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Capcom launched Dragon’s Dogma 2 on Friday, March 22, 2024. Soon after launch, some players bombarded the game with negative reviews after discovering 21 day-one purchasable DLCs. Nevertheless, the game still enjoyed a large audience, peaking at 228,585 concurrent players on Steam.

Despite Criticism, Dragon’s Dogma 2 Enjoys A Strong Launch Weekend With Over 200K Concurrent Players On Steam

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is the follow-up to the 2012 release. The action role-playing game expended on the possibilities of the first and featured AI-controlled companion players known as Pawns. Some players criticized the game for what they called a flurry of microtransactions and the use of Denuvo (a Digital Rights Management software used to prevent piracy).

Particularly at the center of the microtransaction controversy was ‘Art of Metamorphosis’ which allowed players to edit the appearance of their character including changing their hair color. Many players believed that this is a feature that comes free with most games.

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Capcom was also criticized for locking Wakestone behind a paywall. In Dragon’s Dogma 2, Wakestone is used to resuscitate a dead player or an AI companion. This allows the player to continue the game from where they are instead of restarting from the last checkpoint.

“We would like to update you on the status of the following items, about which we have received numerous comments from the community,” Capcom wrote in a message posted on Steam. “To all those looking forward to this game, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.”

Capcom clarified that Art of Metamorphosis, Ambivalent Rift Incense, Portcrystal, Wakestone, 500 Rift Crystals, Makeshift Gaol Key, and Harpysnare Smoke Beacons were all obtainable in-game for free—which contradicted the information that flooded the Internet.

Despite Criticism, Dragon’s Dogma 2 Enjoys A Strong Launch Weekend With Over 200K Concurrent Players On Steam

Notwithstanding the negative reviews, aka review bombing, Dragon’s Dogma 2 peaked at 228, 585 concurrent players on Steam, ending the weekend as the 5th most concurrently played game on Steam. There is a huge chance that the game will exceed that number in its second weekend as more players learn the truth about the microtransaction claims.

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Capcom also said that it was working on fixing the performance issues of Dragon’s Dogma 2, especially adding a feature that will allow players on Steam to restart their gameplay. However, the studio did not give a timeline on when the first Dragon’s Dogma 2 patch will ship.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 pawns show how AI can make NPCs more dynamic

Despite Criticism, Dragon’s Dogma 2 Enjoys A Strong Launch Weekend With Over 200K Concurrent Players On Steam

Different game development companies are actively researching ways to make NPCs more alive. Dragon’s Dogma 2 is one classical example of how the use of AI can change the robotic nature of NPCs and make them more alive.

Firstly, the Pawns deal good damage in combat which is usually not the case in the past. Dragon’s Dogma 2 Pawns assist the player in slaying beasts and make hordes of enemies more manageable. However, they do more to make the game more interesting.

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For example, Dragon’s Dogma 2 has a brothel in the city of Vernworth found south of the Noble Quarter that allows players to sleep over with humans, beastrens, or “exclusive courtesans” for frequent customers. Spending time in the brothel costs 20,000 Gold.

Despite Criticism, Dragon’s Dogma 2 Enjoys A Strong Launch Weekend With Over 200K Concurrent Players On Steam

While Pawns will give you space to go do your thing inside (which is a cutscene and a fade-to-black cut), they will talk about your illicit affair during their idle gossip. In one of the conversations spotted by Windows Central, one Pawn said, “The private quarters of one Arisen I served had many a visitor, and rarely the same one”.

The use of AI in video games is still an elephant in the room with many against it for moral reasons. However, that has not stopped Ubisoft from pushing the limits of AI-NPCs. The company recently unveiled a generative AI prototype called NEO which can create thousands of alterations from a character arc without breaking the flow of the game.


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