American Release of Dragon Quest VII 3DS Not "Justifiable"

American Release of Dragon Quest VII 3DS Not "Justifiable"

Square Enix mobile producer Noriyoshi Fujimoto says that the 3DS remake Dragon Quest VII may be too expensive to translate for North American audiences.

JRPG fans may recall that, a few years ago, Square Enix spent a good deal of time and money remaking Dragon Quest IV, V, and VI for the Nintendo DS. It was a practice the company continued on the 3DS, releasing a shiny new version of Dragon Quest VII for the handheld back in 2013. Unlike its previous DS remakes however, the new version of VII has yet to leave Japan. And if recent statements from Square Enix mobile producer Noriyoshi Fujimoto are accurate, it never may.

Speaking in a recent interview, Fujimoto affirmed that Square Enix wants to bring the game to North America, but expressed that the investment of time and money required to translate the game might not be worth the company's while. "In terms of [Dragon Quest VII], it has a lot of text to go through and translate," said Fujimoto. "And we've received so many requests and so much positive feedback about the game, but unfortunately, we have to consider the cost and the manpower needed to handle the sheer load of text. In terms of scenario and script, the game is probably one of the largest in the DQ franchise."

Fujimoto went on to affirm that this doesn't necessarily mean the game will never be leaving Japanese shores, but rather that Square Enix "can't seem to get to the point where" the resources needed for the endeavor are "justifiable." Fujimoto would later also confirm that the company is considering localization for the Dragon Quest: Rocket Slime spin-off games, and that they might be "great candidates" thanks to their shorter scripts.

Speaking personally, while I can understand from the business end why Square Enix might be a tad reluctant to invest money in something not guaranteed to earn high returns (Dragon Quest has never been a tremendous seller in North America), it would be a big downer if the 3DS edition of VII remained Japan-only. I actually never played a Dragon Quest game until the DS games started landing, and while I suppose I could snag myself a copy of the original PS1 game, I'd much rather experience it with the same polish and portability that I enjoyed with the DS remakes.

Source: Siliconera

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I don't know what the sales data was for the DS Dragon Quest titles, but depending on the cost of localization, it's not impossible that they didn't sell enough units to justify the effort.

Seems unlikely to me, considering there's not even extra costs like voice-over required, but I'm a layman, so I assume the execs know best. XD

Kind of a sad news beat to follow up on SE's "redoubled effort toward JRPGs" after Bravely Default's success, though.

Maybe if Square Enix didn't spend all their money on overdone CGI cutscenes and insane production values that nobody asked for, they could afford a translator schlub.

They ALREADY HAVE a translation of the game they made for it back on the PS1! MOST of the hard work is done!

And didn't Dragon Quest IX sell really well on DS in North America?

And didn't Bravely Default just blow by their expectations?

What is WRONG with this company?

I'm checking VG charts and can understand why SE wouldn't want to bring DQVII to the west...In Japan the three remakes each sold over a million copies but here in the US, not a single one (out of 4, 5 or, 6) seemed able to sell more than a quarter million...well 4 sold over a quarter of a million but not much more than that. Even the hot new Dragon Quest, DQIX only sold a bit more than a half-million in the US whereas in Japan it sold nearly 4-and-a-half million. I would love to be able to play Dragon Quest VII on my 3DS but it doesn't look like I'll be able to unless the New-3DS ends up being region free.

Yes it's one of the largest, but isn't that text already translated? Or did they add on to it and radically alter the story resulting in a re-translation?

This is a bit weird. Their real fear is that they pay to translate (which is not expensive) and then they try to manufacture and ship copies and they end up creating and sending out too many (which is very expensive).

They should just downloadable only. They would have no risk.

It's funny because XSEED, a company with a fraction of the resources, is actively releasing titles nobody knew about with scripts that are much longer and are turning a profit.

Cybylt:
It's funny because XSEED, a company with a fraction of the resources, is actively releasing titles nobody knew about with scripts that are much longer and are turning a profit.

Atlus has done it for years, as well as NIS. They specialize in niche titles and have reasonable expectations about their sales. Square Enix's gotten used to big payouts with the Final Fantasy series though, and like the other big companies, won't back a product they don't believe is on the same level. My guess it's because relatively few people bought the Dragon Quest DS titles.

