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Why the Dragon Quest Franchise isn't as popular outside Japan


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A lot of you are probably wondering why Square Enix doesn't show as much love for Dragon Quest overseas as it does in its home country in Japan.

 

This topic here is to discuss why Dragon Quest is not as popular overseas (outside Japan).

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It's a JRPG. The J sets it apart. Not a ton of JRPGs have sold amazingly here for long periods of time. FF became westernized on the PS with 7,8,9. DQ did not. Thus, it didn't thrive. And then we didn't get some and then they didn't advertise well, and now it's a huge feedback loop. Don't know what came first or why, but it's stuck in obscurity.

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Simple: The heads at SE don't show any support for the series outside of Japan. No advertising, too high of expectations, etc.

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Simple: The heads at SE don't show any support for the series outside of Japan. No advertising, too high of expectations, etc.

 

This is the core of the problem.  Platty covers the past, and this as well, but underplays this element.  The past is the past, and the loss of DQ during the SNES years hurt, but given WRPG's are starting to grow a little stale, and with the success of simpler more intuitive indie games, and the proof in the pudding of marketing to sales we see with DQ, it's clear the series has potential.  How much, we'll never know until SE proves the last few statements aren't just words.

 

There's also the fact that, when EoA came back in 1999, it slowly grew the series, seeing higher sales and larger campaigns with each new release.  Excited, smart, and classy campaigns, much like how Atlus approaches its lesser series, which generally grow and expand their user bases (EO is constantly seeing more fans and sales with each new release), and had approached Persona 3 and 4, that happened to take off since it was right time, right place, and the right style of game design (hard).

 

SE had a different approach.  I can only speculate, since we don't know what really happened.  Dwaine is the only one who has worked with the merged company, for the DQMJ release, which actually did quite well, though didn't take as well as expected, or something, since DQ4 was lackluster compared to Joker, in its campaigning.  It's been just downhill, in a seeming intentional failure to prove DQ can't sell...at least until DQ9, which proved DQ sells itself (no pack-in like 8 had, and it sold about as many units...and actually had LESS commercialization if we count 4 months worth of TV adverts for 8 versus 2 for 9...though 1 commercial for 8 versus 2 for 9).

 

I'm sure there are other things behind the scenes, but it's not always profit.  Just read up on the Tomb Raider reboot, which required, internally, 5m units to "break even" and 6m to "profit", but sold 3.2m, and was by far the highest grossing game that quarter.  One thing to note, is it's nearly impossible for Tomb Raider's reboot to cost so much that the 3.2m did not pull in profit (assuming SE pulls in $40 every $60 sale, that's $128 million US). If for some reason the actual cost of the game exceeded $100 million US, the clearly SE has other problems, such as extreme overbudgeting, and very poor money management...possibly internal corruption and stealing.  So the real question is...why the insane numbers?  The only thing I can think of is Tomb Raider was paying for production of other major releases...like FF14's losses, development of smaller games that aren't released, and the insane 8 year, 3 retooled, FF Versus 13 AND FF 15, the original build, which was trashed for Versus 13.  Meaning FF14 is two separate development costs to cover and recoup, while FF15 is literally spending on 4 games, 3 retools of the original versus 13, and the original 15 build.  That's the only thing that makes sense to me in light of their insane numbers.  Probably given the truly insane development times and costs of their major series: KH, FF, and to a lesser extent...much lesser extent, DQ.

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Big companies nowadays aren't happy with getting some of the money from a modest release. They want all of the money from a big expensive monstrosity. That's why the market is saturated with Call of Duty and GTA clones. Companies like Atlus will keep popping out cheap Vita JRPGs all day, every day, but Square Enix will claim Tom Raider's millions of units sold is a failure (yes, I know Igy mentioned that just above me, but I've used Tomb Raider as an example in the past so I'm doing it again).

 

This is a statement that's true in every corner of the market. Whole genres are being overlooked because board rooms are telling game directors that they don't sell anymore. The bigger a company is, the more a machine it becomes, until everything becomes about "focus-groups" and "test markets" in an attempt to appeal to the "demographic" most likely to buy Modern Shooter 12: Future Raid - Ultimate Definitive Deluxe Game of the Year Edition.

