Can Dragon Quest XI Repeat Monster Hunter World's Success in Wooing Western Audiences?

Can Dragon Quest XI Repeat Monster Hunter World's Success in Wooing Western Audiences?
From N4G - April 12, 2018
PhoenixUp1d ago

Much like Monster Hunter, one could argue that the Japanese cult series has struggled so much in finding a larger base of players due to its confinement to underpowered hardware.

Thats not exactly the case.

- Dragon Quest I-IV found about as much success in the west as most of RPG of its era on the NES. When RPGs became more prominent during the 4th gen the Dragon Quest series didnt get localized anymore.
- Dragon Quest VII releases in the West on PS1 at a time when more people were getting more invested in PS2. Not to mention that the mainline series went on hiatus in the West 9 years prior to its localization.
- Dragon Quest VIII marked when the series started gaining traction in the West but it didnt make it mainstream there.

Neither the NES, PS1, PS2 could be considered underpowered during the time they released. Releasing on them didnt impede their chances of success. In the case of DQVII it was the time it released late in its consoles lifecycle.

Plus even if DQIX had released on the more powerful PS3, it wouldnt have sold any better in the West as it did on the DS. For example Ni No Kuni sold a similar amount on PS3 as DQIX did on the DS in the West.

Dragon Quest VIII was the last mainline series entry to hit home consoles in Europe and North America, for instance, somewhat marred by developer Level-5s need to fall back on cel-shaded textures, characters, and environments for Dragon Quests first foray into full-3D. Aesthetically the games were still playing catch up to Square Enixs other JRPG series Final Fantasy

DQVIII having cel-shaded graphics cant in any way be seen as a detriment. The game looked quite stunning and it was the best way to bring Akira Toriyamas aesthetics to life. You cant compare it to Final Fantasy since they both go for completely different visual styles.

For all its franchise success and celebrated reputation, Final Fantasy is very much a mixed bag in terms of quality and execution by comparison. Tweaking turn-based battle mechanics with each new game before fully making the transition to open world with Final Fantasy XV, the franchise is intent on adapting to Western tastes rather than letting them embrace it for the unique flavor only JRPGS can offer.

Dragon Quest might be equally renowned for its ability to reinvent itself, complete with a new world, new story, and new characters every time, but it still never loses sight of its identity as a traditional JRPG.

Thats why Final Fantasy is a more successful franchise in the West than Dragon Quest though. FFs willingness to change itself has caused it to become more appealing to western audiences while DQs willingness to stay extremely traditional is the reason its remained a niche franchise outside Japan.


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