Those who doubt that Dragon Quest still has a grasp on the Japanese market might want to rethink that assessment. It’s only been a week since the Nintendo 3DS remake of the Dragon Quest VII hit shelves, and it’s already sold one million copies.
Dragon Quest VII remains one of the most popular in Japan’s longest running RPG series. Worldwide, it sold 4.5 million units back during its original run on the PlayStation, and it sits high and mighty as the third best selling in the series after the PlayStation 2′s Dragon Quest VIII and the Nintendo DS’ Dragon Quest IX.
A red flag was thrown up when Dragon Quest X crashed and burned on the market, not selling well for any series let alone the high standards Japan has for Dragon Quest. The decision to release it on the dwindling Nintendo Wii obviously had some kind of part to play in its poor performance, but a required subscription fee also turned off a lot of gamers considering free online gaming is available through the likes of Monster Hunter these days.
A Wii U version is still set for release this March, which could give Square Enix the time to correct its mistakes and breathe new life into the series.
Dragon Quest VII is a different story. For one, it’s already a popular title. Two, it was wisely released for the Nintendo 3DS, and Japan is swarmed in portable gaming these days.
Most importantly, this is the first traditional release in the main series for quite some time. Both Dragon Quest IX and X were online RPGs, and both focused more on social interaction than a solid single player campaign. Dragon Quest fans have been needing an old school grand quest for some time now, so the dam was bound to break eventually.
Still no word if the game will be brought to American shores, but Nintendo has stated they were dedicated to bringing as many games over from Japan as possible. It would seem silly to let such a high profile release go unnoticed, especially given the success its seen in Western countries in recent years.