 

And what's worse is it's starting to effect game developers negatively. Major companies buying studios just so they can make their uniform, homogenized crapfests. Just look what happened to the once-proud Rare. And some companies, like, say Square Enix, will buy a studio, have them develop a bad game for them, then shut them down for it. One month after Murdered: Soul Suspect, Airtight Games closed its doors. 

Edited by eal
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The average age of a western jrpg fan is something like 24-40. These are people who grew up on the SNES and psx era games. As such the tastes of these people are largely based on nostalgia. The US not getting the SNES games until the DS remakes hurt the franchise in this regard.

 

Square Enix has also done a terrible job building the series as a franchise in the west. IX sold pretty well but the worst thing they could have done is cut support for the franchise after that. Sure DQVI didn't sell that hot but that was partially on them. The only games I've seen with any sort of marketing push were dqviii, dqmj and dqix. Everything else was set out to pasture

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Advertising.  Its not because the game is too Japanese, because Americans freaking love Dragon Ball Z and the two franchises even have the same artist.  Its all on the advertising.  DQVIII had tons of commercials and magazine ads.  It did great and remains a PS2 classic.  DQIX had a huge series of commercials and a giant slime statue in Rockerfeller Plaza.  It did great too.  The franchise just needs more awareness.

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Advertising.  Its not because the game is too Japanese, because Americans freaking love Dragon Ball Z and the two franchises even have the same artist.  Its all on the advertising.  DQVIII had tons of commercials and magazine ads.  It did great and remains a PS2 classic.  DQIX had a huge series of commercials and a giant slime statue in Rockerfeller Plaza.  It did great too.  The franchise just needs more awareness.

 

DQVIII also had a mall tour, which did come by my city. I went to the first one on Friday that week.

 

The games also had the demo for FF12.

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Also, the bizarre numbering doesn't help much. The first game with the word "Quest" in the title was VIII. Then several years later comes IX. In-between we got the alphabet soup that was Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker, Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors, and Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime. Then comes an onslaught of games labeled IV, V, and VI, each with limited print runs. No wonder there aren't a ton of casual fans, this is almost as messy as Kingdom Hearts.

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Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts gets all the attention marketing wise over here in the west for sure.

 

Fixed, but sadly, not necessarily that either.  SE only markets the core FF brand names, and KH.  Sidegames...maybe they do, maybe they don't.  Even FF4 DS saw limited marketing, even compared to FF3 DS.  Maybe from their perspective, FF4 should've sold more up front as it was better known, or maybe FF3 just did not appeal to as many gamers as they suspected it should.  I don't know.

 

There's also the problem with handling of fans and attention granted to even FF fans that is...troubling, and while there are some shiny golden lights piercing the clouds, the sky is still overcast.

 

I will say this, and especially given redneck's recent post.  SE deserves a chance to prove themselves.  I just don't like how slow and lethargic are the changes.  There's some hope granted in the Heroes announcement, but words and actions are unique in that one has to follow the other to prove the merit and value of those words.  Words should never be empty.  At the same time, in order to create positive change, one has to be positive.  We, as a fanbase, have been overwhelmingly supportive and positive in our communications.  It's now up to them to show they're placing rocks to hold their house up, instead of digging out the foundations and pretending the rock is present...

 

 

 

SE has botched and screwed over even FF fans.  KH fans in general were only torn from the lack of a true sequel to KH2 over the course of what...like 7 years?

 

For FF fans, while Zero and Agito were released, that was a very long period of time of no acknowledgment.  Sure SE has become more open and talkative, but they still speak in cryptic messages, and aren't as direct and open as I would prefer them to be.  I get the reason why they are, and I do greatly appreciate this change, and yes, given Zero and Agito, it does imply some amount of attention garnered for fans outside Japan, but it lacks real punch in that we've seen little action, very little action.  Some action has been negative as well.  Case in point, FF11.

 

FF11's numbers, just prior to FF14, hit a solid and respectable 2+million, behind Lineage and WoW as the third largest MMO at the time.  Yes, that's right, third largest, in 2013, and 4th in 2012.  They regrew that base after a botched first three years of maltreatment of fans.  I can't tell you how many times I had to repurchase the full game and all expansions, because I took a short hiatus that often happened to be just 3 months, forgetting to log in during that interim (yes, it's my fault, but the rules regarding account continuation were insane, and it was rightfully called bilking money from fans).

