Dragon Quest VIII Hits Japan
11.28.04 - 3:57 AM
Square Enix today released the highly anticipated eighth installment of its flagship Dragon Quest series in Japan. While online retailers like Amazon and Rakuten have become increasingly popular, up to 300 people were still queuing in front of major retail outlets such as Big Camera's Ikebukuro store and Yodobashi Camera's Shinjuku Hobby Store, when the shops opened at 07:00 am JST. Square Enix president Youichi Wada and series mastermind Yuuji Horii were commemorating Dragon Quest VIII: Sora to Umi to Daichi to Norowareshi Himegimi's release in Tsutaya's Shibuya store. Pointing to the fact that it has been the first time in the series' 18 year history, that an installment was released without any delays, Horii jokingly mentioned that the person happiest about this fact was probably the Square Enix president. Wada himself explained that his first video game was the original Dragon Quest, only to praise Horii by calling him a "god-like person". He went on to say, that it was a good thing that he was Square Enix president, so he had the chance to play the game prior to its release. Horii also emphasized the new 3D visuals and the game's traditional style. Yuusuke Asano, a 24-year old university student from Setagayaku was the lucky first costumer to receive his copy, before smiling at the camera together with Wada and Horii for a commemoration photo.
While Square Enix has remained silent regarding sales projections for the game until today, the company now expects sales of Dragon Quest VIII to surpass the 4.12 million copies its prequel Dragon Quest VII has sold since its August 2000 release in Japan. Dragon Quest VIII has yet to be announced for a US release, but according to statements by Youichi Wada, Square Enix plans to release the game outside Japan.