Dragon Quest XI Won’t Be For Smartphones Says Dragon Quest Creator

By Sato . December 26, 2013 . 3:00pm

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Takehiro Andou, a Square Enix mobile developer who worked on titles such as Crystal Defenders has his own feature blog in Famitsu magazine, where he recently spoke with Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii to talk about possibilities for the next game in the series.

 

Now that Square Enix has released the smartphone version of their Dragon Quest X MMORPG, some have wondered what this could mean for the future of the franchise. In Andou’s latest column, he decided to ask the main Dragon Quest man himself.

 

During the interview, Andou says that without a doubt, we can expect a new Dragon Quest title in the near future. With this in mind, he mentions that there must be fans who’d like to be able to play the next Dragon Quest game on both consoles and smartphones; however, he acknowledges that the devices are quite different in terms of development, so it must also be different to make games for them.

 

He then asks about the possibility of seeing the next installment of the main numbered Dragon Quest series on mobile devices.

 

“I don’t think that it’s as easy as it sounds,” says Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii. “At the current stage, there are no talks about making Dragon Quest XI for smartphones. I believe that there’s still plenty left to overcome before we release a proper sequel for smartphones.”

 

“That’s quite the bold statement,” responds Andou. “On the other hand, my main battlefield lies within making games for smartphones, so a part of me tells myself ‘smartphones are game consoles, too’ while I work. However, going back to what you just said, I clearly understand what you mean.”

 

“Smartphones are smartphones, and they’re not game consoles,” states Horii in response to Andou. “I don’t think they’ll be replacing game consoles, but rather, I believe it’s a matter of offering something to those who only have smartphones.”


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  • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

    Well, it looks like 3DS has at least one big game it can look forward to in
    2014 or 2015 to help sell it to more people.

    Beyond Dragon Quest, though, I don’t know what Nintendo have planned to help grow the 3DS audience by any significant margin. All of the heavy-hitters are already out.

    I do think there are still untapped audiences 3DS can reach. People that are
    fans of mainline Final Fantasy and games like that it aren’t on 3DS
    yet. That’s an opportunity for certain. But even that audience is limited in
    size. 2014 should be a very interesting year for 3DS announcements.

    • Wake

      I’m not exactly sure where DQ’s exclusivity lies, but is it really locked in with Nintendo? Yes, the 3DS would be the most obvious platform but I’m still hoping for that DQ console game that isn’t an MMO.

      • Ni ~UNREAL BLACK THINGS~

        DQ go to whatever is the most popular plataform in the market. which currently is the 3DS. But we need to wait and see how this generation is going to turn out. 3DS for low development cost? WiiU? PS4? Xbone?

        Will be better for us to play the waiting game before saying whatever plataform the game will be (specially in this case since we are dealing with Sukuwea Enikkusu-san that is in a smartphone trend (yeah, I don’t believe in this article since they can pretty much ended up developing DQXI for IOS and Android).

        • Kaetsu

          Definitely not Xbox One. Dragon Quest is a franchise that sells immensely well in Japan so they wouldn’t put it on Xbox since the 360 is the worst selling console in Japan.

          • Ni ~UNREAL BLACK THINGS~

            I know. it was just a example nothing more that.

          • Fronkhead

            Money talks…

            “Nintendo’s president responded to a question that referred to “another company” that planned to invest “tens of billions of Yen” into gathering third-party support for its hardware” http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-11-06-nintendo-no-financial-encouragement-for-third-party-wii-u-support

            I kid of course. While Microsoft is the company the investor is most likely referring to, I doubt Square Enix would sell out for the sake of the aims of the game (which we can now assume is not feasible on smartphone perhaps due to the need to go premium to make a truly mainstream game there) of getting onto the platform with the widest reach as possible.

      • Aaron K Stone

        No, but then 3DS development has to cheaper than consoles. 3DS is popular and if Nintendo gets behind it there may be a higher chance of it being released in the west.

