Dragon Quest XI: Echoes for an Elusive Age was released today in Japan for PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo 3DS. Developer and publisher Square Enix also announced that it will localize the role-playing game into English and four other languages with an anticipated release date sometime in 2018, according to gaming news site Kotaku.
It’s good news for Dragon Quest fans outside of Japan; the last Dragon Quest game to get a Western release was Dragon Quest IX in 2009. The massively multiplayer online role-playing game Dragon Quest X remains a Japan exclusive, mainly because of the difficulty with localization.
“[Dragon Quest XI] is currently being localized into five languages, including English,” said Dragon Quest’s creator Yuji Horii in a video posted to Twitter. “There’s quite a lot of text, so it’s an exorbitant amount of work. But we’re doing our best and working hard to get this game to all of you as soon as possible, so I sincerely hope you look forward to the game.”
Yuji Horii, famed game designer of the Dragon Quest series, makes an appearance with a swarm of Slimes in tow to share some exciting news! pic.twitter.com/ytHpJyozkd
— Dragon Quest (@DragonQuest) July 28, 2017
The Dragon Quest series has been around for more than 30 years, and it’s enormously popular in Japan. A previous title, Dragon Quest IX, sold 2.3 million copies in just the first two days after launch, according to gaming news site GameSpot. It went on to eventually surpass 5.3 million sales.
Though Dragon Quest has never been as big in the West as other Square Enix titles such as the Final Fantasy series, GamesBeat has predicted before that there’s market demand here for JRPGs. Factor in the popularity of all things retro, such as the success of the Nintendo Entertainment System Classic system, and it makes sense to bring Dragon Quest to a wider audience.