Devil May Cry 5 May Put the Franchise in Jeopardy
After seeing the reveal for Devil May Cry 5 I was immediately aboard the hype train and a couple more trailers for the game elevated this title as one of my most anticipated games of 2019. However, that hype and excitement died and was replaced by disappointment after the recent news that the game would include microtransactions in its single player to upgrade your character and unlock moves.
I wanted this game to succeed feeling that Capcom seemed to be heading in the right direction. I really enjoyed Resident Evil 7 and thought the developer used the fan's feedback about the franchise to create a new experience that most players enjoyed. So I was baffled as to why they would destroy the goodwill they were starting to rebuild to announce that they would incorporate microtransactions, something almost universally hated by gamers and their core audience, especially to one of their most iconic franchises. Even after putting off a lot of their fans with the last game that tried to reinvent the character of Dante in DMC, this action with microtransactions may be something Capcom or the Devil May Cry franchise won't be able to come back from.
Many of you might be thinking what's the big deal? If you don't like microtransactions, just don't buy anything. It's not like your forced to pay extra because you can unlock everything normally, and the microtransactions are there for players that don't have extra time and would rather skip the grind for resources or tokens. In my experience microtransactions have always negatively impacted the single-player experience. If the game is designed with microtransactions in mind, a grind is CREATED to push players toward the in-game purchases. Games like Clash of Clans or Fallout Shelter, encourage players to use real money or penalized by having you wait and/or play the game to extreme amounts.
You don't have to look far for what Devil May Cry 5 may turn out to be. Street Fighter 5, also developed by Capcom encourages players to purchase characters or use the in-game currency of fight money. However, because it takes so long to accrue fight money its unrealistic for someone to unlock all characters without spending real money. It's ridiculous that you have to pay full $60 for a game, they still need to pay extra or hundreds of hours of gameplay to unlock additional features. In a competitive game like Street Fighter 5, your at a disadvantage if you don't unlock specific characters. Based on history, microtransactions have always negatively impacted the single-player experience because its designed to keep players spending money. Since I personally play more single player games I don't intend to spend money and wouldn't mind if others choose to. But I've yet to see a game do this correctly so that it doesn't negatively impact the single player experience, by adding an unnecessary grind or time sink.
With the backlash in recent games like Starwars Battlefront, why does it seem like big developers are always trying to go down this route to the detriment of their fans, community, and credibility? Of course, they wouldn't be doing this if their main concern wasn't money. While sales may suffer initially, as seen by the weak sales of Battlefront 2, the long-term revenue generated by games with microtransactions are still higher compared to not having microtransactions. While most people may not buy any additional items from the microtransaction shop, and some may not buy the game altogether, the small minority of people who invest largely into the e-shop will easily generate more to make up for the difference.
I believe mobile games, specifically the free-to-play model, has had a huge negative impact on the gaming industry. Games like Fortnite, while being a commercial success, and the envy of many game studios exemplifies what's wrong with the industry. While the popularity of Fortnite will fade, it's model of being able to spend hundreds on cosmetic and temporary boosts, or more blatant pay to win features is not what all games should be moving toward. Especially when games are marketed to children, who are more susceptible to be pressured, are the main target.
We can already the effect on other game companies, not only EA or Activation changing to this new market but also developers like TellTale Games, which recently had to close down. Can traditional games without a microtransaction shop be successful for developers? There are many articles written that show that with games having a larger and larger production budget, developers and publishers need to include microtransactions or ultimately increase the cost of the game to $80 or more. And making one game that is not financially successful can cause a small developer to go belly up. That's why I'm glad to see games like Marvel's Spiderman be successful, and know that others want to see it too. Of course, times have changed and DLC is another topic that comes to mind. Especially announced DLC before the game releases, extended over a large period of time, blurs the lines between the traditional and free-to-play model.
So if you're like me and hate to see more microtransactions in games, especially single player games, what can we do? As I'm already seeing a lot of people comment, speak with your money, if that's the only thing these developers care about. Boycott the game and play something else instead. Don't listen to their PR or gaming sites that do PR on their behalf. Don't pick up the game 6 months after release, after they go through the obligatory "we listened to your feedback" response. Similar to my thoughts on No Man's Sky, they treat us like fools and assume our memory is short. They follow the saying that "asking for forgiveness is easier than asking for permission."
Not only should you boycott these games, the more you can convince more people you know the better. Sign a petition, don't buy the game even if its on sale, support other developers, leaving feedback to the developers/publishers, are all small things that add up and show that we consumers are ultimately who the developers are trying to make happy, not their shareholders or people only concerned about milking their fans as much as possible.
Let me know if you guys feel the same way in the comments below. Thanks for reading my opinion, visit back for more opinions, reviews and more.
Sources: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-07-24-no-mans-sky-creator-addresses-community-ahead-of-next-update https://www.ign.com/articles/2017/12/22/can-aaa-games-survive-without-microtransactions https://www.gamespot.com/articles/devil-may-cry-5-lets-you-spend-real-money-to-upgra/1100-6461972/ https://www.polygon.com/2018/1/30/16952396/star-wars-battlefront-2-sales-loot-boxes-returning