      • GH56734

        Dragon Quest is historically a low-budget series. They often got published in the twilight days of their consoles even with more powerful consoles launching a year ago (DQ III, DQ IV NES, DQ VI SFC, DQ X Wii…)
        Most popular handheld: 3DS
        Most popular (still alive) home console: PS3
        And smartphones are a low possibility for a newer main numbered title considered Yuji Hori had a degree of creative control over the series, and lots of evolutions were vetoed (DQ IX’s development was restarted from scratch actually at one point)

        One of these is probably the platform for DQ XI.

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        The problem is, there is no platform other than 3DS that’s a suitable place for Dragon Quest XI.

        Dragon Quest has players ranging from 6 to 60. How many 50 or 60-year-olds own a PS3? Not many, that’s for sure. The same goes for women. A lot of older women play Dragon Quest. 3DS is the only platform they’re likely to own. It’s the only console that actually appeals to a broad range of people.

        Now, other DQ games will probably show up on other platforms, but the next mainline Dragon Quest is likely to be on 3DS.

        • KnifeAndFork

          PS4

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I don’t think you read a single word of what I wrote.

          • KnifeAndFork

            DQ is a system seller when done right. PS4 is the future. The ultimate DQ game without limitations can only be realized on the PS4. The sooner you realize this, the closer we can achieve nirvana and harmonic unity…

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I don’t think you understood my point. Dragon Quest might be a system-seller, but there are limits to what even it (and other system-sellers like Pokémon or Monster Hunter) can do.

            Dragon Quest isn’t going to convince a bunch of 40-year-old women to go out and buy a PS4 if they aren’t interested in owning one. It isn’t going to reach out to younger kids who are 10-13 and can’t afford a PS4 either. That’s half its audience lost already.

            Add this to the fact that there will barely be any PS4s in the market by the time DQXI comes out, and that’s another major thorn in its side.

            Then, you have the portable vs. console factor to take into consideration. DQIX is the best-selling game in the series for a reason—that reason being that it was on a platform that people carried around with them as part of their daily lives. And so, you had a bunch of different DQIX players all interacting with each other either through StreetPass or multiplayer, which made it a topic of discussion and helped keep sales going well beyond its first couple of months.

            The “ultimate DQ game” has already happened as far as people in Japan are concerned. It was Dragon Quest IX. It had a large world to explore, it had a whole lot of character customization (which was actually cited as one of the reasons it was popular among women in particular), it had ways to interact with other players, both directly and indirectly, and you could take it with you on the go. These are the things that matter more to the vast majority of consumers now.

          • KnifeAndFork

            When is DQ XI even coming out you make it seem like its soon. PS4 will sell greatly in Japan mark my words. We will have DQ XI on PS4 and it will be epic

          • Fronkhead

            Given how budget is more of a determining factor as to how a game turns out limitations-wise, I don’t think PS4 will do anything for Dragon Quest at all, other than make Square lose money relative to targeting 3DS or even PS3.

            Even if DQ is a system seller, Square Enix would rather have it on a platform with the largest accessible install base. Given Square Enix’s not-so-rosy financial situation targeting PS4 is unlikely.

          • Fronkhead

            Unlikely I’d say. Dragon Quest is a series for the masses, it’s for everyone. It always follows the most popular formats so it reaches as wide an audience as possible. So 3DS is the most obvious option.

            I don’t think PS4 is likely right now given it has an install base of zero, and we don’t have the benefit of hindsight to know what its performance in Japan will be like by the time XI launches.

            Hopefully PS4 will do well in Japan, but there’s a worrying lack of exclusive Japan-centric content, its launch window lineup is very western focused. Even Vita had more to appeal to the Japanese market at launch.

    • elementalknight

      This doesnt make too much sense……there are plenty of games that will and can come out

    • Kaetsu

      Bravely Default, Conception 2, Kirby Triple Deluxe, Super Smash Bros, Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney, Shantae and The Pirates Curse, Yoshi’s New Island and more. I don’t see what you mean. The 3DS has decent line up to come and obviously more will be announced as where not even in 2014 yet.

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        No one’s arguing that it doesn’t have a decent lineup, but those aren’t games that are going to sell millions of 3DSes.

        • Kaetsu

          Kirby and Yoshi might but I see what you mean.

