A dragon screams in the middle of a town on fire

Image: Capcom

Dragon’s Dogma 2, the sequel to Capcom’s 2012 cult RPG, is out now and critics have been raving about the game’s expansive world and intricate systems. But some fans that have purchased the game aren’t too happy, and on Steam, user reviews currently have it sitting at a rating of “Mixed.” The cause for many of the more negative responses to the game lie in its microtransactions.

There are 21 pieces of DLC for the game that are considered microtransactions, giving players access to items like life-restoring Wakestones, currency in the form of Rift Crystals, and even the ability to edit your character’s appearance. The prices of each microtransaction range from $0.99 to $4.99. “$70 game, I could support to ensure fair pay for a good game, however, when you also attach bloatware ‘buy more crystals’ and yay to win gifts to a singleplayer game… “ writes one Steam reviewer, “I cannot, in good faith, support that.”

The biggest complaints from those who purchased the game have come down to the existence of these microtransactions in a full-priced single-player game, the idea that this is a pay-to-win tactic, and that it locks important customization features behind a paywall. Capcom issued a response to these concerns and other criticisms on Steam on March 22. The post addresses concerns about crashes and bugs, but a large section is devoted to paid DLC. Capcom reminds players that the majority of the items available to purchase as microtransactions are also available to be obtained in-game. (Some players are also spreading this message on social media.)

The availability of these items in-game hasn’t changed the minds of many, as people point out the in-game resources are limited. But this is where we need to talk about the type of game Dragon’s Dogma 2 is. It is a game full of design choices that are meant to cause friction and prevent the experience of existing in its world from being overly easy or convenient.

The misunderstanding is that people believe it is this way to encourage microtransaction purchases. Rather, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is designed to distribute the limited resources in the game at a steady and meaningful pace. Limitations on resources like Portkeys require you to use them sparingly and carefully consider how you travel through the world. While microtransactions are always questionable, and Dragon’s Dogma 2’s microtransactions do offer a slightly faster path through the game, they are also pretty easy to ignore. This isn’t a pay-to-win scenario where these microtransactions are necessary, in fact you are better off leaving them alone and playing through the intended experience.

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