Dragon Quest series creator Yuji Horii announced at the Niconico Super Conference 3 in Chiba that Dragon Quest XI is in currently in development at Square Enix. An interesting thing to note is that when Horii announced the news at the conference, Dragon Quest X producer Yosuke Saito and chief planner Anzai Takashi look visibly surprised, like he wasn’t actually meant to make the announcement.
Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda says that he wants the company to focus on the core gamers and traditional role playing titles. Matsuda says the company has tried too hard to cater to a worldwide audience and this has left many of their games including Hitman Absolution as incomplete and not fit for a global audience. Matsuda says the success of Bravely Default has made him look at the core fan base and the appeal of globally-minded releases.
“In the past, when we developed console games with a worldwide premise, we lost our focus, and not only did they end up being games that weren’t for the Japanese, but they ended up being incomplete titles that weren’t even fit for a global audience”
“On the other hand, there are games like the JRPG we made for the Japanese audience with the proper elements, Bravely Default, which ended up selling well all around the world.”
“Due to having split [the development mindset] according to regions around the world, we weren’t able to see this clearly up until now, but fans of JRPGs are really spread around the world.
“Through the means of various networks, the latest information that is announced in Japan is instantaneously being spread across fans throughout the world. Whether it’s North America, Europe, or South America. There really isn’t much of a gap [in the relay of information].
“With that in mind, and all of the collective fans, there’s a sense of mass, which loses the image of a niche market. For the new games we’ll be developing from this point on, while this may sound a bit extreme, we’ve been talking about making them as heavy JRPGs. I believe that way, we can better focus on our target, which will also bring better results.”
“The development team for Hitman: Absolution really struggled in this regard,” he recalled. “They implemented a vast amount of ‘elements for the mass’ instead of for the core fans, as a way to try getting as many new players possible. It was a strategy to gain mass appeal. However, what makes the Hitman series good is its appeal to core gamers, and many fans felt the lack of focus in that regard, which ended up making it struggle in sales.”
“So, as for the AAA titles we’re currently developing for series, we basically want to go back to their roots and focus on the core audience, while working hard on content that can have fans say things like ‘this is the Hitman, we know’. I believe that is the best way for our development studios to display their strengths.”
Square Enix has filed two new trademarks recently. The first is a trademark for Mechanical Apartheid which is thought to be related to a new Deus Ex title which is rumoured to be in development. The second trademark is for Triple Triad which is apparently related to a card game from Final Fantasy 8.
Dragon Quest X producer Yosuke Saitohas revealed to 4Gamer that the Wii U, PC, and Android title currently has 300.000 daily active players in Japan. User numbers increased for Dragon Quest X when the company released version 2 at the end of last year.
“We’ve only released the game in Japan, so you’ll be getting only Japan’s numbers, but we have about 300,000 people a day who actively enjoy the game. Thanks to having released version 2 at the end of last year, we’ve had even more active players since then.”
“At the time, we feared that version 2 could have actually decreased the amount of players. However, that didn’t happen so we were relieved. Well, it was a little unexpected that people who purchased version 2 and haven’t even been to Lendagia [One of the main continents in Dragon Quest X].”
Square Enix has released on online survey to gauge fan feedback on the popular Kingdom Hearts franchise. The survey asks what platforms gamers are playing on and which genre’s people prefer. Although Kingdom Hearts 3 isn’t coming to Wii U, it’s worth letting Square Enix know that there are Wii U owners out there that want the game. You can take part in the survey, right here.
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Square Enix have lifted the lid on the official box-art for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call for the Nintendo 3DS. The rhythm based game will feature over 200 songs and a brand new versus battle mode. Curtain Call is due to be released sometime this year.
Bravely Default series producer Tomoya Asano has explained that Bravely Second will have more of an emphasis on story rather than exploration. Asano mentioned that Bravely Default and Bravely Second both predominately target adult audiences, much like Final Fantasy and to some degree, Dragon Quest.
“Asano also let us know that Bravely isn’t a series that is focused on exploration. Rather, it’s meant to be more of a story-driven experience. This is why Bravely Default doesn’t make enemies visible on the map—referred to as “symbol encounters” in Japan—and instead, opts to use an adjustable random encounter rate, in order to let players streamline their experience. This system will remain in Bravely Second.”
“Originally, showing exploration more naturally is not something we put importance on because [the game] consists of deformed characters walking on a deformed map,” Asano shared. “However, having symbol encounters is convenient in that it allows players to engage in battles at their own pace. The adjustable encounter rate accomplishes this.”
“An interesting point worth mentioning is that Asano says both Bravely Default and Bravely Second target adult audiences. Asano pointed to the adult audiences of both Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy as the target audience for the Bravely games. In the past, Asano and character designer Akihiko Yoshida have said that Bravely Second’s heroine, Magnolia, is turning out a little more adult in nature than Bravely Default’s characters.”
“On the subject of Magnolia, Asano said to us, “With regards to Magnolia, we wanted to focus on new characters rather than the current four. It should be interesting, so I hope you are looking forward to it!”
It looks as though another Dragon Quest related game could be coming to the US, if a trademark found by Siliconera is correct. The publication has noticed that Square Enix has registered Luminaries Of The Legendary in the US. Speculation is rife regarding which Dragon Quest game it could be. Let’s hope it’s for the Nintendo 3DS remake of Dragon Quest VII, rather than a smartphone title.
Square Enix has revealed a new Nintendo 3DS XL bundle. The bundle includes black 3DS XL hardware with gold-colored Final Fantasy characters and silhouettes on the exterior, as well as a digital copy of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call. The bundle and the game will launch in Japan on April 24.
Bravely Default series Producer Tomoya Asano and Akihiko Yoshida have revealed in the latest issue of Famitsu that the visuals in Bravely Second will be noticeably improved over its predecessor, which has already launched in Europe and Japan.
“Basically the [battle] system does not change but the graphics are better than in the previous game. It’s possible to fill a dense background with thicker lines and strike a balance between the two. In the previous game, we felt the resolution was too low when zooming in. But this time, the denser background and camera zoom in does not affect quality, and unlike the previous game I don’t feel that [Bravely Second] falls apart when the camera is closer.”