Dragon Quest X not Meeting Expectations

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

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By


Yoichi-Wada-Steps-Down

Former Square Enix president, Yoichi Wada

Square Enix has certainly seen better days, but one statement made by retiring president Yoichi Wada has sparked some curiosity. Dragon Quest X seems to not be meeting expectations.

“We have done everything we can do to adapt and respond to the drastically changing environment. However, we have not been able to accomplish satisfactory results since FY2011. I intended to do what had to be done, but these results came despite my best efforts. We are performing negatively in the Amusement sector, negative in EUR/NA console games, and although Social Media Games are doing well, MMO is not performing to the level we anticipated.

The MMO in question is probably Dragon Quest X, seeing as it is the only MMO that Square Enix has been in a position to make money on, as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has yet to be released. And since the Wii U version of the game only moved 33,000 units its first week, for a game that was announced back in 2008, and thus has been in development for at least four years, that’s not a great number.

While there is no word on a Western release, in my opinion, it kind of needs one. MMOs have never been popular in Japan, so while Dragon Quest may be a massively popular franchise, it seems that most of the fans aren’t really interested in Dragon Quest X. Westerners on the other hand do like MMOs. So long as it is free to play in some fashion (i.e. a couple of hours free a day on the user’s time, not Square Enix’s; a real money item shop, etc.), most Wii U fans will probably give it a shot. And it could bring people who wouldn’t normally play a Dragon Quest game into the fold. Or it could be I’m overly optimistic, because I want to play Dragon Quest X.

SOURCE

About Guy Rainey

Iā€™m Guy Rainey. Iā€™m a hardcore Nintendo fan, a PC enthusiast, and a Sony sympathizer. Also an amateur/aspiring game creator. I love any game that puts story as the main focus of the game, so that means JRPGs are my favorite genre almost by default.




  • jcl

    I want to play this game šŸ˜ Did this game do okay critically in japan? i feel like DQ would work fine as an MMO.

    • The only review I can find (that I can understand, anyway) for it is Famitsu, which gave a 36/40. If I understand Famitsu’s scoring system correctly, that means 4 reviewers gave it a total of 36 points out a scale of 10 for each reviewer (so 4 9s), so I would say quite well received. But then, Famitsu may or may not be a reputable source, so…

  • DigDugDude

    Localizing a game that big would take a lot of time/money, but it would really be a big title the Wii U needs to set itself apart.

  • I can not express how much I want this game. I’ve been following its coverage ever since it appeared in my issue of Nintendo Power.

  • smacd

    I’m a huge fan of DQ, but I personally couldn’t care less about DQX. The problem is the serious shift in direction from the feel of DQ in the last few iterations, and then going fully to an MMO is a baffling decision for the series. I can’t be the only person who sees the term “MMO” and simply tunes the rest out.

    • HaloEliteLegend

      I’m with you there. DragonQuest 9 was a big leap from what everyone was used to, although for me, I felt it wasn’t too bad. They announced DQX as an MMO, and I scoured every inch of the internet hoping the article was wrong. There was absolutely no way I was buying an MMO for the Wii, Wii U? Maybe, but I hated the whole MMO concept altogether. It just took everything away from DQ.

      I sure hope they make up for it with a good storyline and combat system.

  • Mizu D

    DQ has always been huge in Japan but for DQ10, no one buying it in drove. They usually move million, the Wii version have a hard time reaching that number. Reason for it? Been an MMO. What more releasing it much later to a smaller userbase that already experience it, they are really far behind on what the consumer really want.

    And that probably one of the many reason the company have going downhill during the last 5 years.

    MMO is a double edge sword and that hit rock bottom big time with the abysmal failure that is FF14, the worse rated game in the series by far. They can patch and rework all they want for the reborn version but most of us will just pass on from it.

    The field too large to permit mediocre and sub par effort.

    IMO, and I am not the only one who feel that way, Squeenix is irrelevant nowadays. They do not cater to what people want nor do they make an effort to generate something we would want from them.

    If the game good enough, we will buy it but not in drove (Sleeping Dog, another reboot of Tomb Raider, etc). If it is bad, we will stay far away from it (FF14, FF all the bravest).

    • HaloEliteLegend

      Exactly. Personally, I think they should move away from the whole MMO thing. It’s really driving sales down. It’s NOT what consumers want, and I feel they should have noticed that by now…

      Hopefully their recent change in higher management changes that after FF14.