        • idrawrobots

          We have almost no idea what will be coming out for the 3DS in the 3/4 of the year. Who knows what amazing experiences will be coming.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      New kinds of streetpass games and darumeshi sports store stuff. Then more of Nintendo’s other smaller franchises and stuff to grow those

    • Nana

      Why would it need help though? It’s already doing well. Are you a timetraveller posting from 2012 or something?

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        it’s maintaining for the time being, but sales are slipping and most of the biggest games they could possibly put on 3DS are already out.

        • Rogerrmark

          That’s why I think Nintendo will, probably, localize games that are not available on Europe/America/Astralia yet.

          We’ll even get Professor Layton x PW,I mean.

          So stuff like DQVII and Fantasy Life could make it,as well.

          After releasing Kirby/Yoshi and SSB(that will have a Wii U version too,btw), there’s not much for the 3DS next year, besides niche third party titles.

          Oh wel..hopefully we’ll hear something about DQ sometime after BDFF’s release in America.

    • Fronkhead

      Great point. Most of the pure market growth for DS hardware was down to new gameplay ideas enabled by the new hardware that reached a new audience, and I’m wondering whether the same will happen with 3DS now the big franchises have been.
      Of course I still expect it to sell consistently well given the strong software support it’s been receiving, but one does wonder what’s going to be the next truly big thing for 3DS to even further boost things.

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        Yeah, I think 3DS is at a point where you could basically stop making games for it entirely, and it would still easily be the best-selling platform for the next 3-4 years. The problem is figuring out how to really help grow it out more.

        There’s a part of the iOS crowd that I think is lost for good, and I don’t think they’re interested in coming back, so I personally believe chasing that audience is futile. There’s nothing that could possibly convince those people to buy a 3DS, short of Nintendo releasing a 3DS phone that can compete with iPhones or Samsung Galaxies or Xperias.

        However, I do think there are other sizeable niches that they could reach out to. Final Fantasy fans is one such niche. And when I say Final Fantasy, I mean something with Tetsuya Nomura’s art on it. That’s an audience that isn’t on 3DS yet, and it’s one that exists both in Japan and in the west. Having a game that appeals to this audience would help 3DS sales in both territories, so I do think it would be a smart thing to do.

    • GriffithOfTheHawk

      They could try to convince Falcom to put their series also on 3ds. That’s a whole new audience there. As their financials showed Falcom doesn’t need the 3ds and the 3ds impressive install base doesn’t seem appealing enough to them. Apparently besides Sony consoles they found Steam as a way better additional business opportunity.

      I remember some news saying that they were considering the 3ds at some point or at least outsourcing for it but we haven’t heard of projects announcements since. Guess they changed their opinion.

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        They could, but I don’t think that would amount to much in the long run. The trick is to get a genre-leader onto the platform so that other smaller games like it naturally follow, without having to negotiate separately with each and every company.

  • epy

    Thank you 3DS for not having flopped. We have a few years left before everything japanese companies make are on smartphones.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      I think the bubble will burst before that happens and things start to simmer down.
      PC market used to be booming in the 90s too.

      Flip Phones will have a resurgence soon. IR TECHNOLOGY Dominates ONCE AGAIN

      Consoles need to play the long game and keep themselves as specialized and different machines so that they always have a place in the market that wants and needs them. Publishers and game developers in the meanwhile need to correct their business models and revenue streams. Restriction and ham fisting is not the answer. You cant do it like the film or music industry either.

    • FlyingPony

      Oh man, the horror.

      Frankly, I don’t really mind which platform a game is, I am no fanboy, but smartphones have so many flaws that I repulse me from playing games on it. Put a controller on that baby and I will stop bitchin’ and start buying and playing on the phone.

      A simple task, and yet nobody manage to do it correctly. Xperia Play is the closest thing a gamer can get for a proper mobile gaming platform, and its too weak to play any of the newer games of its time.

  • Ereek

    No, it won’t be for smartphones, it’ll be a free to play browser game, like Breath of Fire VI!

    Yes, I’m still spiteful.

