News Article

Dragon Quest X Posts Poor Sales Figures In Japan

Posted by Damien McFerran

Wii U version shifts just 33,000 units

Square Enix is certainly in a tricky spot right now, with under-performing games and a major reshuffle at the top thanks to some poor financial results.

Things have just gotten worse for the firm with the news that one of its big titles for 2013 — Dragon Quest X on Wii U — has only managed to sell 33,000 units in its first week of release. Compare that with sales figures during the same period for Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (110,000 units) and Animal Crossing: New Leaf (58,000) and it makes for dismal reading — especially when you consider that New Leaf has been out for months.

Square Enix admitted that sales and subscription retention for the Wii version of Dragon Quest X — which launched in August of last year — were disappointing, but the hope was that the Wii U edition would revitalise the game's fortunes. That's clearly not been the case, and when you can't rely on Dragon Quest to pull in the punters, it's time to worry.

Do you think the Dragon Quest series has lost its shine in Japan, or is the online nature of this particular release to blame? Post a comment to tell us what you think.

[via escapistmagazine.com, api.viglink.com]

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User Comments (76)

ThreadShadow

#1

ThreadShadow said:

Helloooo, Japan? It's a little thing called "Dragon Quest"! Whaa happened?
It must be the online aspect.

Beta

#3

Beta said:

And the fact that it was already released on the Wii months ago.

Peach64

#4

Peach64 said:

It's not really a new game, it's a port of one most DQ fans will have on their Wii so not surprising there is little interest. If Square-Enix are smart they'd get Level 5 to make Dragon Quest XI as a single player 3DS game.

meltendo

#5

meltendo said:

Did it offer anything new? Shinier graphics alone doesn't warrant buying a game again. Also, can't they technically still play the Wii version on the Wii U?

MAB

#6

MAB said:

Probably something to do with Japan having way too many bloody games to choose from ;)

BTTFDeacon

#7

BTTFDeacon said:

I was going to say I was surprised then they say that the Wii version didnt do that well either.

Ichiban

#8

Ichiban said:

It looks like trash tbh. Bring a non port to the Wii U then we'll talk square enix.

Bigmac1910

#9

Bigmac1910 said:

Is it even a good MMO? I haven't heard anything about it and I do follow MMOs to a certain point.

hamsterfactor

#10

hamsterfactor said:

I'm hoping it's the online aspect combined with the fact that it was already a Wii game. I liked DQIX for the DS a lot, but I wasn't in love with the whole 'build your own party from scratch' thing - maybe DQX's problems deribe from that? I wish they went back to the character-heavy story-heavy DQ I love :/

luminalace

#11

luminalace said:

They should have never released on Wii so late in it's life and just launched on Wii U. The sales would have been higher and same with the retention of subscriptions.

Folkloner

#12

Folkloner said:

I heard these figures do not include all those who upgraded from the Wii version or digital sales.

Geonjaha

#13

Geonjaha said:

Dragon Quest lost its shine in Japan? Uh, no.
The Wii U is selling badly and many people already bought the Wii version.

Hejiru

#14

Hejiru said:

Wait, I though Dragon Quest games sold like crazy in Japan. What happened?

Nomad

#15

Nomad said:

I can't help but feel that it would have sold better if they had just made it a single player game. I don't think taking their biggest IP and tuning it into an MMO has really worked for them. Same can be said for FF XIV.

BraveBold5

#16

BraveBold5 said:

The game was just released in the 30 april, so this numbers are the selling of 2 days only
taiking in acount that this is a rerelease of a wii game and that has a subscription, in my opinion the numbers where good

Riquerico

#17

Riquerico said:

Well... serves them right?
Maybe now Square-Enix will stop turning single-player RPGs into MMOs/online games?

Reddaye

#21

Reddaye said:

Maybe they should have stuck with the traditional single player nature of the series and not try for an MMO cash grab?

Araknie

#22

Araknie said:

No guy it's not all that, it's simple: most DQ fans like single player JRPGs. Simple as that.

