real money for a portcrystal is almost next to useless. Portcrystals still need ferrystones to get to places - rare resources that cost money or come from quests. I have not felt the need to use them often and have been hoarding them in my own playthrough, preferring walking and ox carts.  Buying a portcrystal would not save you much time, and the idea of paying for a portcrystal with real money is such a substantial own-goal that it’s kind of funny. If you are that guy, why the hell are you playing Dragon’s Dogma 2 to begin with?

If you want fast travel you can always take public transit. Just get on a cart and press the triangle button to doze off to some set locations. Credit: Capcom

Again, I don’t think Capcom should have done any of this stuff. There’s a legitimate, complicated discussion to be had about Capcom’s aggressive microtransactions and how they can interact with games with aggressive mechanical friction, but that is not what happened. That middle ground is very rich, a place where you neither let Capcom off the hook nor defend them for poor practices, one where we can all act like adults. Instead, we’re subjected to a petulant, mostly misinformed consumer outrage cycle that does the game a disservice without getting to the heart of what’s happening. Capcom has responded to this, but I am skeptical that this pressure will have a meaningful impact on how they operate long-term as a company, which is a bummer because it should. The entire thing is kind of depressing, which is a shame, because at least it’s kinda funny too.

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading Aftermath!

Please register to read more free articles

See all subscription options

Enjoyed this article? Consider sharing it! New visitors get a few free articles before hitting the paywall, and your shares help more people discover Aftermath.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Aftermath

Fortnite Moved Away From Live Events To Focus On The Metaverse

An interview with former Epic CCO Donald Mustard explains why Fortnite's priorities shifted away from in-game events

Paradox, What Are You Doing?

The company's publishing arm keeps making unforced errors

Please Tell Me If I Regret Transitioning

I'm just a little guy, how am I to know?

See all posts