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.