News Article

Square Enix Wants To Bring Dragon Quest VII To The West, But Doesn't Know If You'll Bite

Posted by Damien McFerran

"We can’t promise anything"

If you're an English-speaking fan of the Dragon Quest series then you're probably not in the best of moods right now. After some good localisations for the Nintendo DS, Square Enix seems to have lost interest in bringing the franchise to the west, and while the announcement of the Dragon Quest VII remake for the 3DS is cause for celebration, it has been assumed that the game's massive script will prevent it from being released outside of its native Japan.

However, producer Noriyoshi Fujimoto has spoken to Siliconera about the chances of a western launch, and although the news isn't entirely positive, it at least shows that Square Enix is prepared to listen — should the demand be there:

In terms of DQVII, it has a lot of text to go through and translate, and we’ve received so many requests and so much positive feedback about the game, but unfortunately, we have to consider the cost and the manpower needed to handle the sheer load of text. In terms of scenario and script, the game is probably one of the largest in the DQ franchise. If a lot of people can buy it and support it… well, we can’t promise anything.

From Dragon Quest VIII and beyond, we’ve revamped the translation. For example, we’ve added regional twangs like those from Baltic regions sounding Russian and things like that. We’ve also updated the spells and monster names, so any classic titles we revisit, we want to say consistent. That being said, when we go back and update the classic titles, we make these changes. That’s another step in the process.

Going back to people who want DQVII to come out… we’ve gotten a lot of requests, we really want to do it, but right now, we need to hammer out what kind of resources we’d need to do it. We say this a lot, but, we can’t seem to get to the point where it’s justifiable.

These are understandable concerns — localising a game as massive as this will take a lot of effort, and that means Square Enix would need to be confident that a western release would set cash registers ringing.

Are you one of those people who would gladly sell a kidney to own this title, or are you not all that bothered? Cast your vote in the poll below and perhaps someone from Square Enix will see the results.

Would you buy Dragon Quest VII if it came to the west? (255 votes)

Yes! I'd be willing to sell my own family members to get my hands on this game!

74%

Maybe, I'm not totally sure yet.

19%

Nope, I'd give this a miss.

  5%

What's a Dragon's Quest?

  2%

Please login to vote in this poll.

[via siliconera.com]

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User Comments (98)

flummerfelt

#2

flummerfelt said:

I'd love to see DQ 7 re-released in the west... Great series, it's a shame that it's had such a rough release history over here.

Einherjar

#3

Einherjar said:

Ok, are they just insecure or totally deluded ?
This is a franchise with one of the biggest, most dedicated fanbases around, on one of the best selling systems of all time.
What exactly is there to do wrong ?

TobiasAmaranth

#4

TobiasAmaranth said:

For those who enjoyed Dragon Warrior 7, give "Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky" a go. It's absolutely amazing in terms of the depth of the world. The NPC interaction is the main thing I liked about DW7, and Trails in the Sky really scratched that itch for me.

Also, why do they have to re-translate everything? Does this game somehow have a different script from PS1's DW7? Game makers are weeeeird. Why wouldn't they just reuse the script? Heh.

SBurness

#5

SBurness said:

Maybe it would be cheaper to bundle a Japanese dictionary with every copy. I'd still struggle though it.

Artwark

#6

Artwark said:

Sell a kidney for a game? Seriously? Isn't that a little too extreme?

SpookyMeths

#9

SpookyMeths said:

Square-Enix not being sure of things is pretty par for the course. Worst market analysis team in the industry, bar none.

fchinaski

#10

fchinaski said:

I remember that the SquareEnix blog published a post sometime ago asking fans of the company what would they want to see next on Western shores: the comment box was literally flooded with DQVII localization requests.

Problem is, people are very vocal when it comes to this kind of localization, but this doesn't necessarily reflect on sales numbers. I wouldn't be suprised if even more than half of the people that scream YES, PLEASE won't even buy the game if it happens or buy it later on when it's cheaper (which doesn't help either).

