Netflix has announced a new batch of anime projects that’ll be exclusive to the streaming service, and among them sits an originals series based on the cult Capcom RPG franchise Dragon’s Dogma.
For those that have never played it, Dragon’s Dogma is an excellent open world RPG that was released back in 2012, and directed by Hideaki Itsuno, the man behind Devil May Cry.
If you’ve never played it, you definitely should. Luckily, the enhanced version Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is heading to Nintendo Switch this year, so you’ve got a chance to get acquainted with one of the most underrated titles of a generation. If you want to. I’m not pushing. Well, I don’t really care what you do if I’m being honest.
Netflix has confirmed that it’s partnering with CG studio Sublimation for the new show, and will feature “unique cel-shaded animation that carries hand-drawn textures to anime fans around the world.”
As for the plot, the brief synopsis is as follows:
Based on a world-famous action RPG set in an open world, Dragon’s Dogma from CAPCOM will be brought to life as a Netflix original anime series. The story follows a man’s journey seeking revenge on a dragon who stole his heart. On his way, the man is brought back to life as an Arisen. An action adventure about a man challenged by demons who represent the seven deadly sins of humans.
We don’t have any more details on the project right now, but I think the implications of a Dragon’s Dogma anime series speaks volumes about just how much Capcom is killing it right now, and it all seems to spring from the company looking at what fans really love and want from their franchises.
It’s no secret that Capcom weren’t really doing so hot a few years back. In 2016, the company reported a decline in both sales and profits after releasing its financial results for the three month period between April 1 to June 30.
Games like Umbrella Corps and Street Fighter V were massive misfires, mired in launch controversy and some baffling decisions. Even 2017’s Resident Evil 7 – an undeniable return to form – didn’t quite set the world alight in the way one might have excepted it to.
It sucks, but Capcom did seem to put a string of games that either didn’t sell terribly well, or were just critically panned. In addition to the above, there was 2017’s Marvel VS Capcom Infinite, Dead Rising 4, and long before that, the dreaded Resident Evil 6.
Clearly these games weren’t what the fans wanted, and in the cases that they were, they just weren’t delivering the experiences the fans expected. In past year alone, Capcom has changed all of that.
Starting with GOTY contender Monster Hunter World, it was clear the company meant business. The Monster Hunter franchise always did solid numbers for Capcom, but bringing it to PS4 and Xbox One in such style was a move that paid off in spades.
World is comfortably the best selling game in the series’ 14 year history, with almost 12 million units sold as of February this year. The good times didn’t stop there, either.
The Resident Evil 2 remake launched at the start of 2019 to widespread critical acclaim, and has already shifted 4 million copies worldwide. Meanwhile, the recently released Devil May Cry V has been another critical darling.
With all three titles, it seems as if Capcom has really dug into what makes these beloved franchises work, and created the best possible iterations of them. Instead of treating their respected and historic IPs as quick cash grabs (as was the case with Umbrella Corps and arguably Street Fighter V), time, effort, and love clearly has gone into these games.
The results have spoken for themselves, and I get the feeling this hasn’t gone unnoticed at Capcom HQ. It’s no secret that the company is looking into its back catalogue of classics, and its newfound ability to blend nostalgia with AAA glory is clearly the secret sauce for Capcom’s success going forward.
I can’t think of many other company’s that would take an old cult RPG like Dragon’s Dogma and not only announce a Switch port for the game, but unveil an original Netflix series months after.
Hell, Capcom recently released a remaster of bloody Onimusha to huge acclaim, and I don’t think any of us saw that coming. To my mind, Capcom is using these remasters and returns to old favourites to assess what people really loved about them in the first place, and I think that’s a fantastic strategy.
It’s not clear exactly what the future holds for Capcom, but with returns to Resident Evil 3 and Dino Crisis very much on the cards, as well as a potential sequel to Dragon’s Dogma, it looks to me like we’re stepping into a new Golden Age for a truly iconic company.
Now, give me Okami 2 and I’ll die happy.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.