Fans of Japanese role-playing games can finally celebrate as Square Enix confirms the Western release date for Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age.
The game originally launched for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 3DS on July 29, 2017. The game studio's announcement is considered by gamers as a big surprise since the developers never hinted anything about a possible localization outside of Japan back when it was initially revealed a couple of years back. In fact, when Japanese version launched last year, the absence of any information about a Western version led fans to abandon all hope for a possible release outside of its home country.
A Number Of Firsts
Gamers can look forward to several tweaks that were designed to improve the RPG's gameplay. These new elements include updated menus, a first-person-view mode, a faster dash to reduce exploration time, and an optional Hard Mode for those who seek a challenge.
Surprisingly, the localized version of the game will reportedly come out for the first time on PC via Valve's Steam service. Unfortunately, the 3DS copy of the title will not get an English localization this time around. Furthermore, the rumored Nintendo Switch version will not be released this year, which suggests that it could be offered at a much later date, which is possibly sometime in 2019.
Possible Reasons For Its Localization Delay
The Dragon Quest series of RPGs have always experienced a mixed reception in Western markets. In Japan, the franchise enjoys an immense popularity that rivals that of Square Enix's Final Fantasy installments. However, it seems that the developers finally noticed that there is a dedicated fan base in other countries that do not natively speak Japanese.
Sources claim that the global success of Capcom's Monster Hunter: World shows that there is a potential market even for games that were considered popular only in the East. The developer made some minor tweaks to make it attractive to Western players and sold millions since its launch early this year.
Perhaps Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of a New Age can reach the same level of success given the lack of quality Japanese RPG titles this year. The publisher recently revealed that it has plans to make the series more recognizable globally.
"Our aim with Dragon Quest XI and the Dragon Quest brand is to grow the audience in the West. From a business point of view, it made strategic sense to release the 3DS version in Japan in 2017. For the West in 2018, it made the most sense to focus on the PlayStation 4 and PC (Steam) platforms," explained Square Enix
Nintendo Switch Version Delay
Square Enix revealed that the Nintendo Switch version of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of a New Age will be released "much later." It is unclear why the port would take longer, but the company noted that game system's hardware might be the reason for the lengthy wait. The PlayStation 4 and PC copies of the RPG will launch simultaneously on Sept. 4.