  • i would love to play it but id probably wouldn’t even touch it cause of you having you BUY THE SOFTWARE AND THEN PAY FOR ONLINE WHIT OUT HAVING AN OFFLINE MODE! seriously ether pay for the software or pay for the mandatory online gameplay not both ><

    • You know, that would be an excellent idea. Nintendo should let people download the game free with a free 30 day trial. Then you start paying. In fact, Nintendo should be doing that now, even in Japan. It works for other MMOs, and it would probably make more money in the long run.

    • HaloEliteLegend

      I probably wouldn’t object as much if they gave the software for free and then made you pay. But paying for software first and then also paying a monthly fee is out of the question.

      All MMOs like Wizard101, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, all of those, are available for free, with a free-to-play mode, and you only pay if you want the full features of the game, not to get the software itself.

      This is another thing they really need to work on.

  • Tyknu

    How can’t they be talking about other mmos? FFXIV did get released before being taken down when it did poorly the first time. FFXI (which just got a new expansion) is another mmo that you seem to have forgotten about, as it is one with a small but loyal fanbase that used to have a huge player base before player population got so low that they had to merge the US server with the Japanese one, but the game itself is pretty terrible. If I remember correctly, Square also published a small mmo from another company at some point as well two years ago, but I haven’t heard of it since. And though they didn’t publish it, I believe that some of their developers from Final Fantasy did work on Fantasy Earth Zero published by gamepot, which is not defunct in the US. But this all together, and I think it is clear that he was refering to more than just Dragon Quest X, which may never see a release here in the States now that the sales were so low in Japan. It could also mean that they will give up working on FFXIV, since not even Dragon Quest X was a success.

  • The Japanese don’t like MMOs? You’d think they’d be all over that kind of thing. But, I still hope we see this come to the US. The Wii U is kind of starving for game releases at this point, and this looks like just the game.

  • oldguy

    >MMOs have never been popular in Japan
    Hello Phantasy Star Online 2

    • Granted, but that’s an exception rather than a rule. I would actually be curious to know why Phantasy Star Online has made a solid impact in Japan. It’s more of a “western” RPG, so it can’t just be that it is more palatable to their tastes.

    • An Tran

      It seems to me that the Japanese just really like these types of Action RPG in addition to the more traditional turn based RPGs and tactical RPGs. Though, especially with how the genre has evolved in Japan, I think there is a very clear difference between Japanese ARPGs and Western ARPGs, with the Japanese style obviously having SOMETHING about it that is incredibly appealing to the Japanese (and myself as well, I can’t get enough of them; personally western RPGs in general can’t hold my interest for very long at all). Though at the moment I too little energy to make a comparison of the two styles hahah….
      (Maybe it’s the speed, flexibility, and smoothness in combat. Just my opinion, but I find western RPGs in general to be more clunky and less immersive in comparison.)

  • Good. I hope it bombs. I’m sick to death of their social games, browser games, Iphone games and MMOs – I hope they all go to the gutter. All we really want are classic, well told stories with well thought out done battles systems, they did this in the 90s – what’s the problem now?!

    • You think that deep, complex stories can’t be told in social games, browser games, mobile games and MMOs? I dislike that companies tend to use said games as easy money grabs rather than making something really worthwhile. If something worthwhile did come from those places, it would be a boon to our favorite hobby.

    • FrancisUnderwood0482

      did you read the article? “although Social Media Games are doing well, MMO is not performing to the level we anticipated.ā€œ so expect more SMG crap from SquEnix going forward.

    • HaloEliteLegend

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      There’s your reason.

  • I think Wada is refering to all their MMO’s not just DQ10. Some Japanese business people tend to speak in fuzzy logic and relative blanket generalities alot. I think DQ10 is struggling is due more that it requires apaying monthly subcription to play online, and that is hurting it. They need to switch to a Free-to-Play model and only charge $ for stuff like new costumes, special booster items, special character accessories, weapon skins. PSO 2 is F2P with “Arks cash” you buy with credit card that’s used to buy certain things, but the core game itself is totally playable and mostly FREE, and now PSO2 has 2.5 million players now.

  • Steve Baltimore

    Love Dragon Quest but I hate MMOs so I’ll likely skip this one as well. They maybe able to tell a decent story, but I feel it will fall short of what a good single player game could have done.

  • Xx_Kares_xX

    Wow.. your logic and reasoning are VERY flawed. MMO’s aren’t popular in Japan? That’s a new one. Not to mention Dragon Quest doesn’t have the following here that it does in Japan so it’s bound to fail even worse. Square needs to cut their losses, APPEAL to the NA/EUR console market by actually LOCALIZING ALL THEIR GAMES, and stop making shitty ass cash ins.

