Dragon Quest XI Teased for Western Release

In an interview with EDGE magazine, Dragon Quest XI executive producer Yu Miyake provided the first tease of the game getting a western release.

When asked about the series’ appeal in the west compared to Final Fantasy, Miyake said:

We’re still trying! [Laughs] It’s a topic we have been thinking about a lot internally: the question of why Final Fantasy is so much more popular than Dragon Quest in the west. […] One thing that does stand out: in Japan the target audience for Dragon Quest is vast. It ranges from primary-school students to people in their 50s. Now, Akira Toriyama’s art style is cartoonish, and in Japan that doesn’t alienate anyone; it’s not seen as childish.

But outside of Japan, I think there’s often a stigma attached to that kind of aesthetic. Now, when an adult tries the game, they will discover that the subject matter is actually quite mature. Nevertheless, players are still left with this disconnect between how the game looks and how it plays. That’s a tension that just doesn’t exist in Japan. What we’re seeing now is that the age of people who are playing is rising. Interest is also increasing. We’re trying to put a lot more effort into promoting overseas the spinoff titles we’ve been working on – Dragon Quest Builders and Dragon Quest Heroes – in order to soften up the ground for Dragon Quest XI.

While it may of seem obvious that Square Enix is planning to bring the JRPG west, the fact that the west never got Dragon Quest X made XI not releasing outside of Japan a very real possibility.

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Matthew Sigler

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Currently interning at Niche Gamer. I've been playing video games since I was three years old.



  • blackice85

    Eh, the fact that X was an MMO probably had more to do with it, and one that launched on the Wii and Wii U at that. This next title seems to be a return to the single player experience, so I’d say we’re all but certain to get it, especially after they finally went and localized VII and VIII for the 3DS.

  • Hildy1988

    I disagree. Dragonball is such a massive cultural cornerstone in America that I figure Toriyama’s artstyle would be more an asset than a hindrance, especially to a generation as addicted to nostalgia as ours.

  • blackice85

    True. I remember when I first started playing the series how I noticed the similarities immediately, and I only have a passing familiarity with Dragon Ball.

  • Phasmatis75

    What’s disheartening is this is kind of a trend I’ve noticed amongst japanese developers of them assuming the wrong things after a game has failed. Resident Evil after the reboots on the gamecube they believed it was because no one wanted survival horror anymore, not that the gamecube was not that great of a market. Now it’s graphics over it was an MMO. I liked Dragon Quest 8, never finished it, but I’d buy another (I finish most games I buy, but hundred hour ones other game can come up and I just never get back to them). My brother liked the spin offs.

    This is why I suspect Capcom needed that think tank to figure out what consumers wanted. Sad, but I hope this one gets brought over.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    If others are like my cousin; they don’t think Toriyama style mixes well with medieval settings. Also, everyone that’s into Dragonball aren’t the highest on the list of people I’d expect to enjoy turnbased RPGs.

  • Mr0303

    t’s great to hear Japanese creators talk about the Western market in such a manner. It sounds like they know it has potential and an audience to adopt their games. If they really want to make it in the West they really need to start localising the games in a more timely manner. An year wait for a big franchise like that is detrimental to the games.

  • ProfessorFluffy

    Sadly I think Dragon Quest 10 may have been a missed opportunity to help reinvigorate the series in the west. Although some DQ fans may be put off because it’s an MMO, the community that would jump on it just because it’s an MMO would be introduced to the series.

    I do feel a DQ10 western release should still be possible. Since its launch it has also been ported to PC and is being ported to the PS4 and Switch. If it were to release in the west at least on PC and PS4, it would have better odds for success than the Japan launch.

    Although it’s over 4 years old, graphically it could possibly still hold up since games with cartoony art styles are more ageless. Being an MMO it also gains the benefit of launching with extra years of content for people to play. This would help decrease the amount of people that would quit after the first month because they rushed the available content and have nothing left to do.

  • Jumanji Joe

    On one hand I really want this game l, but on the other I’m afraid to see how it’ll be “localized”.

  • Malcolm_Ecks

    If that were true then Blue Dragon and other Dragon Quest games would have sold a lot more based on Toriyama’s style. Not saying its a hindrance, but its not going to push sales. and I want DQ11

  • This Guy

    Like they did with DQ8 and Heroes. With witty British like actors who put a lot of charm into the aesthetics of the characters and world around them. I doubt this will change. Maybe some slight censorship for ladies who they may consider very exposed, but I don’t see any character like that in the main cast so far in this preview.

  • Some furf

    Ach, ae cannae wait tae see how this wee game gets brought o’er.

  • catazxy

    I hope more jap devs get some of these “revelations”, just the number of fan translated japanese games in english should have waken them up.

