There was once an old man in Japan who hadn’t heard of Dragon Quest — he was killed for this trespass. True story, and the moral is that everyone in Japan loves Dragon Quest. It’s actually on the customs forms when you enter the country. If you check no they turn you away. However, when you jump over to the sandy shores of America or the rocky coasts of the UK the story gets a little different. Sure, DQ is still popular, but it ain’t that popular.
Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, wants to change that. In fact he thinks they can make DQ as big or bigger than Final Fantasy. Speaking at the Square Enix press conference, where Dragon Quest X was reportedly announced for the Wii (internet explodes!), Iwata said, “With the release of Dragon Quest IX, there are two things I’d like to make reality. The first is to build a thriving Japanese game market together with Dragon Quest that rivals the West’s. The second is to form a strong tag team to promote Dragon Quest overseas. At Nintendo, we were able to popularize the Brain Age series overseas, which was said to be unmarketable. I want to increase the number of people worldwide that understand the appeal of Dragon Quest, which represents all Japanese gaming culture … even if that only turns out to be a single person.”
If there is a company to do that than I’d say Nintendo would be it. Iwata says that they’ll start by working very closely with Square Enix on marketing the game. Does this mean that they’ll be pushing DQIX, which is coming out for the DS, with some of the heaps of money they’re making off the Wii?