- Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 was launched seven years ago but Bandai Namco being averse to creating a Xenoverse 3 holds the series back from reaching its pinnacle.
- Continued efforts to release paid DLC for the game have spiraled out of control, turning XV2 into a borderline live-service game as more content is planned for the coming years.
- The extent to which Xenoverse 2 is being monetized raises concerns for the upcoming Budokai Tenkaichi 4 due to the series’ iconic rosters and equipable items.
Dragon Ball is a global phenomenon, popular with people from all age groups. The franchise has been equally as successful in the video game department, most recently with Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. Its success can’t be attributed to XV2 alone since Dokkan Battle and Heroes generate an astronomical amount of revenue. What makes this sequel stand out from the crowd is its presentation, story, mechanics, and more.
After the massive success of the Budokai Tenkaichi line of games, Xenoverse 2 became the franchise’s modern-day icon. Despite its standing, however, I believe it’s time Bandai Namco brought the curtain down on it and took the next step.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Is Holding Back The Series
Natural evolution occurs in every part of life, even video games. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 hit the shelves back in October 2016. almost a decade ago. The original Xenoverse was released in 2015 with a rather mediocre reception. Even with the average reviews, it was the best Dragon Ball title since Budokai Tenkaichi and the Raging Blast line of games.
While many of its flaws carried over to the sequel, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 improved significantly on its predecessor in each of its departments. The gameplay was more fleshed out, the story had more variety with the inclusion of movie characters, and the custom characters were a lot more balanced and unique instead of the devs just being biased toward Saiyans.
What’s worth noting here is that the original XV and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 had a gap of just one year between them. It makes you wonder just how much of the first title was copied and used as a base for the sequel. In contrast, we are now in 2023 and after seven years there are no signs of a Xenoverse 3. Now I’m pretty sure you’re wondering “Why?” and to sum it up in one word—revenue.
The crux of the problem is that the series is being held back by Bandai’s continued effort to make money with Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. It’s almost as if it’s been turned into a hybrid live-service game with yearly DLC and limited-time events instead of working on a proper sequel that truly harnesses the power of modern hardware.
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— Dragon Ball Games (@dragonballgames) November 4, 2023
I’ll first explain what makes Xenoverse special. For the uninitiated, Dragon Ball has a vast universe with tons of lore. Over the decades, this has gone up in scope with the existence of gods, demons, angels, the multiverse, and much more. Dragon Ball Heroes, however, does all sorts of wild stuff with the series. It’s something that I can’t even begin to explain.
You have characters with the power of omnipotence and enemies that make Jiren look like candy. Remember that time when you first saw Ultra Instinct and imagined how strong Gogeta would be with that power? Well, you have that in Heroes. And if that wasn’t enough, you have Limit Breaker Super Saiyan 4 as well which combines the iconic form with Super Saiyan God Ki. To sum it all up, your wildest ideas come to fruition in Dragon Ball Heroes.
Xenoverse is in line with that kind of story and the writers can take a lot of creative liberties. With modern technology, we’re looking at the possibility of missions with interdimensional travel in real-time with combat that shatters the fabric of space. Similar to the world-hopping mechanic seen in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, faster speeds, more computational power, and minimal load times allow for this to be possible.
Instead, Bandai continues to churn out more content for Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 that, honestly, feels quite dated at this point. Which brings me to its post-launch offerings…
DLC Content For Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Has Gone Out Of Hand
As I mentioned above, the game is still generating a ton of money for all parties involved. Every new element that has been introduced in the DB franchise has been incorporated into the game and released as paid DLC. To make matters even worse, the user interface on Steam for all that DLC is on the same level as Destiny 2. It’s common knowledge that Bungie has spared no effort to squeeze every single penny out of its players but it doesn’t even have the courtesy to make it easier for the consumer to burn their cash.
A Big Free update is coming on October 12, 2023!
New events, new battle modes, and other features will be added to make DRAGON BALL Xenoverse 2 even more fun!
— Dragon Ball Games (@dragonballgames) October 11, 2023
I can say the same thing for Bandai and DIMPS. The special edition of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 costs $49.99. If you want the full experience, however, prepare to spend over another $100. Not to mention the cluttered interface that confuses the consumer, possibly leading to a duplicate purchase. And in case you think that’s all, I’ve got some news for you—it’s not. Bandai Namco has announced another paid DLC and to keep things in check, a free update is also planned along with it.
Perhaps you’re thinking that this is where it all comes to a close but that couldn’t be farther from truth. The roadmap revealed last month not only confirmed a new DLC for 2024, it even announced current-gen versions of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. Additionally, it also teases the consumer with a tab titled “And More…” as if they didn’t know it was coming.
I’m pretty sure this is hinting at some free updates and paid content for 2025. And if I’m being honest, with the confirmation of Dragon Ball Daima anime airing in the fall of 2024, I can bet my protein shake on this and confidently say that Bandai will turn it into DLC for Xenoverse 2. Because that’s what Dragon Ball is at this point, something that brings in more money but at least Daima looks interesting.
On the one hand, spending money on something high in quality is acceptable but when you look at the other side, you have to understand that the XV series can be a whole lot more than what it is now but it’s being held back. Plus, the way Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is being monetized since launch along with the quality of Kakarot, I have severe concerns for one of the most long-awaited sequels.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Raises Concerns For Budokai Tenkaichi 4
Modern gaming is not the same as it was back during the fifth and sixth generation of home consoles. Budokai Tenkaichi 4 is in the works and looking at how focused the video game industry is on chasing profits, I have my fingers crossed for this game. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 alone makes me wonder about the extent of monetization BT4 is going to have.
Think about it for a second, the original Tenkaichi games had a gargantuan character roster with an equally humungous list of equipable items. If that doesn’t sound like avenues capable of being monetized to you then you probably haven’t been paying much attention to the modern industry.
That said though, we barely have any information on Budokai Tenkaichi 4 so it would be illogical to assume the worst right off the bat. However, as a wise man once said, hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
It’s Time To Move On Or Is It?
As I’ve stated previously, the video game industry was always about making money. The only thing that’s changed is the advent of new and efficient ways to do so, plus advanced technology. This selfsame tech is what can truly elevate the Xenoverse series and give the fans a real, next-gen Dragon Ball game, something that even Kakarot failed to do despite having access to the vast universe of the franchise.
Even after 7 years, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is somehow bringing in enough revenue to justify developing more content for it and releasing the game on current-gen. While it’s phenomenal from a business perspective, I firmly that it’s time for Bandai to step out of this bubble, take advantage of all the modern tech, and realize the potential of the Xenoverse franchise.
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