  • Kiryu

    Oi

  • MusouTensei

    He explains very well why the western games industry is such garbage.

  • Grampy_Bone

    DQ8 did well here. When they modernized the graphics, sound, voice acting, etc, people bought it. The move to handhelds with DQ9 was a mistake. The DS was seen as a kiddie toy. Constant re-releases of unpopular older titles with old-school gameplay and graphics were also not well received. I love older DQ games but they were not popular for a reason.

    DQ11 looks like it’s going with modernization again so that’s good, but they may have to rebuild the fan base once again.

  • Fear Me I Am Free

    I just hope if there’s censorship for the 3ds (which come on, you know will probably happen sadly), the Ps4 doesn’t get hit with the same censorship.

  • Sean Sharpe

    Dragon Quest games have very little to censor out and chances are the the Japanese version will get “censored” too… See the 3DS version of Dragon Quest VIII… Costumes changed because of stricter ratings board and SE wanting an “all ages” Dragon Quest.

  • Sean Sharpe

    Dragon Quest IX was one of the best selling Dragon Quest games in the west though.

  • Sean Sharpe

    Chances are there won’t be anything to censor in the first place. Dragon Quest VIII was censored on the 3DS, because of stricter rulings from the Japanese ratings board… Which means they’ll avoid things that will get it a higher rating.

  • Sean Sharpe

    I love the accents. I know a lot of people hate them and I can understand why… But I hope, personally, they don’t lose them.

  • Sean Sharpe

    Can’t wait for this one, although deciding if I want to get it on the PS4 (because it’s the prettiest), 3DS (for portability and retro graphics), or the Switch (for a middle ground) is going to sort of suck.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    The thing is though, DragonBall tends to appeal to people who otherwise don’t like anime, much like FFVII appealed to people who didn’t normally like RPGs. For many its one of the few if not only anime they like.

    DragonBall is one I’ve seen described as not seeming like anime. Even compared to Dragon Quest its less cartoonish and pretty atypical compared to what most people associate with anime.

    I’ve also seen people not quite realize DQ is Toriyama’s work because of it. I’ve seen the characters described as everything from “generic anime characters” to “DragonBall rejects”.

  • Wade Wilson

    When it comes to selling DQ in the west, it’s more about consistency. A lot of people loved VIII on the PS2 and if you’d just keep releasing them, you can build a following. I think Japan does tend to assume things won’t do well here, and at first, they might not, but if you keep consistent and release them, it will get a following if it’s good. (If not become a huge hit like the FF series.)

  • Jezza

    Dragon Quest is hands down my favourite series. Wish it got more love here in the west. The games that ended up on the handhelds deserved to be on a proper console. Here’s hoping for XI is released in NA!!

  • Wheresmymonkey

    I have a feeling we’ll get XI, but it will be a 3DS/Switch Exclusive with Nintendo on publishing duties again.

  • DemonAlchemist

    I would argue that “Dragon Ball” is not a cultural cornerstone, “DBZ” is. Most Americans have no idea about the franchise as a whole. Dragon Ball’s larger cultural impact at this point boils down to Super Saiyan Goku and not much else. There’s a reason why DBZ did so well here, it’s not nearly as cartoonish as the original Dragon Ball or most of its contemporaries.

  • DemonAlchemist

    Dragon Ball is anything but “less cartoonish”. Read the manga or watch the original Dragon Ball, Toriyama’s style of art and comedy are some of the most cartoonish things ever.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    Yeah, I agree, but that seems to be how its perceived. It would probably apply more to Dragon Ball Z than the original though.

    Like I said, the series has that same sort of appeal as Final Fantasy to people who don’t normally like that sort of thing. Both buck a lot of the stereotypes that turn them off in the first place, or at least have enough other stuff to off-set it, like DBZ’s fighting.

  • Dustin

    8 was already localized on ps2 but I agree they most likely will localize

  • Dustin

    I am a huge db fan image all episodes of dragon ball and dbz I would have to say there is a difference most americans only know dbz or dbs

  • Dustin

    I have the original so the 3ds version cut out Jessica’s costume changes

  • Dustin

    I agree the move to the Ds was a bad choice

  • Sean Sharpe

    It cut out how some of them look and did that so that the *Japanese* release would still get an “all ages” rating. Actual costume changes are still there since my Jessica is currently running around in the dancer’s outfit.

  • kevin

    lol yeah that’s not going to happen hell it seems like their embarrassed of the switch version considering we haven’t even seen it and they have announced the Japan release date for PS4 and 3ds with not even a mention of the switch. Square loves money and their def not going to miss out on ps4 massive install base when this game does finally come to the west.