There Are Better Things to Be Mad at Than Dragon’s Dogma 2 Microtransactions

Save your money and your anger.

Dragon's Dogma 2 monster

Dragon’s Dogma 2 launched today and immediately became one of the most celebrated games of the year. That’s not the impression you’d get from its Steam reviews, though. While Dragon’s Dogma 2 has earned plenty of glowing reviews from critics, it’s currently rated Mostly Negative on Steam. Some of that is due to the game’s very real performance issues on PC, but it’s largely a reaction to microtransactions that may be annoying but do nothing to harm the game unless you let them.

For between $1 and $5, you can buy a lot of Dragon’s Dogma 2’s in-game items as DLC. Camping kits that let you rest on long adventures, in-game currency, a chance to remake your character, and more are available for an extra fee. Players immediately took issue, with multiple Steam users claiming they’ve refunded the game over its microtransactions and urging others not to buy it.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a full-priced game, and if it includes necessary items locked behind microtransactions, that’s a reasonable cause for anger. But fortunately, I’ve discovered a way to get around the problem. It’s a little technical, so bear with me: Don’t buy them.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a better game without its microtransactions, and they’re easy to avoid.


As others have pointed out, almost everything you can get through microtransactions is easily obtainable in-game. Even the few items that are exclusive to DLC have equivalents in the game. That $3 camping kit? You’ll find a comparable one just sitting around most of the game’s early campfires. I have five in storage right now. I’ve found three of the $1 Makeshift Gaol Keys and haven’t needed one in the 50 hours I’ve played. You could spend $5 on 2,500 Rift Crystals if you really want, but I’ve gathered nearly twice that number despite not entirely knowing how I got them all.

There are even unfounded claims that Capcom made fast travel in Dragon’s Dogma 2 more difficult in order to sell items that facilitate it. If anything, its fast travel is more forgiving than the original Dragon’s Dogma thanks to the addition of rideable oxcarts and ferrystones, the items that let you fast travel, being pretty abundant by the mid-game.

More than being unnecessary, purchasing Dragon’s Dogma 2’s microtransactions is actively detrimental to your experience. One of the major joys of Dragon’s Dogma 2 is how much it pushes back on the player. Ventures into the wilderness are meant to be dangerous, powerful items are meant to be rare. Buying microtransactions for Dragon’s Dogma 2 isn’t just going to cost you a couple bucks, it’s going to diminish the experience of playing the game. But using that as a reason not to play at all means throwing out the excellent work done by the game’s developers — some of whom I’m willing to bet also aren’t happy about the microtransactions — over a personal gripe with its publisher.

Unnecessary DLC isn’t the games industry’s biggest problem.


Capcom only revealed Dragon’s Dogma 2’s extensive list of microtransactions as the game launched, which helps explain why some players feel misled about them. But despite their last-minute reveal, there’s little to be surprised about. Just last year, Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 included weapon upgrades as microtransactions, sparking a similar furor in some players. It seems that stuffing single-player games full of frivolous microtransactions is part of the publisher’s model now. I agree that it’s annoying, but the best way to push back against that is to not buy those microtransactions. Dragon’s Dogma 2 is already at the top of Steam’s best sellers list, so if you were hoping to “send a message” to Capcom by not buying the game at all, I’m afraid that ship has sailed.

None of this is to say that Capcom shouldn’t be criticized. It’s fair to call out its scummy microtransactions, it’s just not as big of a deal as some are making it out to be. If you’re looking to find fault with Capcom, I’d personally start with the publisher using one of the instigators of the harassment campaign against Sweet Baby Inc. to promote Dragon’s Dogma 2, or its attempt to prevent its games from being modded, rather than a little good old-fashioned greed.

If you’re going to start boycotting games whenever publishers make short-sighted decisions to squeeze a little more money out of their games, you’re going to have to stop playing AAA games altogether. Microtransactions are just the most visible extension of the fact that game publishing is a business concerned with making more money at all costs. Layoffs, crunch, and increasing homogenization are all fueled by the same desire — and they’re much more worth your anger than a few microtransactions.

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