    • http://kotaku.com/5933176/how-dragon-quest-x-could-forever-change-the-gaming-landscape-in-japan

      “MMORPGs are far from popluar in Japan, especially when compared to the West. There have been a few MMO successes- e.g, Phantasy Star Online and Final Fantasy XI -but the MMO market is so small in general, that even the MMO juggernaut World of Warcraft has never been released here.”

      This is coming from a Kotaku correspondent that lives (or at least lived at time of writing) in Japan. That’s not my opinion (although, I grant I’m a very opinionated person) or speculation (again, something I am prone to do) or flawed logic. It’s fact.

    • Xx_Kares_xX

      You are absolutely correct, I was misinformed, I apologize for my rudeness on that account. I knew of the popularity of the exact games you mentioned over there and just assumed they were the MOST popular, not the ONLY popular games over there. I do find it funny that things like Monster Hunter are so huge over there yet they avoid MMO’s considering they are all the same thing: Go out, perform repetitive task, come back, with no other motivation to drive you besides ‘getting stronger’.

      Anyway, I stand corrected about that… but still feel that the game would bomb just as hard over here as it is over there. Wii U’s haven’t been selling all that well, releasing it for the Wii in America/Europe just wouldn’t happen because it would be a waste of money in the eyes of the company to make a game for a ‘dying’ platform, and the Dragon Quest Series doesn’t have quite enough popularity here to stand on it’s own either.

    • That’s fine. To be honest I get why people would be confused on that point. MMOs are very grindy in nature, and JRPGs have traditionally been very grind oriented, so it would seem to be a perfect fit. But for some reason, Japan doesn’t like MMOs. Maybe it’s a holdover from the “Western games just suck” mentality that Japan has adopted.

  • FrancisUnderwood0482

    I’m hopeful for a NA release despite the “meh” Japanese sales numbers. Nintendo’s only real shot at success with the WiiU is to make it the go to box for Japanese content. Apparently MH3U is faring better in NA and especially Europe than anticipated so maybe they’ll port this thinking the same will happen.
    No subscription fee please though.

    • Or how about a free download? $10 a month doesn’t sound so bad when you get the base game for free.

    • FrancisUnderwood0482

      I’d be down for that. Good idea.

  • RagunaXL

    final fantasy xiv’s servers originally opened in September 2010 and closed some time in 2012. He mentions that they ‘have not been able to accomplish satisfactory results since fiscal year 2011.’ That can also attribute to ‘MMO not preforming to the level (they) anticipated.’
    It’s too bad. I’m psyched about a Realm Reborn. I really want to play Dragon Quest X too but Square-Enix and Nintendo have both said they are leery about releasing it in the US.

    I can’t pretend I know X would do well in the US but I hope it would. I want to play it. If there is a way to see sales figures for Dragon Quest IX on DS, which was online, we could do a certain amount of guessing. Though there wasn’t a monthly fee like FFXIV or DQX.

  • MegaX50

    So you’re telling me FFXI was never popular in Japan? Or continues to have a strong user base to this day? Not even with a brand new expansion Seekers of Adoulin just coming out last week? Seriously though I think the biggest problem here was it being released for the Wii, that system was barely made for internet access, let alone a full MMO.

  • Delicious Lard

    I don’t really like the idea of an MMORPG Dragon Quest, and one that you have to pay to play is even worse. Don’t think I’ll be getting this game, it just seems like a really terrible idea.

  • Will we get it someone tell me straight well WILL WE????

  • HaloEliteLegend

    The MMOs are where I feel they are going wrong. Even if the western market leans towards MMOs a bit more, it’s not enough for any substantial sales. An MMO for the Wii is out of the question. The Wii already has terrible online connectivity, and hopefully they added the “Lag Factor” to their equation.

    I would love to buy this game, just not as an MMO. And if it is being offered as an MMO, I’d much rather prefer it played on a desktop. I mean, the Wii has last-gen online technology, the Wii U is laggy as hell, I don’t think it would be a favorable option as a game, especially to first-timers to the series.

    I would still buy it if it had a good story, but since I am a westerner, I haven’t gotten a chance the try the game yet, so a western release is inevitable to even give this game a chance.

    I am not saying they just drop the series altogether, I am saying they take the MMO aspect away. DragonQuest has a lot of fans dating back to the 1990s and before, back to the NES era, and if you factor them in, they aren’t going to be too happy having their favorite series turn into an MMO.

    DragonQuest + Non-MMO = Success

    Take DragonQuest 9 for example. That game did amazing, and attracted so many new players to the DQ franchise. Going with that success, DragonQuest 10 would have done WAY better than it did, which can only point to the MMO aspect, and how people tend to shy from that. That, and the lack of any Western release news (i.e. Release Date, Pre-Order, etc.).