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Dragon’s Dogma 2 Soars to 19M Hours Watched in Just One Week

Dragon’s Dogma is a power fantasy. The player takes on the role of the “Arisen”: A chosen hero with sovereign status whose destiny is to do battle with a fearsome dragon. Where series like Dark Souls isolate the player and demand careful planning to survive, Dragon’s Dogma instead has the player grappling on beasts’ backs and commanding allies called “Pawns” in battle. 

It’s this thrill that has brought players back for Dragon’s Dogma 2 – although the epic trailer voiced by Ian McShane may have helped as well. The first Dragon’s Dogma was a big hit for developer Capcom, taking the European-inspired RPG stylings of something like an Elder Scrolls game and upgrading it with dynamic, intricate combat typical of a JRPG. 12 years on, Capcom aims to satiate fans by building upon the solid foundation of the original game with an expansive world and new enemies.

In a sense, Capcom succeeded in building hype for the game and dominating streaming platforms. However, critiques of key game design decisions and technical performance upon launch may cast doubt on Dragon’s Dogma’s potential as a franchise.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Backs its Sales Success with an Impressive First Week on Streaming

In the first week of its release on the 22nd of March, Dragon’s Dogma 2 lived up to the hype. Audiences turned out to bring in 19M hours watched of Dragon’s Dogma 2 content over 429K hours of combined airtime. This includes streamers who had early access to the game on the 21st of March creating content for the game 12 hours ahead of its release. Dragon’s Dogma 2’s streaming performance matched the sales success of the game as announced by Capcom, hitting 2.5 million copies sold as of the 2nd of April.

Zackrawrr once again led the charge for introducing viewers to a new RPG, thanks to his loyal followers from back in the World of Warcraft days. In total, zackrawrr’s Dragon’s Dogma 2 streams brought in 853K hours watched, with a peak viewership of 41K. While almost all of the top streamers were on Twitch, there were two exceptions. Mega-popular Korean streamer 풍월량 (Poong Wol-ryang) recently made the switch to Chzzk after the Twitch shutdown. His Dragon’s Dogma 2 content appealed to fans, generating 347K hours watched. Meanwhile, Japanese VTuber Kuzuha also cracked into the top 10 streamers with 207K hours watched, leveraging his fanbase on YouTube.

Twitch Drives Dragon’s Dogma 2 Viewership, Supported by Steam’s Official Stream

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of viewing time came from Twitch. For Dragon’s Dogma 2, 68% of all first-week viewership came from Twitch (including streamers with early access). Twitch leads most genres in terms of watch time, but particularly so for RPGs like the Elder Scrolls games, FromSoftware’s titles (Elden Ring, Bloodborne), and Baldur’s Gate 3

Perhaps more surprising is Steam’s nearly 20% portion of viewership for Dragon’s Dogma 2. This is due to the official Dragon’s Dogma 2 stream hosted by the developers themselves, showcasing gameplay and story to viewers directly on Steam. The viewership on the official stream is impressive even without using known streaming talent to promote the game (like Alone in the Dark did by collaborating with Ash Millman). However, this proportion of contribution may be inflated due to a lack of community interest in streaming the game themselves – more on that below.

The Potential of Dragon’s Dogma 2 as a Successful Capcom Franchise for Streaming

As a big-name publisher, Capcom would expect to have one of the most popular games on streaming. Unfortunately, it’s never quite cracked the upper echelons of streaming popularity. Resident Evil 4’s remake was a revelation upon its release, hitting 27M hours watched in its first week thanks to the power of nostalgia and an all-out promotional campaign. Street Fighter 6 is the most recent consistent success in Capcom’s library, bringing mainstream attention back to the fighting game genre as the 31st most popular game for March 2024 with 14M hours watched. Monster Hunter is another popular franchise, with a small resurgence early this year thanks to Capcom’s Return to World promotional event.

So where does Dragon’s Dogma fit into this catalog? As an RPG, Dragon’s Dogma has great potential to be a successful franchise on streaming platforms. It even had the second best opening week of any recent Capcom game with 16M hours watched (not including early access hours on the 21st of March). But criticism of the game upon release suggests that players may not see a future for the franchise. Technical issues such as stuttering and enemies getting lodged in walls hampered the game’s release, while microtransactions designed to shortcut tedious gameplay infuriated fans.

The real threat to the series’ longevity, however, runs much deeper than this. Experienced fans of the series bemoaned the game’s lack of innovation, noting that while Dragon’s Dogma 2 certainly expanded the world and polished the combat of the original game (as was director Hideaki Itsuno’s vision), it added very little variety and retrod the previous entry’s worn-out storyline. Stale gameplay is the death knell of a franchise, and fans will want Capcom to take more risks with any future titles in the series.

Fans are hopeful though: None of these issues seem to have dampened their rabid desire for more Dragon’s Dogma 2 content. With patches and a couple extra features such as additional character slots, Dragon’s Dogma 2 could massively increase its replayability and remain relevant on streaming platforms. Stream Hatchet will keep watching as Capcom adapts to the streaming arena.

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