    (No, I don’t particularly believe this)

  • Michael Cortorreal

    Agreed with the man on.smartphones not being game consoles.
    But maybe in a few years we wont be seeing a Sony or Nintendo handheld device.
    When that time comes…i wonder; will i have to buy a new smartphone every 3 months because the latest game is not suppirted on my device?

    • brostar

      Really the future of handhelds depends on the people. The 3DS is doing really well I do think we’ll see a new one from Nintendo in the future. For a console manufacturer to completely drop making handhelds would require their current hardware to do incredibly poor sales wise. E.g. The Dreamcast. So essentially if the Vita doesn’t pick up in sales there won’t be a PSP 3. I hope the Vita does because it’s a pretty sweet device.

    • Nana

      Why would Nintendo not make a handheld? They have the market cornered.

      • Michael Cortorreal

        As of right now, i really dont know how further Nintendo or Sony can make even better handhelds as they.

        Well i am aware that im wrong(i just know they will make something to wow us) and i really hope so too since i love handhelds, but with marketing and the percepcion smarthphones are giving to people (that a 2 year old cellphone is in fact “obsolete”) i cant but just worry about that part of gaming industry.
        Some days ago some people in Siliconera were talking about that the 3DS is already feeling “old” and that is lacking behind.that Nintendo should be already giving out the next Gen on their handhelds, when i actually feel that the device is in its prime time, and the 3DS has at the very least 2 and half more years to come.

  • Tatsuya Fabre

    That was unexpected… I’d given up hope.

  • Warboss Aohd

    heres hoping i can create my own character in 11……if they are just gonna give us a mute protagonist, they might as well let me make my own.

    • Ni ~UNREAL BLACK THINGS~

      WTF? no accent?

      • Warboss Aohd

        Tau altered me and the warband again, they got tired of you humies complaining about our grammar.

        • Ni ~UNREAL BLACK THINGS~

          I see. humans can be really stupid and nazi-like with grammar and this kind of stuff

          • Warboss Aohd

            Kinder words than the Tau used, but the same meaning.

    • Kaetsu

      They let you create your character in Dragon Quest 9(and your whole party) and 10 so I’m sure they’ll have it in the next entry.

      • Ereek

        Nah, I wouldn’t say it’s guaranteed. You could kinda create a party (mostly just class and sex, with some other things added in later versions like personality) in Dragon Quest III, yet complete customization of a similar, though more extensive, level wasn’t added until IX.

  • James Beatty

    After they announced that they were porting pretty much every game in the franchise (except 9 I think?) to mobile I was almost 100% sure that the next one was going to be on there. It’ll likely be on 3DS I’m guessing

  • http://people.ign.com/rob1610 rob1610

    Thank god. I was worried there for a second…oh wait…

  • elementalknight

    Its pretty obviously a 3ds game

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      3DS/WiiU game along with the sequel to TWEWY

  • brostar

    Finally! Someone in the industry finally said it. Smartphone gaming WILL not replace console game or even handheld gaming. As long as there’s a demand it will be supplied.
    Mr. Horii is officially my spirit animal now.

    • Ric Vazquez

      *high five*

  • Godmars

    Question is will it stay Nintendo-only.

    In a perfect world pretty sure it would only be a good thing if it were not only on the PSV, PS4, PC and even the XB1, but there was some cross play options.

    A Western release would probably be nice too…

    • elementalknight

      That really doesnt sound like a perfect world. In fact that sounds pretty awful.

      When a game is exclusive it means they can put all the energy and resources into making 1 perfect version. 3ds is currently the only system really successful in Japan. Square has made tons of money on 3ds.

      It makes sense

      • Godmars

        Also have to look at and consider the amount of effort that’s going to go into the product. And if the target is going to be 3DS or even the WiiU, ports to other platforms isn’t going to be that hard.

        Doubt it would be much of an issue if it were Nintendo exclusive for a year.

      • KnifeAndFork

        Square cant even be bothered to localize Dragon Quest VII for 3DS and Dragon Quest VII for iOS

    • Ethan_Twain

      Have you seen the mad numbers Dragon Quest has been pulling in on the 3DS? These are just remakes and spin offs and remakes of spin offs. I simply can’t imagine that Square Enix is building Dragon Quest XI for anything BUT the 3DS.

