Now that Devil May Cry 5 is almost here, director Hideaki Itsuno has revealed he could have been making a very different sequel instead: a follow-up to Dragon's Dogma. Capcom's 2012 fantasy RPG, which came to PC in 2016, is a game I've heard people gush about in the same way I do Deadly Premonition, though I'm sorry to say my response has been the same "Uh huh I'll have to check that out" that people have when I'm on about York and Zach. Itsuno says that Capcom were willing to let him do Devil May Cry 5 or Dragon's Dogma 2 and, obviously, he chose DMC. Ah, but what could have been... and what might yet be?
Hideaki Itsuno's work at Capcom over the past decade or so has been directing Devil May Cry games, since the final months of DMC2 (plus supervising Ninja Theory's side-boot DmC), with his one big other project being Dragon's Dogma. It's a open-world fantasy action-RPG where you can climb on monsters, your NPC party members can be hired from other players, the nights are deathly dark, and... it has a lot of ideas and it tries hard, even if I'm told it doesn't quite come together. Which is basically the formula for a cult classic. Our review wasn't mad keen on it, though a later Have You Played did more to explain the appeal for some.
So! Dragon's Dogma: a game some folks would like more of. It's a game we might have seen more of.
"So, when the discussion came up for Devil May Cry 5, I went to Kenzo [Kenzo Tsujimoto, Capcom founder] and I said... look, I want to make either Devil May Cry 5 or Dragon's Dogma 2 next," Hideaki Itsuno said in an interview with VG247. "He said 'Okay, do whatever you want. Do whichever one you want.' So I thought, alright, y'know what... let's do DMC5. So we did that."
With Devil May Cry 5 almost finished, launching March 8th, will we see Dragon's Dogma 2 next? Ah, I wouldn't count on it.
"I've always got maybe around four different titles in mind, maybe about four different ideas that I'd love to make," Itsuno continued. "But there's a difference between the titles that I'd love to make and the titles that I think I should make next. But here we are, we're here, and... I'm already gearing up for my next project. We can't say what it is, but we're looking forward to getting to work on it."
Capcom had a more experimental phase a few years back, stepping away from their best-known games with curious like Dragon's Dogma and CyberConnect2's mythological shout-o-puncher Asura's Wrath - a game I'd still like to see come to PC (and which only got weirder when it crossed over with Street Fighter). Here we are, back at Resident Evil and Mega Man and Street Fighter and DMC and... that's fine, but I'd also like more games about punching people into space, growing more arms when you get angry, and having the option to interrupt boss monologues by punching them.
In the meantime, hey, I guess I'll have to settle for surfing atop my own rocketfist in DMC5, as our Matthew demonstrated in a recent video.