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Dragon Quest Producer Explains Why The Series Hasn’t Been A Massive Success In The West

UK publication EDGE managed to spend some time with Dragon Quest’s Executive Producer Yu Miyake. Plenty of interesting things were discussed in the interview including why the series has never really taken off in the west unlike Square Enix’s other property, Final Fantasy. Miyake attempted to explain why he believes that might be.

“One conclusion that we’ve reached is that it’s a question of historical timing,” he began. “When the Famicom came out, Dragon Quest was the key game everyone was playing. But when the PlayStation came out, Final Fantasy 7 was the game that everyone was playing. So the source of nostalgia is different for both groups: in Japan it’s Dragon Quest while overseas it’s Final Fantasy. The truth is that if we’d put a lot of effort into localising Dragon Quest at the time, we probably wouldn’t be facing this issue today. I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but we kind of messed up in that regard.”

Source / Via

25 comments

  1. I think its just more that its different to what we normally get in the west. I am always more hesident to buy a jrpg than another game. only jrpg i am playing is Xenoblade chronicles 3d and i am still trying to beat it with 50 hours under my belt so i dont think i have the money or time to invest in another one for now

  2. Seem to me the curse was broken with Dragon quest 7 on 3ds.
    Is nice for a change that they admitted that is their fault.

  3. He’s not wrong.
    But i believe it started back in the NES era, with the simple fact that it had a different name all together.
    Dragon Quest was on the NES, and it was Dragon Warrior 1 thru 4.
    By the time the series got it’s proper name in the west it was the PS2 game as i recall being known as Dragon Quest 8… they even touted how it was the FIRST time Dragon Quest came to the west.
    But in reality, they should have gone about it a different way…
    Had they said “Dragon Warrior is now Dragon Quest as it’s been in Japan for years!” then i think they would have done a bit differently.
    As is, Final Fantasy is a big deal cause it was the Nintendo RPG that showed the players, rather than just a first person view.
    In fact, i believe it’s a lot of reasons why.
    But they just gotta push harder, and fans need to talk about the series more to other gamers.
    It’s a good series, it just needs more love an attention.

  4. Every time I see video footage or screen shots of any Dragon Quest game, they always look so cool. I like the art style of the characters etc. I’m very surprised I never played any of these games. I have more interest in this series than Final Fantasy (which I’ve also never played).

    1. Ridley 4 Smash Switch X3 (Dragon Ball Super & the Buu Saga of Dragon Ball Z Kai both air 1/7/17 on ! Yay!) says:

      That’s Akira Toriyama for ya. He has a great artstyle. It’s one reason why Chrono Trigger & the Dragon Ball franchise is so big in most of the world.

  5. I don’t think that has much to do with it. For me personally it’s the look of the game. All the gameplay I’ve seen of Dragon Quest has cartoony enemies with these goofy looks on their faces. It looks kind of like a children’s RPG; more akin to Pokemon than Final Fantasy. Western RPG’s tend to have a much more serious tone, which is why I think FF was better received.

  6. It is their fault. From the name change confusion (from NES era, on) to them not even bothering to localize some of the entries to the series. I hope it does better on the Switch, I really do, but that being said, they need to actually TRY advertising this properly this time around, and cater to the markets they want to succeed in.

    Graphics have nothing to do with it. Ni No Kuni did well on the PS3 in the US, and that had an even more “childish” look, so I disagree with that statement. Make a compelling product, advertise it, and release it here in the US, and it’ll do well.

    1. I was just speaking from my own personal experience. Also I don’t think Ni No Kuni looks childish at all. The art style is very reminiscent of a Studio Ghibli production. It looks beautiful.

      1. Somehow an interesting difference in viewpoints.
        To me, Dragon Quest doesn’t look childish. It is more just a comical style for a game that does not take itself serious.
        Ni No Kuni on the other hand looks as childish as it gets.

        Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s not something that would stop me from playing.

        1. I completely agree with your view of Dragon Quest. I never said that it looks childish, just that it looks like a children’s RPG. I might call Ni No Kuni a children’s RPG as well, but because it seems to take itself more seriously, it looks like a more attractive RPG to me.

  7. I loved the Dragon Warrior series and when they abandoned Nintendo they lost me as a fan. I only ever owned Nintendo consoles. Playing Dragon Quest 7 now and it’s fun… just a little confusing sometimes. Looking forward to 8.

  8. If they release all the old Dragon Quest games on modern consoles,I’d give them a shot,espacially DQVIII.I don’t play handheld games anymore and all the DQ games have been coming out on handheld or mobile so…

  9. I do agree with him to be honest and for me I would give him the thumbs up. Thank you Miyake san for being honest.

    Personally, dragon quest has been the hard to find JRPG game. I remember back then I could only find Final Fantasy translated roms and giving the fact Final Fantasy 4,5 and 6 were available in the US market. It was easier to get an imported game.

  10. He’s not wrong. Also notable is that tabletop RPGs were the huge moral panic of the time in North America, with Evangelicals convincing parents that they led to ritual murder and Satanism, another moral panic of the day. As ridiculous as it seems in hindsight, otherwise rational people were freaking the fuck out over nerdy kids in basements rolling nontraditional dice. Look at all of the Nintendo of America localization that removed anything that could be seen as satanic or even religious, even in games like Castlevania! So it probably wasn’t the best time for console RPGs to make their debut. A parent might look at a Dragon Warrior box, shudder, and grab Mega Man instead. They started to make headway as the panic ebbed in the 16 bit era, but it really was FFVII that got people on board, as the gamers aged, made their own purchasing decisions, and that moral panic was seen as quaint in hindsight.

  11. That cuck Wada and most of the cuckold shareholders at Square didn’t want Final Fantasy to get overtaken by Dragon Quest. Now that people see how shitty Final Cuckoldry is with XV, maybe we can get some actual games instead of a fucking movie.

    1. Ridley 4 Smash Switch X3 (Dragon Ball Super & the Buu Saga of Dragon Ball Z Kai both air 1/7/17 on ! Yay!) says:

      Must be a very, very small minority complaining about FFXV being shitty because this is the only comment I’ve seen refer to it as such.

  12. Ridley 4 Smash Switch X3 (Dragon Ball Super & the Buu Saga of Dragon Ball Z Kai both air 1/7/17 on ! Yay!) says:

    Before I read the article, I was expecting some bullshit excuse. I’m happy I was proven wrong! He’s exactly right. Dragon Quest doesn’t do well in the West because while Final Fantasy games were getting localized in the late 1990s & throughout the 2000s, Dragon Quest was not so the following in the west for Final Fantasy is largely bigger than Dragon Quest.

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