Sorry, Dragon Quest fans. If you want to continue with the series, you're going to have to do so on smartphones. The traditional gaming scene just isn't "justifiable" enough to make it a worthy proposition for Square Enix. Dragon Quest IV and Dragon Quest VIII are already on iOS and Android, and now it seems like "revamped" remakes of the original trilogy will join them.
In a speech at PAX Prime, Executive Producer Yuu Miyake confirmed that the original trilogy, released for the NES as Dragon Warrior 1-3, would be brought to smartphones as remakes, and the first game could even be made available this month.
"We are planning to release in the first part of September the first Dragon Quest. We're hoping to release [Dragon Quest] 2 and 3 in order in a period of two or three months, in a short span. We're planning to release subsequent numbered [games] — whatever is left — we hope to release that in order as well."
Ultimately, the games were chosen to be released on mobile platforms because Square Enix always wants Dragon Quest to be on the "most popular console or gaming machine available at the time."
"If you look at the modern gaming scape, a lot of people play games on the mobile platform. That's why we felt Dragon Quest would be appropriate to bring to that very popular game device, [mobile]."
Sorry, Nintendo 3DS fans. You'll just have to sacrifice those misplaced ideals of traditional gaming hardware and play catch up with the rest of the world if you want to continue being a fan of the most traditional video game series known to man. You and Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii, who is also not a fan of mobile gaming.
In another interview with Siliconera, Producer of the Dragon Quest mobile series Noriyoshi Fujimoto promised that the games would be revamped for the market, reflecting the company's high quality translations found in the games since the Nintendo DS days.
"In Japan, the classic games have gotten a revamp in terms of quality, so we're going to take one of the newest iterations of the classic Dragon Quest I and relocalize it for the mobile version. You may be aware, but the first Dragon Quest released in North America was released in 1989 – so we're not going to take that version, we're going to take a revamped version."
The original Dragon Quest will feature much less grinding and a much lower enemy encounter rate to make it at least a somewhat fun experience for modern audiences. By and large though, Dragon Quest III is the game to get excited for. The first two are a little too basic to be considered "fun" to newcomers thanks to very little story and very minimal variation in the gameplay. The third game is where there series really began to branch off from its most basic concepts and become a full fledged franchise that could be considered "fun" by today's standards.
Enjoy attracting a new audience with the smartphone audience, Square Enix. Don't forget about us though in the meantime, please. We'll be here once they move on to the next popular thing.