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Yu Miyake

Just this past weekend we discussed the strange situation surrounding Dragon Quest XI on Switch. Even though the release on Nintendo’s new console was announced ages ago, Square Enix has yet to show or say anything about this version.

Executive producer Yu Miyake finally broke the silence in an interview with Toyo Keizai. According to Miyake, he explained that it takes time to work on “technical adjustments,” so Square Enix is still in a state in which it can’t speak about a launch date. However, the Switch version is being developed with the intent to release it.

Dragon Quest XI has already shipped on 3DS and PlayStation 4. A western release is planned for 2018, though Square Enix has been keeping quiet on which platforms it will be localizing.

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Square Enix owns two big franchises: Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Yet even though Final Fantasy managed to make a big splash in the west, Dragon Quest has still been trying to attain the same sort of success.

Dragon Quest executive producer Yu Miyake touched on this topic in last month’s issue of EDGE. He said Final Fantasy’s western popularity in comparison to Dragon Quest is something Square Enix has “been thinking about a lot internally”.

Miyake brought up a few different reasons in the interview. For one thing, “the source of nostalgia is different” in Japan and the west – Dragon Quest on Famicom and Final Fantasy VII on PlayStation respectively. He also believes that Square Enix should have originally given a greater effort with Dragon Quest’s localization. Finally, Miyake said that the cartoon-like aesthetic of Dragon Quest may not immediately connect with western gamers.

Miyake left some encouraging words, saying that “the age of people who are playing is rising” and there’s a greater interest overall as well. Square Enix is also trying to “soften up the ground for Dragon Quest XI” with its spinoff titles.

Miyake’s full words:

We all know that Dragon Quest is a massive hit in Japan. When it comes to the west though, the series hasn’t seen the same sort of success. Square Enix’s Yu Miyake shared two reasons as to why this is the situation we’re in.

Miyake first told Polygon:

“There’s two main reasons. The first is that, in Japan, the Famicom was kind of the moment that video games became part of families, and people really started bringing them into their homes.”

“In the West, we feel like PlayStation is where home consoles really caught on with Final Fantasy 7, so Final Fantasy has that foundation … where it really captured the hearts of gamers.”

Miyake also pointed to the “cartoonish style” from character designer Akira Toriyama as a turnoff for overseas gamers.