Having said that, I guess this gives us a LITTLE hope at least. I'm currently playing the original version and would gladly play the remake right after it.

Peach64

#11

Peach64 said:

The issue is the type of person that visits this site will buy this game, but we're a tiny minority in the grand scheme of things. Just see the hype over W101 as proof.

Zemus-DJ

#12

Zemus-DJ said:

I would LOVE a 3DS remake of DQVII. I've been waiting and waiting...... Step up S.E. and Gimmie the good stuff.

SpookyMeths

#13

SpookyMeths said:

@Peach64 Difference is that Dragon Quest has historically had respectable sales in the west. VII, VIII, and IX all did well. Even the IV, V, and VI remakes on DS did alright (for being virtually unmarketed remakes). The last time a Dragon Quest game sold worse in the west than Wonderful 101 was 1990. Dragon Quest VII 3D would outsell Wonderful 101's LTD in its first month.

Atlus and NIS find it absolutely hilarious that Square-Enix "isn't sure" if their 2nd biggest IP would sell well in the west.

Zyph

#14

Zyph said:

SE's new management structure is getting kinda bull...not to mention all those mobile releases...

Geonjaha

#15

Geonjaha said:

I hate you Square Enix. Not only would I buy Dragon Quest VII, I'd also buy the other three 3DS Dragon Quest titles in a heartbeat - one of them is a remake of one of my favourite games ever. Set up some kind of pre-order or kickstarter system - Just do something you numpties. Stop robbing us of the continuation of the Mother of the RPG genre.

fchinaski

#17

fchinaski said:

@Peach64 I'm not sure that even 100% of this small amount of people will, frankly. It's easy to say "release it and I'll buy it in a heartbeat" (I'm not talking about anyone in this comment box), but SE have all reasons to be cautions when the DS remakes sold poorly in comparison to IX.

RupeeClock

#18

RupeeClock said:

I don't much care for the loaded poll choices, but I do really want to play the 3DS version of DQ7.
The trailer looked so polished with a grand amount of content, making it a great title to come back to in handheld sessions.

I would be content even if Square Enix released it as digital only, if they didn't want to risk a physical release.

This is the same Square Enix though that made the boneheaded move to release Dragon Quest 8 on Android and iOS, to mere tens of thousands of downloads.
That would've easily been hundreds of thousands on a console or handheld system, nobody wants to play an 80 hour RPG like that on their mobile phone.

unrandomsam

#19

unrandomsam said:

@RupeeClock I would rather spend 80hrs using an ipad with a real controller comfortably than the 3DS with its poor ergonomics. (That said so far only Final Fantasy III / Final Fantasy IV / Secret of Mana support them - From Square Enix).

Ninhau

#20

Ninhau said:

As long as they dont make it "New 3DS" only, id buy it.

that said, still reckon only a few would buy it. "Nintendo Life" audience is a niche

ajcismo

#21

ajcismo said:

I'd buy it. Not that they care since most 3rd party devs hate Nintendo consumers nowadays anyways.

Ninhau

#23

Ninhau said:

@ajcismo
their only problems with nintendo consumers are the sales. on the wiiu there are few systems sold, and on the 3ds, anything that isnt published by nintendo likely doesnt get sold (as seen on the charts). all comes down to the money. its expensive to release games, so they try not to risk too much

TreonsRealm

#24

TreonsRealm said:

Why is this even a question for SquareEnix? They've had plenty of success on the 3DS with Bravely Default, Theaterhythm, Kingdom Hearts, etc. and the translation could easily be handled by a company like XSEED. At this point, I'm sick of these third party's acting timid about EVERYTHING having to do with Nintendo consoles (home console or portable). Nintendo will likely pick it up and publish it in English and have a huge success just like Bravely Default while SquareEnix misses an opportunity to make a bigger cut by doing it themselves. I'm still scratching my heard over their idiotic handling of Deus Ex on Wii U and the supremely stupid decision to not bring the Kingdom Hearts HD series to Wii U (a system that would have been PERFECT for the series).

