Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nintendo to Level Up Dragon Quest in U.S.

Amongst the brain-induced fog created by the excitement that Dragon Quest X will be coming to the Nintendo Wii was another tidbit of information that should have RPGamers excited for Dragon Quest's future. At the same press event where the announcement was made, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata also said that he wants to "form a strong tag team to promote Dragon Quest overseas." Iwata further detailed the success Nintendo has had in marketing the supposedly unmarketable Brain Age series in North America, and that he would like to repeat this success for the upcoming DS release of Dragon Quest IX and the Dragon Quest franchise in general. Considering that a Nintendo DS remake of Dragon Quest IV has already made it overseas, and with DS remakes of Dragon Quest V and Dragon Quest VI on their way, it would be an extra smart move for Nintendo to help market this series.

Iwata wants 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," and to do so by working in tandem with Square Enix. If Nintendo can bring a small fraction of the western popularity from its other properties over to Dragon Quest, it would be a major boost for the series.

The next Dragon Quest game to be released in North America will be Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride for the Nintendo DS on February 17, 2009. Dragon Quest IX is expected to release in Japan on March 28, 2009, with no North American release date given yet.

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