      • Godmars

        And all I’m hearing that what works for DQ doesn’t work for FF. It certainly wont make them change course in regard to the mistakes they made with FF13.

  • Tom_Phoenix

    ““Smartphones are smartphones, and they’re not game consoles,” states Horii in response to Andou. “I don’t think they’ll be replacing game consoles, but rather, I believe it’s a matter of offering something to those who only have smartphones.””

    Horii has his head on straight. Something that people seem to have a hard time grasping is that smartphones are essentially portable PCs. PCs and dedicated game consoles serve different functions, so there is no reason why one would replace the other. If smartphones are replacing anything, it is some of the functions that were previously filled by desktop and laptop PCs.

    • Ric Vazquez

      As much as I like games like Chaos Rings, smartphones replaciong consoles? Big fat NO! Screw mobile.

    • Pockystix

      I think people are really getting waaaay too ahead of themselves in assuming that smartphones will replace anything, other than the last batch of smartphones, at least anytime soon.

      There’s a growing marketplace for games now, made strong by a lack of competition and accessibility. Time will tell how different that will become when competition grows, and development costs rise. It can go either way; improve and become a more game-focused platform, or the bubble pops, and people move on tot he next big craze.

      As for Hori? He’s old-fashioned, but he’s speaking as someone who obviously thinks more highly of gaming. He (and I’m making assumptions here, so this could all be wrong lol) probably is of the mindset a lot of the mobile-naysayers are in; that this is all a phase, and eventually development and resources will go back to dedicated gaming devices. It makes sense that he wouldn’t be on board with sending the future of the franchise to what he may (or may not) view as a wasted effort.

      That being said; Dragon Quest is “always” on the most popular system, so I’d imagine the 3DS is more than likely going to be the destination of XI. If Hori’s views are to be taken into account, at least.

      • Fronkhead

        Indeed. One of the bigger problems (which might not actually affect DQ if it were a smartphone games) also seems to be the need to make your game free-to-play in order for it to be truly mainstream so as many people download it as possible. That combined with investors wanting ever higher profits tends to lead to the temptation to use IAP to make the game into a money game than a skill one, or in abusive ways. Angry Birds Go is a good example of Rovio adopting this sort of strategy, likely to please investors.

        But yes, I just can’t see a few mainstream franchises working as such on smartphone because of that. I may be wrong of course, perhaps a marketing budget could alert people and you could still slap on a normal price tag and get the same sales while not changing the structure of the game. Or there’s other scenarios where I could see it working, but it all seems a bit risky too.

      • dante

        So said it my brother

    • Michael Cortorreal

      I can only hope you’re right, and that the handheld gaming industry wont be as affected as i think they will.

  • Kaetsu

    My respect for Yuji Horii grows stronger.

    • Ric Vazquez

      Agreed

  • Kumiko Akimoto

    Where is my wii u dragon quest 10?

    • Marik78

      Waiting in Japan~
      Come and catch it ;p

    • Kaetsu

      I really hope it will come here. There’s been talks about the PC version coming here but I would honestly much rather play the game on my Wii U.

    • Beat

      I refuse to get it for PC. Not when I have a perfectly good Wii U.

      • Kumiko Akimoto

        We’ll I’ll get for which ever i just want my options for the wii u to grow, I don’t mind ports and well it’s easier to just buy a disc for arkham city then download it from steam.So i already have a lot to be happy about it’s just those price tags

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Leafy_Cam Leafhopper

    But 12 will be.

  • Fox

    That anyone would even consider this a possibility speaks volumes for how low the DQ series has sunk.

  • Raze

    Yes it will not in smartphone at launch…But it will be ported later…

    lol…

  • Zeether

    Yeah, but when the frak are we getting more DQ in the West? Horii should go yell at SE’s incompetent US division if he can make statements like this because I’m starting to get angry about it.

    • dmysta3000

      Because DQ has never been all that popular over here and all three of the DS remakes that came here after IX bombed.