LDXD

#25

LDXD said:

@Jamouse could it be could it be the online fees? Could it? :o
Me being a fan of the original dragon warrior on the nes, I personally would rather it stay a single player game, and I have to feel most people feel the same way

russellohh

#27

russellohh said:

Hmm Square Enix needs money. A World Ends With You sequel would make 5 billiondy dollars. FIVE BILLIONDY

mookysam

#28

mookysam said:

Well duh, they shouldn't have made it an online RPG. Dragon Quest itself is clearly still very popular in Japan given what the remake of DQ7 sold a few months ago...

Gamer83

#30

Gamer83 said:

This happens when you screw around and do stupid crap rather than just make a good, traditional JRPG.

Schprocket

#32

Schprocket said:

@russellohh but Squire Eunuchs needs ELEVENTY billiondy - that's like nontupy billiondy more - to break even and put the rest into a Cayman Islands account...

MadAdam81

#37

MadAdam81 said:

If they make Front Mission 6 and release it in all territories they will shift a lot of games.

JFug

#38

JFug said:

Ummmmm, this game was released on March 30th in Japan. That's only been six days. Plus I'm pretty sure they are only counting the sales of March 30th and 31st in the 33,000.

Dpishere

#42

Dpishere said:

It is a shame that Square Enix is not doing so well, though honestly the last game they made that impressed me was The World Ends With You. Maybe the poor sales of their franchises recently are because they just aren't as high quality as their previous titles. If this keeps up who knows how much longer Square Enix will actually be around.

snoox

#43

snoox said:

If I'm not mistaken, isn't there a MONTHLY FEE??? If so, that's the reason, coupled with that it's a Wii port. The only MMOs that can do monthly fees seems to be WoW & Eve (in America). There is no chance in hades I will pay a monthly subscription fee for DQ, or for any MMO, or for any game period, that era is over(thank God).

Kyoto

#44

Kyoto said:

One or more of the following 3 perhaps:
1) People already bought it for Wii
2) People in Japan aren't interested in Wii U, so no Wii U-version to buy
3) People in Japan lost interest in DQ (which is very unlikely)

LordGeovanni

#45

LordGeovanni said:

Let us do the math:

("Dragon Quest Game - as a MMORPG?" + "Rerelease game just released" + "Monthly subscription" + "No real love for DQ from main company any more" + "Failure to reach typical DQ competence level") * "SE Screw-up level".

Just my thought...

*Note: SE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MY FAVORITE SERIES! (along side Zelda, both count as #1 because they are both great like that!) Stop Screwing Around and Make DQVII For My 3DS Already!

LittleIrves

#47

LittleIrves said:

To everybody saying the online fees are what doomed the sales numbers, I thought I'd heard the monthly subscription fees are actually making this a reasonable return on investment? The whole MMO experiment was a dicey prospect, to be sure, but at the end of its lifespan DQX may end up making a decent bit of cash money for Square Enix even with the poor sales..

LordGeovanni

#48

LordGeovanni said:

@LittleIrves But if it hits the sales at all it will probably suffer quite a bit. Not to mention that the issue is mostly the fact that a NON-MMORPG series is being dressed up and whored around as a MMORPG. It didn't really work with Final Fantasy or so I heard. Why would they expect it to be different for Dragon Quest? SE should just advertise the hell out of DQVII (And release in NA/EU) like Nintendo did for DQIX. That game turned out great! (Even if I didn't like the concepts behind that game).

JSuede

#49

JSuede said:

@JFug Bingo.

Dragon Quest may be more of a 1st few days type seller, but that doesn't mean more people won't pick it up. Also, if SE would have made a new DQ entirely rather than porting the MMO, it would have absolutely erupted. Heck, sales of the Wii U doubled in Japan last week.....22k isn't phenomenal but it is an improvement.

The Wii U is not performing well, but I am not worried about it in the slightest. Mostly, I am a touch annoyed that Nintendo still hasn't announced a Wii U Nintendo Direct considering it is now April and nothing has a release date. I have Monster Hunter to hold me over, but still. Even then, I am still confident they will have one in the near future, they know we are waiting and they will likely pump one out before the FY numbers are released or just after.

