Square Enix announced Oct. 30 that Dragon Quest VII will be released for the 3DS in 2013 in Japan. This entry in the series is considered the longest (excluding Dragon Quest IX). Doing a quick price check for the Dragon Quest games, VII is easily the most expensive and most elusive game to acquire (followed second by Dragon Quest V for the DS). With Nintendo handling the distribution of Dragon Quest titles in North America since the release of Dragon Quest VI for the DS. Considering the number of years since the initial release and limited availability of VII, the remake has a higher chance to reach the West following Square Enix’s evaluation of the Western market.
Most gamers received the first Dragon Warrior (the original title of the series to avoid infringing on the DragonQuest trademark) as a free promotional item for renewing or signing up for year-long subscription to Nintendo Power in 1990 (following its initial release in 1989 for the Nintendo Entertainment System). The savings to the player yielded a surge of success for the franchise in the West when the next three games followed every year through 1992.
The West missed the original release of Dragon Quest V in 1992 and VI in 1995 for the Super Famicom. After eight years, the West sets eyes upon the franchise once more with the re-releases of Dragon Warrior I & II for the Game Boy Color in 2000. Later that year, Dragon Warrior VII released for the PlayStation, making a gap in the Western market for V and VI. Though another re-release was marked when Dragon Warrior III arrived on the Game Boy Color in 2001.
After several more years, after the DragonQuest trademark legal issue had been worked out, Dragon Quest VIII released on the PlayStation 2 in 2005 while changing from the traditional overhead view to third person perspective and cell shading. Square Enix distributed re-releases for the DS with IV in 2008, and, with a gap of 17 years from the original release, V in 2009. The release of IV had an overstock from the number created and sales did not meet demand, which likely is the cause for the release of V to see one run, hence its rarity compared to the other games.
With reception from the DS remakes, the release of the already announced VI seemed unlikely. Until Nintendo stepped up to handle the distribution of the Dragon Quest franchise with the release of the new Dragon Quest IX in 2010 and a release for VI in 2011, a release after 16 years. Nintendo also handled the distribution of Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2’s release that same year.
In late 2011, Japan received the third Slime MoriMori Dragon Quest game for the 3DS (known as Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime in the West, which only saw the second in the series). In May 2012, Japan also saw the re-make of Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry’s Wonderland 3D (the original Game Boy Color version was released in the West in 2000). Since Dragon Quest VII is scheduled to be released in February 2013, the DQM:TW3D could see a release in 2013 followed by DQVII in 2014, if the continued trend of a one year gap between the Japanese and Western releases. DQM:TW3D saw a huge percentage of sales within days of release (unlike Slime MoriMori 3), which means its chances are strong as well considering the success of DQMJ2 in the West.
The original DQVII was the best selling PlayStation game in Japan as of 2001, and with the remake, it is likely to more than meet the anticipated sales. Dragon Quest is definitely a mainstay in the West thanks to Nintendo’s distribution efforts, and despite the weaker sales of the PlayStation version in the West in 2000, the franchise has gained a huge following since. The game should be able to sell based on the brand recognition alone, considering Dragon Quest IX allows the player to meet the main characters from every entry in the main series. As the anticipated date approaches, players should have a better guess if VII will reach the West.
A review for Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 is available on Hai5Cheese.
The Japanese site for Dragon Quest VII remake is at http://www.dragonquest.jp/dq7/.
- Square Enix will remake Dragon Quest VII for the Nintendo 3DS in a crafted manner (sunrisingblog.wordpress.com)
- Dragon Quest VII Set For 3DS Remake (nintendoscene.com)
- Square Enix Confirms Dragon Quest VII For 3DS And Gives Release Date (mynintendonews.com)
- Dragon Quest VII remake heading to 3DS (geek.com)
- Dragon Quest VII may be coming to 3DS (vg247.com)
- Dragon Quest 7 reborn on 3DS Feb. 7 in Japan [update] (joystiq.com)
- Dragon Quest VII Finally Sees a 3DS Remake (1up.com)
- Dragon Quest VII coming to the Nintendo 3DS (destructoid.com)
- Dragon Quest VII to get 3DS remake in late winter (polygon.com)