Oh Capcom, you were doing so well. Then you went and mentioned the dreaded M-word in your upcoming demon-slaying action title of which I’ve already pledged my love to, Devil May Cry 5. Yup, Devil May Cry 5 will be rocking both style and microtransactions next year, as the latest chapter in the series is focusing more on the classic Red Orbs in-game currency than ever before.
A key part of the franchise, Red Orbs are usually doled out from defeated enemies and used to upgrade skills. The better you play and the more stylish your rank at the end, the greater the payout. That hasn’t changed in Devil May Cry 5, but what has changed is that players will need to spend some of that crimson currency to pull yourself back from the brink of death.
A currency that can be purchased in greater quantity, if you feel like wielding your Mastercard weapon to do so. Now there are a number of ways to look at this: Does it negatively balance the key gameplay of Devil May Cry 5? Are Red Orbs still awarded by the bucketload if you play wit a Gung-Ho attitude, thus lengthening the game and encouraging multiple playthroughs to master every facet of each character? Are the purchasable skills within Devil May Cry 5 ludicrously priced?
There’s a lot to ask here, and naturally the reddit community for Devil May Cry 5 is more divided than Korea on the issue. “Reviving ALWAYS cost red orbs, just indirectly. And regardless, this is not a real issue,” LoyalLedger wrote.
If you die on Easy, then MTX are not the problem. If you die on Hard, you probably aren’t interested in using revives anyway. The DMC fanbase is hardcore enough that most players don’t use any items AT ALL. Some players never even get hit. If casuals want to spend real money to restart half-way through a boss fight, let them. It doesn’t f***ing matter.
On the other hand Darryn, you’ve also got to factor in how this move fundamentally changes the flow of Devil May Cry 5. “It’s just bad game design. Even if you couldn’t party RL money for red orbs, it’d be bad,” Homer_3 pointed out.
Finding or purchasing gold orbs to use to revive just has a different dynamic to it. For one, you’ve already invested those orbs, so the option to use them for something else if you don’t die isn’t there. Using specialized items is also more clear to the player. I have 1 gold orb? I have 1 extra life. I have 50k red orbs? Let me break out the calculator.
I don’t doubt the game will still be fantastic, but this just seems like a very poor design decision to me.
Personally, I’ll leave the worry until launch day, as there are just too many factors to pounce on and not enough information out in the wild for Devil May Cry 5. What does concern me immediately however, is the idea of Capcom adjusting the Red Orb economy to suit the needs of their business. As Endneo points out, Capcom has the power to patch Devil May Cry 5’s economy to push people towards purchasing bundles of the currency if they decide to tighten the payout:
What they are selling are digital Red Orbs. That isn’t something that is worked on or even content like skins and cosmetics which deserve pay in exchange for service. Red Orbs and currency in games can literally be added in as the publisher pleases, like a number you adjust in a digital engine. It’s an economy that they control and can choose to inflate as they want, and that’s what I take issue with. Regardless of DMC5 handling them well or not, as a matter of principle, I’m against this kind of practice.
Beyond the microtransactions, Devil May Cry 5 is still looking superb. The visuals look amazing, the action looks solid and Nero now has a special Devil Breaker weapon which functions just like your mom’s neck massager that she keeps in the top drawer.
Last Updated: September 25, 2018