UnrealDan

#51

UnrealDan said:

Yeah I really had no interest in this game. Dragon quest should stay on portables IMO

SetupDisk

#52

SetupDisk said:

MMO is not Dragon Quest. I loved the Warcraft games but can't stand WoW(anymore, I was into it for a bit, but that was just more chatting with friends while playing).

mjhopkins81

#53

mjhopkins81 said:

Dragon Quest VII 3DS? Selling like hotcakes, and breaking records. Dragon Quest X Online? You get EXACTLY what you deserve, Square-Enix. Dragon Quest is NOT an MMORPG. It's not about staying on portables or consoles; it's about fundamentally changing the way the game is played in a cheap excuse to make a quick buck from subscriptions.

LittleKing

#55

LittleKing said:

I absolutely love Dragon Quest, yet, I have no interest in this because it is an MMO. Every MMO I've ever played has annoyed me to no end after awhile. Same thing with Final Fantasy; I never played XI and I won't be playing XIV.

On the DQ side of things, I hope SE doesn't launch any new DQ titles soon. Especially of less traditional styles. SE should instead port DQ VIII, and localize Terry's Wonderland and DQ VII. The 3DS has a decent user base now, and ports are cheaper than investing in new titles with backing online infrastructure. IMO, the Dragon Quest world is one of the worst fits for the MMO genre. That's not to say that they can't turn a profit on DQ X over an extended period of time.

On the FF side of things, I'm seeing way too much of FF XIII. Sorry, SE, XIII wasn't that great the first time around. We don't need a sequel and a sequel to a sequel. The XIII arc has five titles in it now. Secondly, going MMO with both of your main RPG series was risky. Both FF XIV and DQ X are MMOs. FF XIV was a turd, and now they've had to rehaul it. Happily, it looks like they got it right this time, but it shouldn't of required two tries to begin with.

Also, asking whether or not the series has "lost it's shine in Japan" is the stupidest thing I've ever read on this site. 800,000 copies of DQ VII sold in four days says "no". The first-week sales of the remakes have been rising with every title. DQ VI is the only one to surpass DQ VII, and only by 10% or so (both first week and lifetime sales), and that's good considering the huge install base for the DS versus the 3DS. Terry's Wonderland sold over half a million copies in it's first week. According to VGChartz, it's almost at a million (0.95), only 400,000 copies behind Joker 2 (1.35). Not bad for a remake on a system with a mere third the Japanese install base.

AcesHigh

#56

AcesHigh said:

Maybe because Dragon Quest is a single player RPG based on STORY, characters and ONE person's emersion in a fantasy tale?! There has not been one MMO that has come close to providing people who like single player experiences something they can sink their teeth into. Why does everything have to be MMOs these days? If it was a true traditional DQ, it would be flying off the shelves like every installment before. Note to new president... get back to what you do best. Don't follow the "trends" lead by your heart because your mind is always overqualified!

JFug

#57

JFug said:

Excuse my language, but when's the goddamn Wii U 3rd party direct?

Kirk

#59

Kirk said:

What do they expect?

It looks average for a current-gen game, never mind a supposedly next-game, and it's subscription based.

Stop trying to take the piss with half-*ssed HD ports of very average looking Wii games and maybe the sales numbers would be higher.

MetalKingShield

#60

MetalKingShield said:

I'm a HUGE fan of Dragon Quest, but I'm sorry, any game that requires a mandatory internet connection deserves to flop.

TotalHenshin

#61

TotalHenshin said:

The huge sales of DQVII shows it certainly isn't because of the brand losing its shine. This was, in all likelihood, primarily due to 1) the Wii version of this game being available long ago. So both Wii and WiiU owners could simply play the Wii version. This is also why, pretty no matter how good the Director's Cut of Deus Ex: HR is, it will underperform. Speaking of underperforming 2) the WiiU still doesn't have a large install base in Japan. That is the second reason this game isn't doing so well. I'd say the primary problem is the first one.