Hap2:

Cybylt:
It's funny because XSEED, a company with a fraction of the resources, is actively releasing titles nobody knew about with scripts that are much longer and are turning a profit.

Atlus has done it for years, as well as NIS. They specialize in niche titles and have reasonable expectations about their sales. Square Enix's gotten used to big payouts with the Final Fantasy series though, and like the other big companies, won't back a product they don't believe is on the same level. My guess it's because relatively few people bought the Dragon Quest DS titles.

Which sounds reasonable enough but Bravely Default happened, Square was supposedly blown away by the fact that people still want to play traditional JRPGs that aren't Nomura and Toriyama's cutscene stringers. And then they revert right back to their old nonsense within the same year.

Square is capable of making a smaller release budget, they just have selective memory.

Correct move, but the reason why is total bullshit.

Squeenix already has an English translation for the original, so unless the nuanced dialog changed COMPLETELY in the remake, translation costs aren't the reason.

Rather, they probably don't want to pay the raw costs of exporting it.
If I recall, the previous two DQ games that made it stateside haven't done all that well.

Xseed translates Legend of Heroes Trails in the sky 1 and 2, games with about 3 times as much text. One translator.

SE, step it up.

Why not dump them on Nintendo's lap and have them take the risk. Big N's always happy to localize a JRPG they didn't create/publish themselves.

Dreiko:
Xseed translates Legend of Heroes Trails in the sky 1 and 2, games with about 3 times as much text.

Care to give some sources? I've played both DQ7 and Legend of Heroes, and DQ7 is a MUCH longer game. and while it may not be as text heavy I am Highly doubtful that Legend of Heroes has 3 times as much text.

Having completed this version of the game, I can say with full confidence that any Dragon Quest fan (or even JRPG fan) will love this. SE are just being lazy. If they localize this and the profits of the game do not surpass the localisation costs, I will eat my shoe.

balladbird:
I don't know what the sales data was for the DS Dragon Quest titles, but depending on the cost of localization, it's not impossible that they didn't sell enough units to justify the effort.

Seems unlikely to me, considering there's not even extra costs like voice-over required, but I'm a layman, so I assume the execs know best. XD

Kind of a sad news beat to follow up on SE's "redoubled effort toward JRPGs" after Bravely Default's success, though.

4 and 5 are Squares rarest titles for the DS in the US.

Didn't Square just learn their lesson from BD?

When they say resources in this case they are more likely referring to the man power involved. I'm willing to be that a lot of the people that would work on this title have been re assigned to making sure the bravely default 2 localization is released a bit closer than the first game was. And they are probably reluctant to outsource it because that would cost them more than it would to do it internally. So I can see where they're coming from. It could also be the case where there is no one in SE who really wants to tackle the project and the sales of the previous titles doesn't push management to find someone to do it.

Trishbot:
They ALREADY HAVE a translation of the game they made for it back on the PS1! MOST of the hard work is done!

And didn't Dragon Quest IX sell really well on DS in North America?

And didn't Bravely Default just blow by their expectations?

What is WRONG with this company?

Pretty much this.

Cause I can't get my head around what Square is thinking with this announcement

Square Enix confuses me...

On the one hand, Dragon Quest has NEVER been a big seller in North America...ever. So it would seem wise NOT to translate the game and release the game over here...even though a translation of the game already exists and was done by Square years ago.

On the OTHER hand, Bravely Default is a brand new IP and did absurdly well for a classic JRPG, selling over a million units worldwide with Japan sales and US sales being fairly similar. This proved that people still have an interest in classic JRPG games and even surprised Square. If there is an interest in classic JRPG games in the west, why not release another one?

On the OTHER OTHER hand, Square has released almost every main DQ game in north america in some shape or form at some point. They've basically released every DQ game from 1-9 since the NES days; 1-2 on the NES, 1-3 remade on the GBC, 4-6 + 9 on the DS, 7 on the PSOne and 8 on the PS2. It doesn't seem like the low sales in the west of DQ games seems to bother Square all that much...so why stop now with the remake of 7?

On the OTHER OTHER OTHER hand, this is Square Enix we are talking about. They seem more worried about their characters not having enough zippers than they do about money...considering ALL that money they waste on their over the top CGI sequences.