      • KnifeAndFork

        IX didn’t bomb it sold over a million in the West get your facts straight

    • Ethan_Twain

      I don’t think it’s impossible that we’ll see a DQ XI release outside Japan, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing tertiary games in the franchise for a while. Just think about the last couple Dragon Quest branded releases outside Japan: Dragon Quest IV-VI remakes. Dragon Quest Monsters 2 Joker. Dragon Quest Monsters. Dragon Quest IX. Dragon Quest Rocket Slime. Of all these releases I think only one of them did well. The core DQ IX release sold over a million copies, but the rest of the list did between meh and awful.

      So is anyone surprised that we haven’t seen the DQ remake, the DQ Monsters, or the DQ Rocket Slime on 3DS leave Japan? Those were all rejected by the market back on the last Nintendo handheld.

      Dragon Quest XI though? If it’s for 3DS (and I can only imagine it will be) then there WILL be a precedent for western success. So I imagine we’ll see a localization.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        By Nintendo.

  • Max

    Horii please never leave.

  • megaten666

    “Smartphones are smartphones, and they’re not game consoles”
    Then where is my Dragon Quest VIII HD on PS3?

    • KingGunblader

      Seriously, if they’re not going to port / remake / remaster / whatever DQ VIII then they should at least make it in a frikkin’ PS2 classic already.

  • AAa

    Two Thumbs up to this guy

  • NickyArmstrong

    It would be nice to explain what exactly needs to be overcome. Modern game engines are scalable to low-powered phones, the infrastructure is already there to support any online component and touch controls are SIMPLY NOT AN EXCUSE, especially when it comes to menu-based combat. If the new Xcom can be brought to mobiles and considered a success, then I think a game that gets as much development attention as DQ11 can do the same.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      It would be nice to explain what exactly needs to be overcome.

      It’s more a matter of pricing and buying habits than simply technical issues. The phone market is far from ready to pay retail prices for their games. You can’t charge a fiver for a game like Dragon Quest and hope to make any significant profit.

      You cited XCOM as an example, but XCOM had already made its money back on PC and consoles. Smartphone sales were icing on the cake.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      Because people who only own smartphones arent looking for those types of games on the go

      And square’s mobile revenue is not to hot. Its dependent on a bunch of cheap ports that sell around 200K copies max LTD across 10 of millions of smartphones

    • FlyingPony

      Menu based combat may work on game like turn based jRPG, but it won’t work on action games..

      Also, when you move your character around while traveling, the touch control still sucks. And your hand is covering the screen, which is essentially killing the immersion.

  • Guest

    It’s nice to hear some sanity from SE, for a change.

  • Brandonmkii

    I almost want a mainline phone game just to make everyone mad.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    With all the crazy news that S-E had chances of releasing this game on smartphones, i ammmmm damn happy that we get to see Hori come out and say that they are going to bring this game to dedicated gaming machine here.^_^

  • KnifeAndFork

    Lol at Andou getting shut down by Horii…

  • Rogerrmark

    Wise words,Yuji Horii.One shouldn’t expect less from the creator of Dragon Quest :)

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Dragon Quest XI remake for the 3DS would bring tears of joy to my eyes

  • Fronkhead

    This surprised me as I always expected DQXI to land on smartphones given it has the largest reach audience-wise.
    I’m happy for artistic reasons that it will be on console, though.

  • http://gamgambit.tumblr.com/ Thespian Thief ♢

    I don’t really follow Dragon Quest but I already love this man.

  • idrawrobots

    Will it be called Dragon Quest X in the US?

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      Nope

  • http://playstationallstars.wikia.com/wiki/PlayStation_All-Stars_Wiki Sackchief

    Wow, great news. Not only did Horii himself basically confirm the existence of an 11th entry, we know its not going to be one smartphones but rather consoles!

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      It’ll most likely be on handhelds and consoles

  • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

    Let’s not start with this rubbish, please. Not every Dragon Quest game is going to be an MMO. There’s no need to make up problems that don’t exist.

  • ragingmerifes

    It was a joke, for fuck’s sake.

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