Best Buy had a whole series of DQVI promotions, around the release, in Long Island, and in Danbury CT. They sent a representative from Nintendo there, who gave me a DQVI poster and took my picture for marketing purposes, when I showed up. I went to two of these promotional events (hoping to do some DQIX canvassing) and only met one other DQ fan. At the second promo event I was told that I was the only one who showed. I found out about these promotions online, from a conversation from the GameFAQs forums, which lead me to a link to the Best Buy website with a blurb about the events.
It's almost like it was deliberately set up to fail. Why would they send a representative out to gather marketing info on a game release that they weren't aggressively promoting?
Wow, I think I recall that now. Right, it's not much different with the Gamestop window sticker. Spend some money for promotional items and a big scene, but little to no evidence of actually pushing or letting people know about the events.
It certainly does seem like it was setup to fail. Like they could say, see, we did spend money on a promotional campaign. I wonder if Nintendo and SE had a lot of infighting. It certainly seemed like SE, up until Dragon Quest IX, was setting itself up to fail. Assuming bad sales, doing less and less about it, then claiming DQ is a Japanese RPG that Westerners don't get. I have to wonder if this is due to SE, or did Nintendo decide they didn't care enough to follow through on their promise of assuring Dragon Quest in the West? I mean after 9 they dropped the ball one after the other, now we're looking at a 3DS devoid of any DQ releases outside of Japan. Was Nintendo deliberately assuring failure so it could have an excuse for a decision already made based in a corporate boardroom in Japan? Perhaps based on a notion that due to the DS popularity, that DQ9 should have sold even more? Like, 1m copies in the US alone? Let's face it, DQ9 was well advertised, but compared to something like, oh, I don't know, Final Fantasy 13, or Halo 3, or Call of Duty: Write a Name Here, it was paltry. The sales numbers fit perfectly with the campaign size, scope, and how long it ran. Maybe it just wasn't enough. Maybe there's another reason: SE demands that Nintendo did not want to deal with, or contract negotiations take forever. There are a number of potentials, but it definitely does seem like the DQVI campaign was designed as a farce.
The funny thing is that SE expected us to disappear into the void. 2 years ago they put up that Phil Rogers blog. I firmly believed it was designed to have, for lack of a better term, a bunch of sheep write in "Hurr durr, FF and KH". Then they'd deliver their FFs and KHs, from thence they could publicly claim they listened to the fans and delivered. Unfortunately for them, there were no sheep.
That was actually the true starting point in the DQ base becoming vocal- the VAST, perhaps 90% or more, of the requests were Dragon Quest. That likely lead to them thinking "Oh $#!&, our make believe game is blowing up in our faces!". Further down the line came Op. Hero, a bolster to my pages, and a virtual avalanche of fan outpouring.
I know I've said this before, but Heroes getting announced for us the day before the Japanese release and their use of Drew's hashtag is not mere coincidence. Nor is the fact they acknowledged and plainly said they were concerned about DQ7 selling. I sincerely commended their honesty instead of treating us like untouchables in a caste system.
I live literally down the road from one of the Sturm Ruger firearm factories. My Dad knew Bill Ruger Sr., and said what he admired about him was that he was willing to take risks and provide special services for his consumers. Around 1986, my Dad recalls, people were sending their old style single action revolvers to be modified with a transfer bar system that prevented direct contact between the hammer and the primer. As a result, you did not have to leave an empty cylinder chamber. You could have the entire wheel loaded and not worry about accidental discharge.
What made this conversion so amazing outside of the obvious mechanical improvements? Bill Ruger saw that it was done for FREE! The removed parts from before the conversion were also sent back to the consumer for collective purposes! My Dad recalls the THOUSANDS of guns shipped to Newport, New Hampshire for this service, and this absorbing of cost did not prevent Sturm Ruger from becoming the largest firearms manufacturer in the US, but also becoming the first gun company to wind up on the stock exchange!
SE would do well to follow the Ruger example. And I don't just mean the DQ folks- everywhere I go I see loads of discontent with them from virtually every fandom. I will say they have improved consumer relations in terms of the rumors of FF15 being made a quality title, and the individualized survey. Although I didn't much care for FF10-2, I'm glad they decided to localize the Last Mission portion of the game instead of half-assing the project by dummying out the content.
Nobody expects an overnight transformation. What I'd like to see is a continuance of this trend. After all, the couple of Ruger guns I bought were not purchased because my Dad worked there. They wound up housed near where they were manufactured because Ruger put out the product I wanted.