Porky

#25

Porky said:

I didn't like the Yes answer; it's too extreme for a video game.. so I chose maybe.

Geonjaha

#26

Geonjaha said:

@Ninhau - This isn't the only site on the internet where people are expressing a strong interest for getting the game.

Ninhau

#27

Ninhau said:

@Geonjaha people, who? internet users on forums? dont see "us" as the majority. they need more than a niche group to make a profit.
releasing games is always a gamble, and all comes down to how much of an investment they would have to make in order to translate the game. if they keep the costs down, with a decent marketing push, it might turn in a profit and make it worth their while.
Would you gamble/bet your own money on DQ7's success?

vitalemrecords

#28

vitalemrecords said:

Seriously - Give us the original PSX Text - and then do a software update later when the translation is finished if it is that important - charge us DLC or something to make up for the work load - seriously - we are a bunch of biters

RupeeClock

#30

RupeeClock said:

@unrandomsam Wouldn't a home console or computer be much better suited to this task than an iPad?

You neglect the portability of the system once you use a separate controller for it, a 3DS has all the physical controls needed.
I'll admit the original 3DS doesn't have great ergonomics, the XL really sorted that issue out though.

stephbm6

#31

stephbm6 said:

I WANT IT! Living in the U.S. I'd even buy a European 3DS and the game if it only came out in U.K.

Undead_terror

#32

Undead_terror said:

Never played a game in the series before, also if it has many games then I would want to know the full story anyways before playing this newer game....

RobMondavi

#33

RobMondavi said:

If square enix hasn't started work on a game that's practically two years old, then sadly I don't believe we will see it in the west.

ikki5

#36

ikki5 said:

probably I'm one of the only ones but I will pass on it. I find the sames are just too similar to each other and they get boring now, I loved Dragon Quest 9 enough for me to get Dragon Quest V but... i got really bored of it quickly.

unrandomsam

#37

unrandomsam said:

@RupeeClock Portable enough. A Wii U Gamepad with full portability (Everything built into it) is not an option. Carrying an ipad needs a bag anyway so carrying a controller doesn't make it much less portable.

I have the 3DS XL and the only good ergonomics are with the Circle Pad Pro on it and then that is not very portable either.

mjhopkins81

#38

mjhopkins81 said:

@TobiasAmaranth The remake has SEVERAL changes to it that would require several nuanced script updates. Additionally, the PSX version of the game has a translation that is...well, to put it nicely, a bit awkward.

NintendoLee

#39

NintendoLee said:

It annoys me as I've not legally been able to play this game in Europe. I love DQ games and sadly VII isn't available for us.

Jarod

#45

Jarod said:

this game is the main reason im considering importing a japanese 3ds nice to hear something about it coming over even if its just being considered

MLynxC

#46

MLynxC said:

I would LOVE to have DQVII for my 3DS. I've been waiting for it to come to North America since it was released in Japan. I am scratching my head as to why Square Enix is skeptical on releasing it here; Bravely Default sold very well in NA and that's a game I would have probably not blamed them being skeptical over but Dragon Quest? That's a game franchise you can expect to sell well around the world.

retro_player_22

#47

retro_player_22 said:

I had bought each and every Dragon Quest and Dragon Warriors games known to release in NA from NES, Game Boy and Game Boy Color, Nintendo DS, PlayStation, and PlayStation 2. There's nothing I would love more than to buy and play this remake as well.

Gold

#49

Gold said:

Don't worry about me. I'll buy the Day Zero edition. All I need is to import DQHeroes, get a PS4, and find Rocket Slime. I swear that game is hard to find in Tennessee.

ajcismo

#50

ajcismo said:

@Ninhau
The gaming industry is the only industry I can think of off the top of my head that readily blames the consumer for its "problems" (ie: lack of sales) and punishes those who show loyalty to a product. Its unfortunate, completely backwards, and simply put, wrong. 3rd party devs have taken control in a shift of power as of the last few years, dictating the policies of the hardware manufacturers and literally holding the consumer hostage in the process. It wasn't like that for the first roughly 40 years that the industry has been around. Nintendo, Sega, even Atari dictated the policies until the late 90s/early 2000s when Sony and MS decided to build hardware and mostly stay out of the software biz. Literally designing their hardware to the specs that 3rd parties wanted them to build. Being loyal to a brand like Nintendo comes at a price: Great 1st party software and innovative hardware design, but a severe lack of mulit-plat games by companies who don't give a flying you-know-what about you unless you buy for a system they want to program for.