As far as i'm concerned, it just seems like a matter of time before we get the game in North America. Either Square will release it because they are morons and never mean the things they say OR they will remember they already translated the game years ago and pretend that was the plan all along.

I hope they are still planning to release the DQM2 remake outside of Japan, because people don't talk that much in that one, and the stuff they did with it is pretty neat.

also, why would they do something like ask for region locking and then decide it's too expensive to port games

Other people have already mentioned it but dragon quest 7 has already been translated, I'm going to assume that the remake contains some new parts that don't have a translation, but that can't be all that much.

If you really feel like the game needs a new translation, why not simply have fans translate the game?

So here's the thing about Japan atm. Japan always does things Japan first. When making a video game you might think it weird for a company to think "we'll make this for Japan!" not "we'll make this for the whole world to enjoy!" (which is what I think the consensus would be, that is what people think that devs think). Japan, and the people there are very stuck and rooted into their own little world. They are:

1) behind the times

2) unwilling to change/adapt

3) unwilling to copy foreign ideas, even if proven successful

Right now they are freaking out because people have cell phones that can play video games. They seem to just now be figuring this out. JUST NOW. They seem to think its the next big thing... uh yeah Smart Phones exist, but they are totally different from main stream video games. Right now portable gaming means 3ds/Vita/Psp not a Smart Phone. You can play little apps and touch screen games but its not the same. Anyway, Japan thinks its cool because they love cell phones over there, but they're way behind the times. The smart phone boom happened a long time ago and by now its been kind of proven that they aren't a very good system to make good games on. Just games you play while you take a dump or sit on your lunch break and then turn off quickly.

What's my point? Well lately Japan is seeming to purposely keep their good games to their own Nation. Can you imagine how much it would suck if you had to live in the USA to play the awesome games we make? I bet like 70% of the people reading this post aren't even American.

Maybe I'm just still bitter that Crapcom is keeping PSO2 from me. Grew up with the old game... my Vita is desperate for a MOBILE MMO DANGIT! How awesome would it be to play an actually good game on the go.... (that's not mario or zelda)

man this post makes me seem like I have a grudge against Japan. Far from it :)

michael87cn:
*snip*

I think I distinctly remember persona games being on mobiles. Those flip mobiles... Oh and kingdom hearts coded I think.

They were already more in mobile game development than console based from what I can tell.

http://www.siliconera.com/2009/03/13/persona-mobile-phone-mmo-made-in-japan/

I wish I could bitch about how stupid and unfair it all is... And it really is, but, the only Dragon Quest I've ever played was Journey of the Cursed King (or DQ VIII) - which both critics and people claim is a good installment.

And I didn't like it.

I've never been a fan of Akira Rotiyama art style, the game had very bad pacing (read: required too much grinding), the environments were boring, the load-out system nothing special and neither the story not the characters were all the compelling compared to other RPGs that got released on the PS2 around the same time.

Sooo... Yeah, though I agree Squenix has made a lot of bad moves the past few years - and this is one of them - I can't be bothered to be personally invested because I don't care about the series.

Then someone else will do it for them and release it for free. Sucks to be you....

*shrugs*

Then I guess its not justifiable for me to give Square Enix my money. Sucks to be them.

Soviet Heavy:
Maybe if Square Enix didn't spend all their money on overdone CGI cutscenes and insane production values that nobody asked for, they could afford a translator schlub.

As of late they have been cutting done on that.

There's some kind of irony here somewhere. So years and years ago, when Enix released Dragon Warrior VII (Last one they used the Dragon Warrior name on for the NA release) on the Playstation, they included an ad in the packaging talking about their upcoming PS1 re-release of Dragon Warrior IV. That version of DW4 never materialized in the US reportedly because of cost concerns.

Here we are, more than a decade later, and while we finally have gotten our Dragon Quest IV remake released (A somewhat flawed version, but that's a rant for another day,) but now it's DQ7 that's not going to be translated because of financial reasons.

I don't know what else to say here. SquareEnix not bringing over DQ7 on the 3DS is profoundly disappointing, especially for a company that seemed to have finally figured out there might be a market for more old-school JRPGs in the modern North American market with the success of Bravely Default. And given the kind of money they seem all too happy to throw at any number of AAA titles, it is almost pathetic that they can't put aside a bit of cash to localize DQ7.

 

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