Square Enix "Committed To Bringing More Dragon Quest Titles" West

Dragon Quest may have gotten the short end before now, but Square Enix isn't leaving the West behind anymore.

News by Mike Williams, .

For a long time, players in the United States and Europe didn't have the ability to play most of the Dragon Quest series. While many of the Final Fantasy games made it to our shores, Dragon Quest was not as lucky. The company has been rectifying that problem in recent years though, with releases on the Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Android, and iOS. Dragon Quest Heroes, Dragon Quest VII, and Dragon Quest Builders have all launched in the past two years, with Dragon Quest VIII coming to 3DS in 2017.

Dragon Quest Builders, bringing together East and West.

In an interview with MCV about Dragon Quest Builders producer Noriyoshi Fujimoto talks about expanding the Dragon Quest audience.

"'Accessibility' is one of the most important factors in what makes Dragon Quest games so unique. If it can't be picked up by anyone to play then it's not Dragon Quest. Dragon Quest first brought RPGs to console gaming for wider access of the genre to the masses when it was predominantly PC based at the time," said Fujimoto.

"This time with Dragon Quest Builders we wanted to retain the RPG side but bring in a new element of building and creating anything one wishes in a sandbox environment. For those who found existing block sandbox games too abrupt and without purpose after a few minutes, they may actually still like the gameplay if there was a story to follow and quests to achieve. On the other hand, if you are already into this genre then Dragon Quest Builders is a great way of getting to know the Dragon Quest universe while savouring the genre you enjoy."

Dragon Quest Builders is, in part, a bridge to the West, where sandbox titles like Minecraft already thrive. Fujimoto admitted that Square Enix had to prime the pump for Builders in Japan.

"Sandbox gaming is much more popular in the West – YouTube channels are absolutely packed with videos from the genre – and there is a large pool of existing audience who just gets it, unlike the Japanese market where we in part had to introduce the concept to start with," he explained. "We've been seeing many great reviews across the West so far so I would urge players to give Dragon Quest Builders a go for a unique experience of block building sandbox with a great scenario – and perhaps this could be their entrance to the vast Dragon Quest universe."

The strong release schedule in the past few years is related to the Dragon Quest 30th anniversary being celebrated in 2016. Square Enix wants to continue growing the Dragon Quest market and that means regular releases in the West.

"2016 marks the 30th anniversary of Dragon Quest series. It's not as well known in the West as we would like but it really plays an epoch making role in the console gaming history," said Fujimoto. "If gamers were to 'discover' Dragon Quest now, they may be surprised to the sheer breadth of the universe, in terms of variety and depth. But they would also have instant access to something that has taken us 30 years to build. Dragon Quest Builders is definitely a great way of getting the feel of Dragon Quest while having great fun right from the start. We're committed to bringing more Dragon Quest titles in the West as we believe it truly has potential to succeed even better."

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Comments 15

  • Avatar for CK20XX #1 CK20XX A year ago
    Great to see, though I can't help but notice that the Dragon Quest brand hasn't suffered anywhere near as much as the Final Fantasy brand. I wonder if Square has noticed that too and is making this push to restrengthen themselves after so many mistakes.
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  • Avatar for Paunchberry #2 Paunchberry A year ago
    I doubt this means much for Dragon Quest Monsters, or especially Dragon Quest X, but this makes me a bit more confident that XI will make its way here on one of the 3 systems its going to be on.
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  • Avatar for Thad #3 Thad A year ago
    You want to make it more accessible? Fix the damn interface.

    It shouldn't take me ten screens of slowly crawling text to save my damn game. It shouldn't take three for me to find something and put it in my inventory.

    Oh, and here's a thought: when I quicksave, how about not dumping me to a quit screen that hard-locks the game, and won't let me restart without loading the system menu, quitting the game, and then starting it back up again? In fact, how about not doing that ever, for any reason?

    I understand 8-bit nostalgia. I really, really do. But there's a point where nostalgia becomes straight-up design stupidity. "Because that's the way we did it thirty years ago" is a good enough reason for keeping Slimes and sound effects, but it's not a good reason for ignoring decades of UI/UX advancements.

    I love DQ7. I loved it the first time, and I'm loving it on the 3DS. But I can't help wondering how much of its vaunted reputation as a very, very long game is amplified by the amount of time it takes to perform incredibly simple tasks.
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  • Avatar for salcanete23 #4 salcanete23 A year ago
    Hopefully we get Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 3 here. I enjoyed the first 2.
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  • Avatar for link6616 #5 link6616 A year ago
    The question is for how long? Especially since Nintendo is taking up 7 and 8 right?
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  • Avatar for Tetragrammaton #6 Tetragrammaton A year ago
    Isn't this EXACTLY what they said after... V DS? Or IX? Right before they didn't release Joker 2 at all AFTER they finished translating the script?

