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John Alas
Dragon Quest Producer Discusses Series Popularity and Dragon Quest XI in the West
We might see it on our shores one day.
01.09.17 - 10:04 PM

The latest issue of UK gaming magazine Edge has an interview with Yu Miyake, executive producer of the Dragon Quest series discussing the popularity of the Dragon Quest in the West compared to Final Fantasy while hinting at a Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time localization.

dragon quest xi interview

Miyake said that the 'source of nostalgia' is different between the series and that Square Enix could have a done a better job with localizing the series, saying that the cartoon aesthetic may not be appealing to some Western gamers, noting that in Japan cartoon graphics are not seen as being childish and seen as being for all ages, while there is some stigma attached to it in the West. He remarks that people playing the series for the first time are surprised to see that the plot and subject matter are quite mature and that there is a disconnect between how it looks and plays. There has been more effort in promoting the spinoff titles Dragon Quest Builders and Dragon Quest Heroes hoping that it will lead to a successful Dragon Quest XI localization.

When comparing the series popularity in the West to Final Fantasy, he attributed it to historical timing. Dragon Quest's release on the Famicom was one of the first RPG's to come out for the console, being seen as a staple title for gamers while Final Fantasy VII fulfilled the same role in the west when the PlayStation came out. Miyake admits that there was not enough effort put into earlier Dragon Quest localizations.

dragon

Edge also asked Miyake about the challenges of maintaining the traditional Dragon Quest feel, while trying to maintaining the fanbase's interest in the series. His response was:

Instead of changing the game itself, we focus on changing the way its played in the world. For example, Dragon Quest IX was a handheld title because that's how people were playing games predominantly at the time. Dragon Quest X we made into an online game. That's how we try to keep the series fresh. In fact, we ran the risk of alienating fans when we moved from pixel art to 3D with Dragon Quest VIII. And when we made the tenth game, a lot of people complained about it being online. But it turns out that, in every case the game still maintains the traditional Dragon Quest feel.

Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time is due in Japan for 3DS and PS4 this year. A Nintendo Switch version is also in development. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is due in North America and Europe for 3DS on January 20th. Dragon Quest Heroes II is due in North America and Europe for PS4 on April 25th and April 28th, respectively.


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