BakaKnight

#62

BakaKnight said:

Well... if the Wii version had already sold less than expected then it's just obvious the WiiU version sold worse, especially since the Wii version play perfectly on the WiiU.
Maybe for a single player game more people would have waited a refined version, but for a MMO I can see all the interested people buy the first version coming out, no matter the "details".

About the multiplayer making the game less appeling...
Well, personally I loved to play DQIX in single player and althought it was a shame to not have characters with a story in the party I must say that having my own made teammates was still amazing, I loved the party I made and imagine what kind of people they could be!

In short DQIX in my opinion offered a fully acceptable compromise to single player style even if the game had multiplayer added, however DQX probably pushed too much the multiplayer thing by becoming a MMO...

Admirable the risk Square-Enix took and it's always great when developpers risk and try to do different things, but not always this lead to success.
I quite remember an article here VERY recently talking about this matter, so I really no need to say more XP

CanisWolfred

#63

CanisWolfred said:

Ouch, that's gotta suck. I don't like the idea of a DQ MMO, but even so, it deserves to do better than this.

FritzFrapp

#64

FritzFrapp said:

I would like to see the next DQ on 3DS and Wii U. Take the best ideas from DQIX and add StreetPass, online and local multiplayer, DLC, collectible cards, perhaps even some NFC.

DJDALLYDEE

#67

DJDALLYDEE said:

Hmm, from what I'm hearing from a lot of others, Square should be happy that they managed to get the buys that they did.

GreenDream

#68

GreenDream said:

This just in: Japan is slowly breaking free of it's long-standing addiction to JRPG crack. Square Enix is leading the way with their patented treatments, prescribing their notorious notables:
"Final Hallway 13",
"Broken Fantasy 14",
and "Dragon Flop 10".

More chortles expected in future forecasts, such as for the aptly named "Lightning Returns: The Box Art Is Not Lying to You This Time Around!"

kurtasbestos

#70

kurtasbestos said:

The problem with Dragon Quest X is that Japanese people STILL don't understand the internet, other than people with science phones. I don't think I know anyone with a WiiU yet, but ot a single person I know who owns a Wii in Japan has theirs connected to the internet, and most of those people don't seem to know that you CAN connect it to the internet (or if they do know, they don't know why you would want to). I even saw some thing on TV recently where they were talking to some famous old lady and the topic of her obsession with Dragon Quest came up... she owns and has played every game in the series, but she said she won't play DQX because she hates the internet.

eviLaTtenDant

#72

eviLaTtenDant said:

While i think it was worth a try maybe the series really is more fitted to local plays.
Or it should have been released on a handheld, idk.

TroyAikman

#73

TroyAikman said:

Reading through the reviews on Japanese Amazon, which, contrary to what one may think, is actually a fantastic resource for sourcing crowd opinions prior to localization, the Japanese just did not like how the game was an MMORPG. The pacing is too slow and the beloved Dragon Quest atmosphere can only mitigate this huge flaw so much. There are, of course, a handful who love the game and claim to have played it for many, many hours, but these people are in the minority. The original on the Wii is similarly lowly reviewed: sitting around 2.5 stars.

@kurtasbestos
While I would never be so bold as to dismiss what you have heard first hand from Japanese people, I still find it difficult to simply dismiss an entire population under a such a broad generalization. There are too many other factors at work here to pinpoint one facet as the problem.

zerocommazero

#75

zerocommazero said:

I have little interest in MMOs.

Buut, I would give it a shot if they put it out on the 3DS also and had cross-play like MH3U where you could continue your save, essentially always having your game at hand.

That would be awesome.

Nintenjoe64

#76

Nintenjoe64 said:

I don't know if my figures are 100% correct but isn't 33,000 copies a good proportion of game sales per console?

3DS Units in Japan - 9,000,000+
Luigi's Mansion 2 - 110,000 (1.22%)

Wii U Units in Japan - 450,000
DQX Wii U - 33,000 (7.33%)

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