Ninhau

#52

Ninhau said:

@ajcismo if a publisher doesnt sell the amount is was expeting, and then reevaluates their publishing policies, can you blame them? in the case of DQ7, the game has already been released in NA on PS1, so they could use the original translation, but its still a financial gamble. Bravely did nice, but was a original release, not a remake. As long as they keep the costs down, and receive Nintendo support, DQ7 could make decent business, especially trough digital sales (more than that, dont believe)

also, the same happens to the music or movies industry. just look at the amount of crap movies released during summer, all playing it safe. im just saying that publishers look at past sales data, and try to predict where they might make money, or not. And Square is hardly in a amazing financial situation right now, so they really try to not have a loss.

all im saying is that people around here forget that this is a business. dont expect Square to make a financial loss, just to show its fans some love. you dont run a business on "love" and "appreciation" (though they might try to convey that feeling trough marketing. in the end, games are meant to sell and make a profit). if some dont have the capacity to understand that yet, they will as soon as they grow up past their romantic view of the industry

fchinaski

#53

fchinaski said:

For the people saying they could use the original translation, please re-read the article: all DS remakes share the same style of translation that has been used since VIII, updating not only spell names an item names, but aiming to create different types of speech for each character.

As a professional translator, I can assure you that the PS1 translation is unusable. It has to be translated from scratch — simply updating the existing translation would result in a complete mess and it would prove more difficult to update it to the standards of the DS remakes than to re-translate it from scratch. They have to re-translate it not only because of this, but also because certainly the remake also has an updated script in Japanese.

Geonjaha

#54

Geonjaha said:

@Ninhau - Digital only release, with the only developmental cost being to translate the game? Yeah, I would. If Bravely Default can be a success then DQ7 will be fine.

ajcismo

#55

ajcismo said:

@Ninhau
All valid points, and an excellent discussion. I am simply frustrated with the "blame the (Nintendo) consumer" angle we've been dealing with for the last few years. In all honesty, I believe many of these 3rd party issues could have been avoided with proper marketing campaigns. Also, having a CEO in Kyoto continuing to do nothing to woo back 3rd party devs isn't helping either. But thats a different topic for another day, since my stance on Mr.Iwata is already well documented and very unpopular.

Steamboat_Willie

#56

Steamboat_Willie said:

I'll bite. In fact, I bit twice when I bought the 4, 5 and 6 remakes. I'll probably bite twice again if they release this one over here.

sevex

#57

sevex said:

I've never liked the "updated" spell/item names and regional dialects and haven't completed a DQ game since they started using them. I'd much prefer if they just used the original DQ7 translation.

Kaze_Memaryu

#58

Kaze_Memaryu said:

The three faces of Dragon Quest people!

Untitled

Right (Square Enix): "You want it, hehe. I know you want to play it!"
Middle (DQVII Fans): "Just give it to us already! We'll pay, so do it!"
Left (Non-Fans): "Dragon what? Wasn't it 'Dragonballs' or something...?"

argh4430

#59

argh4430 said:

After reading about this, it just sounds like Square Enix wants NOA to step in and do it for them, again. That's how Bravely Default went, after all.

Expa0

#61

Expa0 said:

Dragon Quest is kind of a weird series for me I absolutely love 4, I like 3.

5 is okay..

8 and 9 are pretty bad

I'm very on and off with the series, I would be willing to give it a shot if this gets relesed here.

onery

#62

onery said:

Square Enix is getting gutless as the years go pass. If this is what they'll do to a franchise like DQ I can only imagine what shenanigans the fools higher up there will do next. For lords sake we associated Square and Enix with quality RPGs but now... now...

sigh

DeChunk

#63

DeChunk said:

I would actually love more Dragon Quest over here. Hell, I don't even care if DQX is actually fun, I just wanna play as one of those ogres with my merfolk buddy helping out.