    Anyway. Heard this before. I'll be pleased with whatever Dragon Quests release over here but I know better than to expect them.
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  • Avatar for DoorCurtain #7 DoorCurtain A year ago
    Going on a Dragon Quest trip down memory lane, beat the first game on Android again and gonna go through II and III as well, then IV, V, and VI again on DS. Really looking forward to playing through VII for the first time on the 3DS, since I heard that the original was always a bit overbloated.

    I really wish Dragon Quest had a wider audience here in the West--if nothing else, it's a more reliably enjoyable series than the constant goal post shifting antics that Final Fantasy has gotten into in recent years. I always know what I'm getting into with Dragon Quest, but personally I have to be more cautious around Final Fantasy (I want to be excited about FF15, but I have so many hang-ups from previews that I'm waiting for all the reviews to come out instead. I don't want another FF13 situation). This wouldn't bother me so much if it weren't for the more snobby Final Fantasy fans who constantly express disappointment with the new games but stick up their nose at the mere thought of trying a Dragon Quest game.

    Went off on a tangent again, but I do hope more people give the series a chance as the years go by. They really don't know what they're missing.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #8 SatelliteOfLove A year ago
    "Sandbox gaming is much more popular in the West – YouTube channels are absolutely packed with videos from the genre – and there is a large pool of existing audience who just gets it, unlike the Japanese market where we in part had to introduce the concept to start with," he explained.

    That's rather vaguely-yet-imposible-to-completely-debunk there...

    How's about saying something more sincere with "Hey, DQ 11, out next year, worldwide."Edited October 2016 by SatelliteOfLove
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  • Avatar for moochan #9 moochan A year ago
    Fujimoto seem to really be trying to get excited for more DQ over here and trying to get as many interviews to get the word out on DQ. I'm hoping its working because I really don't want another generation of no DQ like with 3DS until now.
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  • Avatar for Ghopper101 #10 Ghopper101 A year ago
    I would love a port of the Wii DQ collection that came out several years ago. I think the series needs a strong push in NA, then it could help fill the niche that SMT games have been existing in.
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #11 MetManMas A year ago
    While I'm grateful for 7 and looking forward to 8, I'm not getting my hopes up too high on the 3DS localization front. A localization of Joker 3 would be nice, though.

    I hope this means we'll get a localization announcement for Dragon Quest Heroes 2 soon, though. Game's supposed to have numerous improvements over the original, and even though Dragon Quest Heroes didn't do particularly great, it's likely a less risky localization venture than the proper RPGs are.
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  • Avatar for Cynalus #12 Cynalus A year ago
    Awesome. Played DW1 back when it came out repeatedly; such a great soundtrack to this day. Played DW3 last year; blown away; and soundtrack superb. Recently have been playing DQ5 and DQ7 on DS -- just phenomenal. And my bro, who is not a DS guy, picked up DQB on PS4 and is obsessed with it.

    A strikingly consistent brand overall, with top notch gameplay, music, stories, atmosphere, gentle mellow-ness. Great to see the attention to it.
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  • Avatar for Jeremiah-Jones #13 Jeremiah-Jones A year ago
    I'm glad to see more Dragon Quest. I only hope the keep going with the main character creation. I REALLY got hooked on that with DQ9, and was saddened to see it gone apparently with DQ Heroes. If the hero is mute, than at least allow me to make the mute character look like me, or whatever idea I look to see on the screen.
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  • Avatar for alexb #14 alexb A year ago
    I'm glad Square Enix is giving this another push. I wish them luck as I've been a fan for years. But if there's anybody from Square Enix reading the comments, I wish you'd massively tamp down on all of the awful, forced humor and pointless changes to names and terminology. I don't care for it at all myself and I've had a couple of friends I tried to introduce to the series return after a few hours and say they hated the writing for being "too corny" in one case and "stupid and annoying" in another. Strangely, no complaints at all about the interface. I think the homey, slice of life style is universally appealing. You don't have to try to punch it up for the West to the point that you're obliterating that simple pleasure.
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  • Avatar for FirLocke #15 FirLocke A year ago
    Gimme dat Theatrhythm Dragon Quest <3
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