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Pike
01-04-2017, 06:35 PM
Found this interesting article where Square Enix discusses Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest and why FF is more popular in the West. Apparently it's on their mind!

http://nintendoeverything.com/square-enix-on-why-dragon-quest-hasnt-been-as-popular-as-final-fantasy-in-the-west-keeping-the-series-fresh/

One interesting point is that they are linked to each region's nostalgia differently -- Final Fantasy VII with the rise of PlayStation in the West, and Dragon Quest with the rise of Famicon in Japan.

Anyways, just figured I'd share.

Fynn
01-04-2017, 06:49 PM
Yeah, read this recently as well. It's interesting, though I honestly think SE just have way too high expectations for DQ. It might not be as big as FF around here, but it's still one of the most prominent JRPG series over here, which is still pretty decent.

I really hope this evaluation of theirs is an indication that they're seriously considering releasing X in the West.

Freya
01-04-2017, 07:07 PM
A big issue too is they've never pushed it as much. We sometimes don't even get it in the west! How can you have fans when they can't even play it? Or play it consistently because of that.

I think it also suffers from the Kingdom Hearts problem of being on so many platforms for the games. At least with FF, the only ones that are on random platforms are lesser ones like tactics, or I guess Type-0 but they moved that over on PS4 at least. Dissida? that's just a fighting game. Not really a legit "FF" in the RPG sense.

KH and DQ are just everywhere and many fans can't afford to play on all the systems like that.

Fynn
01-04-2017, 07:10 PM
Not really. Aside from the odd choice of putting IX on the DS, as the games were released chronologically, they went similarly to FF. I, II, III and IV were on NES, V and VI were on SNES, VII was on PSX and VIII was on PS2. Then was the oddball that was IX, but later on X got a PS3 release eventually, though that's multi-platform. XI is coming to PS4 again. It's only the rereleases that got released on various platforms, but that's pretty much the same as FF anyway.

Del Murder
01-04-2017, 07:12 PM
I do think nostalgia is a factor, but more for DQ than FF. The FF series continues to adapt itself and innovate for the times, allowing it to reach a wider audience, while DQ focuses much more on keeping things traditional. So it really relies on that nostalgia to keep it going. FF still brings in new fans and I'm guessing a lot of people played their first FF with XIII or XV. Because Japan got every single DQ entry at original release, that nostalgia is much more ingrained. US got nothing between the Nintendo games and the polarizing DQVII, so the franchise really means nothing over here unless you are an old timer or got into VIII or the DS rereleases.

Honestly, though, I just think the FF series has better games, or at least had their best games timed right at the peak of JRPG love in the West.

Fynn
01-04-2017, 07:17 PM
Idk, I think that really depends on what you're looking for. Playing through most of both series, I can't really say which one has the better games since they pretty much just offer completely different things.

I think marketing is an issue. VIII was very successful because they made it sell by revamping the menu, adding voices, a symphonic soundtrack, as well as a demo with FFXII. If they play their cards right, XI might do similarly.

Del Murder
01-04-2017, 07:50 PM
Idk, I think that really depends on what you're looking for. Playing through most of both series, I can't really say which one has the better games since they pretty much just offer completely different things.

I think marketing is an issue. VIII was very successful because they made it sell by revamping the menu, adding voices, a symphonic soundtrack, as well as a demo with FFXII. If they play their cards right, XI might do similarly.
Only the very last thing you mentioned for VIII was marketing. All the rest are design choices to make a better game.

Fynn
01-04-2017, 07:56 PM
Except it ultimately wasn't. The new UI may have been easier on the eyes, but it slowed down the gameplay significantly, adding more load times and additional animations to something that's meant to be practical and simple by design. The orchestra may be a good idea on paper, but the concert recordings used had terrible sound quality and sometimes actively hurt the experience because of it. The voice acting is pretty good though. All I'm saying is they weren't added to make a better game, but to make it more palatable to Western audiences - hence it's a marketing choice.

maybee
01-04-2017, 08:13 PM
Don't know why DQ doesn't do so strongly in the West- V, VII, VIII and IX are smurfing great.

Maybe if they made the MC have big muscles, army gear, have a massive gun, be macho, be bald and white and maybe " Mericans would play it.



https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR4-1_1fdjzRfQTmfkZjQ1SpwTFOlve6MmFPrTQC6cJ55nzya6K4Q

DRAGON QUEST XII
KISS BANG BANG KISS

Aulayna
01-04-2017, 08:27 PM
In Europe they didn't even release a DQ game until DQVIII... in 2006.

