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We've written about it before but now it's becoming a reality. Capcom is intent on extending Dragon's Dogma brand scope by taking it from the confines of a standalone action-RPG and pushing it into the risky world of massive multiplayer online games.
Eurogamer caught wind of the news from a translated post courtesy of NeoGaf, where it was revealed that Dragon's Dogma Online will become a real game. Originally it was revealed that Capcom had filed a trademark license for the online title, but the news in Famitsu made it known that the game will be a free-to-play MMO, as reported by Gematsu.
The title will see players creating their own hero or heroine and taking to the fictional game world with 99 other players. Yes, the game will support lobbies with up to 100 players per lobby. Additionally, the actual quests and dungeon runs will be designed for four players and raids will support up to eight players.
This isn't much of a step up from the current crop of MMOs – in fact, this is actually a step back from MMOs like World of Warcraft and RaiderZ and even Allods Online, which allowed for hundreds of players in the quest world, but were limited to a set number of players in instanced areas and raids.
Of course, if you don't live in Asia you're not likely to ever get your hands on the game. As mentioned in the Eurogamer article...
“A Capcom UK representative told Eurogamer this morning that there are no plans to release Dragon's Dogma Online in the west, so don't hold your breath.”
This is kind of a similar situation with Monster Hunter Online, which is being held hostage by Tencent Online over in Asia. A lot of fans were hoping for an international release but it doesn't really look like it's going to happen. Other games that also fit the bill are Call of Duty Online and Borderlands Online, two more free-to-play games that are bound to be big money makers in Asia but are unlikely to make an appearance in North America. The reason for this? Well, China is one of the biggest free-to-play markets in the world when it comes to MMOS, and they nearly make as much money in cash shop microtransactions as North America rakes in through the retail sector.
I wouldn't be surprised to find that all these former AAA titles that were boxed copies on home consoles would make a killing over in Asia as free-to-play games.
Dragon's Dogma Online won't be relegated to PC, though. The company has plans to launch the MMO for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 as well. The game was a sleeper hit when it originally launched on the Xbox 360 and PS3 back in 2012; PC gamers have been clamoring for a release of Dragon's Dogma but Capcom apparently doesn't have it in the cards outside of a region-specific MMO. Real nice.
On the upside, gamers in the west will be able to get their hands on a free-to-play MMO-style game in the form of Deep Down for the PlayStation 4. So it's not all a total loss.