At the recent Tokyo Game Show, many gaming outlets had a chance to go hands-on with Devil May Cry 5, the latest installment in Capcom’s demon-slaying slice ’em up franchise. One particular detail that has emerged from many of the previews has caused some controversy, however. Namely; the ability to purchase red orbs, the game’s primary upgrade currency, for real money at in-game shops known as divinity statues.
Having noticed the inclusion of microtransactions in their hands-on session, Gamespot had the opportunity to speak to DMC 5 director Hideaki Itsuno at TGS. As you would expect, they used the opportunity to question why it was deemed necessary to include this option in the primarily single player focused action series. Itsuno’s response will be familiar to anyone who’s up to date on their games industry PR speak, it’s all about player choice;
With giving people the ability to purchase Red Orbs, it’s something we want to give people as an option. If they want to save time and just want to get all the stuff at once, those people can do that. But on the other hand I don’t feel you have to get all the moves. You should be able to play it the way you want to play it.
The interviewer went on to question how this would affect the “learning process” of Devil May Cry 5, referencing the series’ previous focus on players steadily unlocking and mastering new skills to improve their combat prowess. Itsuno’s full comments can be found in the original interview here but the general gist of his response was that, as in previous games, more basic moves will cost less red orbs and be quicker to unlock, more powerful moves or moves with a greater range of applications will be more expensive and will take longer to learn as, in the directors words,
You have to make the decision between going for the cheaper stuff or saving up, getting the thing that has a lot of application but you’ll have to spend time learning and perfecting
This is not the first time microtransactions have appeared in a Devil May Cry game. The release of Devil May Cry 4‘s Special Editon saw microtransactions retroactively added, enabling the purchase of red orbs in-game. The difference that some critics have voiced concerns about here, however, is that DMC 4 had a progression system that was set before microtransactions were added. DMC 5 has been designed with the knowledge that players would be able to pay for upgrades and this leads to the very real possibility that progression will be affected as a result.
Some more positive news, depending on your perspective, came in the wake of TGS as fans on Devilmaycry.org spotted that the PlayStation Store listing for the game mentions “Network play for 2-3 players” pointing to the inclusion of an as yet unknown multiplayer mode for the game. While it’s possible that the listing was an error or miscommunication between Capcom and Sony, fans have speculated that this could mean the inclusion of a horde mode, or similar, featuring the game’s three confirmed playable characters, Dante, Nero, and V. When questioned about the possible inclusion of multiplayer, Hideaki Itsuno neither confirmed nor denied the rumors saying only “In terms of online and multiplayer and what have you, wait and see.”
We’ll have to wait until the Spring 2019 release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to see how microtransactions really affect Devil May Cry 5. In the meantime, we’ll bring you all the announcements about the game and its rumored multiplayer mode as soon as they’re available. For all the previously released details on the game, check out our article from this year’s E3.