Hardly shocking that Europeans don't have much attachment toward the series. Infact, in Europe, the majority of the series only hit the market within the last 8 or so years as DS/Mobile titles.

Squall Leonhart Loire
01-04-2017, 11:53 PM
A lot of people that I meet know what Dragon Quest is but are ultimately turned off by the Akira Toriyama artstyle for some reason and the very traditional JRPG structure. And like all of the reasons mentioned above, it all comes down to the fact that Square Enix doesn't push it much. I think this goes back to when Final Fantasy VII released and that game made Square ahead of Enix and basically on top of the JRPG market/genre. Both of them were having troubles selling their games in the west and Square just managed to beat Enix in the race. Then again, it's still a very well known franchise. Final Fantasy just came before it in the west in terms of popularity. Pokemon, however, manages to overshadow both.

Interesting read here - https://www.reddit.com/r/dragonquest/comments/3f6hl2/mythbusters_dragon_quest_doesnt_sell_well_in_the/

Colonel Angus
01-05-2017, 02:56 AM
One thing Square could've done was try to promote DQ more in the West when DBZ became a thing. They could've tried to ride the coattails of that, considering it's the same artists working on both, to draw some attention.

Also, they mention FFVII as the source of nostalgia for FF fans, but I would argue that the SNES games were even more so. The 16-bit era was when RPGs started making waves in the west. You had FF as #1 and maybe Phantasy Star as #2. Then you had Chrono Trigger, which just blew up. The Super Famicom version of DQ weren't even released in NA until many years later.

Fynn
01-05-2017, 04:31 PM
Interesting read here - https://www.reddit.com/r/dragonquest/comments/3f6hl2/mythbusters_dragon_quest_doesnt_sell_well_in_the/

Interesting article and kind of expresses what I think is the case - it's not that DQ is unsuccessful, since it's definitely still one of the most recognizable series in the JRPG genre, it's just that in Japan DQ is the biggest thing ever, and maybe they just think that if that isn't the case in the West, then that's a failure? Idk, I really kind of feel like this is insulting to us DQ fans in the West. Browsing the DQ reddit I've noticed that the DQ fans are some of the loyal and devoted fans on the market, united in what they want out of the series, completely respectful of what the creators put out, regardless of the game's actual quality (granted, I've yet to play a DQ game that would disappoint me in the slightest, but this is kind of beside the point). Compare it to the FF reddits and, well, this forum, where people really can't agree on anything regarding FF and the unrealistic demands made in many regards only serve to splinter the fanbase further. Of course, this is a direct result of FF having wider appeal in general and thus attracting people with a broad range of expectations into the table.

The art style thing, though, may actually also be true. As they mentioned in the first article Pike linked up, Westerners do tend to associate cartoony graphics with kids' games in most cases, whereas that is really not the case in Japan. Of course, I would never want for a DQ game to not have Toriyama's distinct style associated with it, but I get it. Which is why I think the key to DQ's success in the West is the proper marketing, as was the case with VIII (and IX to a lesser extent, though that game's sales were still really high).

But sadly, nowadays it looks like SE is more like "Oh well, I guess Westerners - those foreign, alien beings of legend - cannot wrap their heads around the greatness that is DQ. Trying to sell it to them would be pointless. Let's just see how the next game goes and if it doesn't sell double the Japanese amount, I guess that's it and we're done. It was just never meant to be."

Del Murder
01-05-2017, 08:55 PM
SE does that not just for DQ. They really have a backwards way of thinking that if their games don't break sales records then it's our fault for not appreciating how excellent they are.

Fynn
01-05-2017, 09:00 PM
Still, Bravely Default was a surprise success despite selling much fewer copies than any DQ game.

Del Murder
01-05-2017, 09:59 PM
BD is the exception that proved a lot of SE's rules. It innovated a lot of the traditional JRPG elements but was not labeled with one of SE's big franchise names, and so they didn't expect it to sell much. Its success surprised them but it shouldn't have. It was a great game that blended tradition and modernization in the genre, and did it organically without checking off a bunch of boxes that they pieced together through market research. Yet like you said it didn't sell 10 million copies. So how can they expect their big franchises to do that when those don't have that blend of cohesive design and innovation that BD had (at least until the very end of that game)?

Fynn
01-05-2017, 10:21 PM
SE just seems to fail to realize that there is demand for a completely traditional, orthodox JRPG series over here as well. And they might not blend the old with the new, but buy, so I feel that the DQ games are way more cohesive than FF when it comes to storytelling. The problem is always the marketing and SE's weird expectations.

