Enix Interview With John Laurence
by Sumire Kanzaki, Sensei Phoenix, and Citan Uzuki
John: We haven't really decided our lineup for next year, but you can expect big things, like RPGs, from us.
John: Also we're releasing an RPG in Japan called Endornesia. I don't know if you've heard of that.
RPGFan: Actually I have a question about that. Are you interested in localizing it at all?
John: I saw the game briefly when I was in Japan. I'd need to take a bigger look at a final version.
RPGFan: How well did Torneko sell? (I totally butcher the name)
John: It didn't do as well as would've liked to have seen it do, due to the fact the US gamers were expecting an RPG. I think there was some confusion as to what type of game it was. It's a dungeon exploration game.
RPGFan: Do you have any interest in doing any of Chun Soft's older games, like the Mysterious Dungeons series?
John: Oh, like Fuurai no Shiren?
John: Probably not. They self-publish. I don't think they would agree to bring any of those to the states. There's a possibility, but it's definitely not something we're looking into right now.
RPGFan: You mentioned some merchandising plans last year for Enix merchandise. What's going on with those plans now?
John: Oh, we're still looking into that, and now would be a good time for us to do it, but we're still trying to find the right partners for it and we haven't found them yet. We're also very focused on getting our games out right now, so depending on how things go with the sales of our games; it'll be something that happens after our lineup comes out.
RPGFan: The new Dragon Quest Monsters 2 game. There are two parts to it. Any reasons why there were two different games developed? Was it to compete with Pokemon or the new Zelda games?
John: I think it was a plan that'd been going on for a while, but I can't speak for other games. But there's a lot of cool features. It's basically a monster collecting game. It's not a real...it can be a single player game, but it's a lot more fun if you can use the link cable, making it more of a social, collaborative game experience. Not only do you trade monsters in Dragon Warrior Monsters 2, but there's these little RPG adventures you unlock. You unlock a traveler's gate using a magic key, which will transport you to a new world. This new world has it's own self-contained RPG quest, so there's some keys you can only find exclusively in each game. It's encouraging people to play together instead of by themselves. That was one of the things that made Dragon Warrior Monsters and Pokemon so popular, and we're sort of expanding on that. Having different versions of the game gives you more options.
RPGFan: Do you have any interest in doing other Tri-Ace games?
John: Like what?
RPGFan: (Damian) Like the Star Ocean GameBoy Color game.
John: Oh, like Blue Sphere? We're still looking into that. I'm not sure what the release date is on it.
RPGFan: I think it's May.
John: It's not going to be on our lineup for this year. There's a possibility for something like that next year. There's also some issues on that game with the text limit and the ROM size. There's a possibility we may not be able to fit it on a 32 megabit ROM.
RPGFan: Do you have any info on Star Ocean 3?
John: I think there's some shots of 3 released in a publication not too long ago. I don't have any information on that, the PR is still coming out of Japan, but we'd love to bring that out in the US.
RPGFan: Do you have any interest in publishing for consoles other than PlayStation 2 and GameBoy Advance? Any interest in Xbox or GameCube?
John: Our people have met with the Xbox people a lot, and then GameCube, we've supported every Nintendo platform, except for Virtual Boy.
RPGFan: There was an Enix game on N64?
John: Yeah, we had a launch title called Wonder Project J2.
RPGFan: Oh! I always wanted to play that!
John: And we had another one called Mischief Makers.
RPGFan: Does Enix have any plans at the moment to port Dragon Warrior IV, V, & VI to GameBoy Advance?
John: I can't comment on that one.
John: I know the answer, but it's classified.
RPGFan: Any other questions guys? (Damian) I have one. Why keep it Warrior instead of changing it back to Quest?
Editor's note: The short answer to this is that originally TSR had a license on the name Dragon Quest and now Wizards of the Coast hold the license.
RPGFan: (Damian) What's your opinion on the fan translated Dragon Quest ROMS being released online?
John: My professional opinion or personal?
RPGFan: (Damian) What's your personal opinion?
John: My personal opinion, not being an employee of Enix, I've always loved things like this. The problem is, we own these rights. ROM patching is illegal and...well, I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know what's legal or not. The creator needs a financial incentive to continue to create, and piracy takes away that creative incentive, and ultimately they're not going to make those games anymore and it hurts everybody.
RPGFan: (Eric) Are there any plans for Dragon Quest VIII?
John: There's been some talk of it and some announcements of it.
RPGFan: I think the official word has been, "Don't expect it any time soon."
John: Yeah, it's not going to come out any time soon.
Thanks very much to John Laurence and Enix for giving us their time and continued support of RPGFan.
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