ZachBeacon

#64

ZachBeacon said:

Fans: GIVE US THE GAMES ALREADY!

SE: We aren't sure there's any interest.

Fans: GIVE US THE GAMES ALREADY!

SE: Did anyone else hear that? I think it was a gust of wind.

Fans: ???

@ajcismo Comic companies love blaming their customers for their shortcomings.

Lord

#65

Lord said:

Yes this is easy set up a pre pay system and then see the sales before you release.

Zodiak13

#69

Zodiak13 said:

I would buy it. Saw a comment about using an Ipad with a controller, and they needed a bag. Yeah, that's portable. Plus the XL feels awesome in my hands. Asked everyone at my work what they thought, and they say it feels great also. On top of that, the XL fits in my pocket. But that is just my opinion.

AugustusOxy

#70

AugustusOxy said:

"Thing is, we want 100 dollar bills to wipe our butts with, not fifties. Whenever we bring these games over they don't do pokemon numbers so we're all like 'screw you we wanna be rich! Not well off! Jerks!'"

That is how every publisher sounds when they deny localization.

deliangrapeman

#71

deliangrapeman said:

To any SE employee reading this:
I'd gladly pay $40 for a 3ds retail copy, or $60 for a psvita collectors edition. But dont you dare put it on google play / app store and ask me for $15. That's when I won't bite.

mamp

#72

mamp said:

Yeah I heard this game has a job system, nothing more annoying to me than games with job systems.

ravens326

#73

ravens326 said:

It would be major shenanagins if Dragon Quest 7 wasn't brought to the west. I must have it.

Crimzonlogic

#74

Crimzonlogic said:

Well, last night I watched Did You Know Gaming's Dragon Quest video, and that was basically my introduction to this series. It looks pretty cool. If they bring some games over on systems I own, I'll check them out.

Gorlokk

#75

Gorlokk said:

Please, Square Enix! You saw how well Bravely Default, a turn based RPG (that's also a new IP) Sold here! Dragon Quest VII must come!

ecco6t9

#76

ecco6t9 said:

So basically "We expect Nintendo to handle all of our 3DS games outside of Japan, except for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy since we can nickle and dime the consumer on that."

ascottx

#77

ascottx said:

I bought my 3DS in 2012 specifically to play Dragon Quest VII! Did not realize there was a strong possibility it wouldn't get localized after IV-VI and IX on DS which were all amazing.

Zombie_Barioth

#82

Zombie_Barioth said:

Can't say I have much if any sympathy for them, not when you have companies like Atlus, XSEED, or NIS, that make a living localizing games that are considered 'too risky' by most other companies. Surely much bigger companies like SE are far more capable than they are, especially when its their second largest franchise, the game Enix built its reputation on?

At the very least they could localize the DQM remakes, they would still need to do it from scratch but they aren't very text heavy originally being GBC games and all.

Tiredman

#83

Tiredman said:

I own the original and consider it the best Dragon Warrior / Quest. I found all the remakes on ds for the ones that got released in the West to be worse than the older versions. I would buy it when it goes down in price because Squeenix rather sucks nowadays. If the 3ds dq7 was exactly the same as the ps1 version, just upgraded graphics, I would be a happy camper, though I would rather see a digital release of the original on consoles instead of a handheld version.

AshFoxX

#84

AshFoxX said:

I'd much rather get DQVII than another friggen Final Hallway game any day of the week. DQ VII is the only one I haven't really had any time with since the only console version I have is VIII which was much cheaper online than VII, the rest I have on GBC and DS.

RPG's are only appealing to me on handhelds since they are a time suck and I can play them anywhere in the house and put them down at the slightest distraction without needing to find a save spot, and taking up the family tv.

My dream is a bioware Mass Effect game on 3DS, or even Vita. yeah, I'd buy a Vita for Mass Effect.