Not sure yet how DQVII 3DS did but at least it got a lot of coverage by Nintendo through the Directs and online guides to the point that's whole lot of people online were excited about it. Compare that to how no one's played the DS releases of the Zenithian saga or the rerelease of the first 6 games plus VIII on iOS. SE just sent them out and expected Western fans to just pick them up because it's DQ, completely ignoring the fact that it's cultural relevance is not universal. It needs to be fucking marketed properly.

Coming back to what Aulayna said, by browsing reddit I noticed there's apparently a consensus that DQ is actually bigger in Europe than it is in the US. The rereleases sold better, at least, though that's probably because we're simply making up for the fact that the series hadn't been released here at all before VIII. So suddenly it's "holy crap, there's this whole other excellent JRPG series that isn't FF and it's been hidden from us all this time! GIVE IT TO ME NOW!"

(At least that's what it was like for me. I've been playing the DQ series in order for a little over a year now and I just can't get enough)

Del Murder
01-05-2017, 10:48 PM
Oh yes, DQ is definitely more cohesive but it lacks the innovation. That's where I think BD succeeded. Of course, the very traditional DQ games are absurdly popular in Japan so I don't suggest they fix what ain't broken. Just don't expect that to fly out West where we don't have the deep seeded nostalgia for the series (present company excluded :p).

Fynn
01-05-2017, 10:50 PM
Of course, I agree. But I still think the fan base and demand are far bigger than SE give them credit for.

Squall Leonhart Loire
01-05-2017, 11:38 PM
I'll definitely want to see how well Dragon Quest XI does. It looks gorgeous, it's on three platforms, and since the Nintendo Switch is one of those platforms and has received a lot of hype pre-release it could sell pretty dang well if Square Enix plays their cards right.

Depression Moon
01-06-2017, 03:25 AM
Not really. Aside from the odd choice of putting IX on the DS, as the games were released chronologically, they went similarly to FF. I, II, III and IV were on NES, V and VI were on SNES, VII was on PSX and VIII was on PS2. Then was the oddball that was IX, but later on X got a PS3 release eventually, though that's multi-platform. XI is coming to PS4 again. It's only the rereleases that got released on various platforms, but that's pretty much the same as FF anyway.
Were all those initially released outside of Japan because with the case of FF All first six were definitely not and then ported to other systems years later. That was probably what she was talking about.

Fynn
01-06-2017, 07:17 AM
Only V and VI weren't, and later on they were released on the same platform as IX. Hardly the KH situation here.

Loony BoB
01-06-2017, 11:33 AM
As far as I'm concerned, it's down to marketing (I'd love to see the budget difference in marketing expenses for the two games outside of Japan, I expect they would be dramatic) and what Murd said about FF being innovative. Tradition is great for some games, but honestly the west likes home console games and innovation a lot more than Japan, I feel.

I've not played any DQ games yet. If they put one out for a home console release and it caught my attention, I would, but so far I don't think that has happened since I actually knew about DQ. If it has, well, it definitely had poor marketing because I'm oblivious to the matter.

Fynn
01-06-2017, 03:44 PM
Well, DQVIII was first released on PS2, so maybe back then you just weren't aware of DQ yet.

Loony BoB
01-06-2017, 05:11 PM
If only there were some kind of thing that would make people aware of games when they were coming out, then Square could invest in such a thing. They could call it 'marketing'.

Basically a lack of awareness on my part is not something I consider to be my fault, because I've been aware of a hell of a lot of games over the years without really needing to try to be aware of them. Having posted at EoFF for half of my life, I think it's really telling that I still haven't really known when a DQ game was being released on a home console. Again, I'd love to see a comparison of marketing budgets. Are we comfortable on the assumption that Square invests at least ten times the amount into marketing FF (or even Tomb Raider and Deus Ex) than they do DQ? Honestly, at this point I feel like I Am Setsuna got more marketing than DQ does in the western world.

Skyblade
01-10-2017, 06:48 AM
The only Dragon Quest game I played heavily was Sentinals of the Starry Sky. I thoroughly enjoyed it, right up until the (utterly predictable) moment near the beginning when everything blew up.

When I reached the next town, the very next quest I took slaughtered me. I didn't just lose, I didn't even stand a chance.

Apparently there was a system introduced through the town which lets you hire random NPCs to give yourself a full party or something like that? And it seems required to do anything after that point in the game?

Not entirely sure on the details, it was a while ago. But the combination of the lack of conveyance and the fact I'd have to use random NPCs rather than individual characters turned me off the game, and I haven't gone back since.

Fynn
01-10-2017, 06:53 AM
IX is one of the two games in the series where you only use player-created characters instead of actual characters.