By now, the story is pretty well known that the only reason we’re playing Dragon Quest VII and expecting Dragon Quest VIII on the Nintendo 3DS is because of the outpouring of requests from the fans. Organized groups like Operation Hero on Facebook made their voices and logic loud enough to the point that Nintendo and Square Enix simply couldn’t ignore them anymore.
However, in spite of these two victories, a good number of Dragon Quest games still haven’t made it to the West. The Dragon Quest Monster remakes on the 3DS, the third Dragon Quest Rocket Slime game, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 3, and the biggest name of them all, Dragon Quest X. As the only mainline game that has yet to make it to North America in some form, fans obviously want to play it.
Of course, Dragon Quest X comes with the extra caveat that most normal Dragon Quest games do not, and that’s that it is an MMORPG. Localizing the game would be a monstrous task, but maintaining it would require an even larger, longtime commitment that Square Enix might not be able to make, given the series’ lack of popularity in the States.
However, Square Enix hasn’t brushed it off totally yet. At a panel, when questioned by a fan about the chances of localization, Producer Noriyoshi Fujimoto said that the company might consider it if the fan support is there, similar to the outpouring of support that Dragon Quest VII saw.
Dragon Quest X is unique in that it is the only MMORPG in the series and the only game developed internally at Square Enix. I can understand why fans want to play it, seeing that it is one of the most charming MMORPGs on the market, but at the same time, I doubt it would ever garner enough support for Square Enix to justify a localization. If you look at the risk and the limited support that the series already sees, you’d have to cut out an even larger portion based on the number of fans willing to both pay and sustain a subscription fee.
As dedicated as Dragon Quest fans can be, that’s a genuinely small number of people.
I’ll maintain my original stance in stating that the Nintendo 3DS games are worth fighting for, especially Rocket Slime which is nothing but a bucket of fun. However, without Nintendo’s backing, since it is a multi-platform game, and with a very limited outlook of success, I think Dragon Quest X is a unicorn fans would be chasing forever. My suggestion is to bite their lip, find a way to force through it in Japanese on the PC, and put all their efforts into Dragon Quest XI. As a single player JRPG that only requires one localization and little continued maintenance, it’s definitely an easier prospect to sell than Dragon Quest X.
In Japan, Dragon Quest X is available for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, smartphones, and PC. The game has been confirmed for a release on the Nintendo NX when it launches next spring.