AshFoxX

#85

AshFoxX said:

@Crimzonlogic DQ IX was my first experience of Dragon Quest, and since then I have picked up Dragon Warrior I & II and Dragon Warrior III on Gameboy Color, DQ IV, V and VI on DS and DQ VIII on PS2. (Just called Dragon Quest in EU I believe.) I feel they have more appeal and character than any Final Fantasy game I have ever played, and it's sadly overlooked in the west compared to Final Fantasy, though surprisingly the opposite is true in Japan. I would recommend tracking down a copy of DQ IX and trying it out for yourself :)

TradeMark

#86

TradeMark said:

Have never played a DQ game before, but I've been wanting to try one out. So yeah, I'll bite...if it comes to the North America part of the "West", that is.

Crimzonlogic

#87

Crimzonlogic said:

@AshFoxX I might do so, if I look into the series a bit more.

I have actually never played a Final Fantasy game, unless Fables: Chocobo Tales on DS counts. (I don't think it does, since it's basically a collection of mini games.)

ollietaro

#88

ollietaro said:

Isn't DQ10 coming out in English?? And I didn't know translation cost so much. How much do you pay a localisation team these days? What are they made up of? Software programmers and translators?

salxicha

#89

salxicha said:

I'm wondering how much it costs performing localization on games. Square makes me feel like it is more expensive than the game development.

mike_intv

#90

mike_intv said:

Wasn't this released globally for the PS1. So updating localization should not take that much effort.

Tsusasi

#91

Tsusasi said:

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but with the number of fan-localized ROMs out there, why don't these companies reach out to the fan base to help with the translation? They are already working on these sort of projects for free. What if the were given some sort of compensation package? Something that would leave them feeling appreciated and not used, but at the same time diminish the massive costs and strain on in-house resources this sort of project would cause. It may not make for a likely pairing, but I think the idea has merit and however unlikely, it probably has a better chance than just expecting a release to happen outside of Japan. Just a thought.

Yorumi

#92

Yorumi said:

I don't quite get it I know there's more to it than just copy/paste as some things need to change but there is already a translation of the game. It was released in english on the ps1. Sure the spell names and some monsters and all have changed but surely the bulk of the text is usable. Not saying there's no work involved but they shouldn't need to translate it all from scratch.

BlueNitrous

#93

BlueNitrous said:

I'd buy it. I'd buy DQ X. Hell, even if you just slap the Dragon Quest name on any game I'd buy it.

GloryQuestor

#95

GloryQuestor said:

I echo the sentiments of many here who say that translation shouldn't be the issue. I agree that they already have a baseline English script with the PS1 version and a lot of fans who could volunteer to do translation work just to see this come out internationally, so what excuse is there really?

Right now, I see DQ as SE's best line. Final Fantasy has been grating on me lately — the last installment I played all the way through was X-2, and Dissidia 013 and my steelbook copy of XII are collecting dust figuratively. After hearing comments on XIII and XIV, I don't even want to try them. On the other hand, I consistently pop in DQ games into my 3DS every time I get. Between the tight storylines, balanced system, and Toriyama's artwork influences, DQ I - IX remain my all time favorite RPG games ever.

Another thing SE Japan could do is pull a Capcom: Don't worry about physical cartridges and make it eShop exclusive for international release. If Capcom is doing it to save money, why can't SE?

In the end, yes, they are running a business, but every business (especially a long-time one like theirs) should realize that you have to take the most risks to eventually earn the most profits. DQ VII isn't even a risky proposition, it's one of the major franchises they are known for and they already have what they need to get halfway to international release. Whoever is telling them different should be fired. :-|

Kurtz

#96

Kurtz said:

fignuts! i even bought the spinoffs monsters rocket slime/jokers etc as i love the universe so much. and DQ9 is my all time favourite rpg so yeah i want it just a little bit

Kurtz

#97

Kurtz said:

and come on wouldnt translating it be something of value to them even if its just to publish on phones later on!!!!

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