 

However, with FF14's botched initial release, SE scared away those who had left 11 for 14...most of them.  14 returns, and only core fans stuck around both 11 and stayed to see how 14 would turn out in its reboot.  Around this time, they switched directors for 11 twice, and producers once.  The current producer and director have been slowly shortselling FF11, and as it stands, SE has trashed and destroyed any hope of this game revitalizing itself.  This is insane given it's height was well after release, and WoW is a good indicator that if refreshed, an older MMO can maintain itself.

 

Meaning that FF11 could continue forward and rebuild.  They could hire out to a company with a solid track record of success (not the Maple Story mafia), to continue content creation and to redesign the in-game graphics with a nice facelift as WoW had done.  Instead, they opt for a mobile version that will force players to start new accounts, and will be filled with cash-shop based sales for cheap, quick, cash-in's.  It's a very sad day for anyone who has ever played an enjoyed FF11.  I've been on the outside for awhile now, but I thoroughly enjoyed the game when I did play.  Essentially, SE has setup FF11's rebuild to fail.  I just hope there are players who dive back into the game in such numbers that they reconsider.  I was at first happy for the mobile release, thinking it was like DQ10 mobile, in that it was a cloud-based connection to the servers, but with a few trinkets specific to the mobile format to make gaming more fun for those who might want to try playing it that way.  Rather it's a wholly separate experience.  So...horrible news and tribulations for FF fans, especially those who had enjoyed FF11.  Closing down the drivers that allowed console players to connect makes sense, but completely shutting off any new content creation when the PC version will be kept in-play is absurd.  I would say more, but I'm not as well versed as other friends, like Mortamor, who can't post here anymore, but who has kept me apprised with links and discussions on what's going on, since he knows I used to play.

 

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Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts gets all the attention marketing wise over here in the west for sure.

 

Fixed, but sadly, not necessarily that either.  SE only markets the core FF brand names, and KH.  Sidegames...maybe they do, maybe they don't.  Even FF4 DS saw limited marketing, even compared to FF3 DS.  Maybe from their perspective, FF4 should've sold more up front as it was better known, or maybe FF3 just did not appeal to as many gamers as they suspected it should.  I don't know.

 

There's also the problem with handling of fans and attention granted to even FF fans that is...troubling, and while there are some shiny golden lights piercing the clouds, the sky is still overcast.

 

I will say this, and especially given redneck's recent post.  SE deserves a chance to prove themselves.  I just don't like how slow and lethargic are the changes.  There's some hope granted in the Heroes announcement, but words and actions are unique in that one has to follow the other to prove the merit and value of those words.  Words should never be empty.  At the same time, in order to create positive change, one has to be positive.  We, as a fanbase, have been overwhelmingly supportive and positive in our communications.  It's not up to them to show they're placing rocks to hold their house up, instead of digging out the foundations and pretending the rock is present...

 

 

 

SE has botched and screwed over even FF fans.  KH fans in general were only torn from the lack of a true sequel to KH2 over the course of what...like 7 years?

 

For FF fans, while Zero and Agito were released, that was a very long period of time of no acknowledgment.  Sure SE has become more open and talkative, but they still speak in cryptic messages, and aren't as direct and open as I would prefer them to be.  I get the reason why they are, and I do greatly appreciate this change, and yes, given Zero and Agito, it does imply some amount of attention garnered for fans outside Japan, but it lacks real punch in that we've seen little action, very little action.  Some action has been negative as well.  Case in point, FF11.

 

FF11's numbers, just prior to FF14, hit a solid and respectable 2+million, behind Lineage and WoW as the third largest MMO at the time.  Yes, that's right, third largest, in 2013, and 4th in 2012.  They regrew that base after a botched first three years of maltreatment of fans.  I can't tell you how many times I had to repurchase the full game and all expansions, because I took a short hiatus that often happened to be just 3 months, forgetting to log in during that interim (yes, it's my fault, but the rules regarding account continuation were insane, and it was rightfully called bilking money from fans).

 

However, with FF14's botched initial release, SE scared away those who had left 11 for 14...most of them.  14 returns, and only core fans stuck around both 11 and stayed to see how 14 would turn out in its reboot.  Around this time, they switched directors for 11 twice, and producers once.  The current producer and director have been slowly shortselling FF11, and as it stands, SE has trashed and destroyed any hope of this game revitalizing itself.  This is insane given it's height was well after release, and WoW is a good indicator that if refreshed, an older MMO can maintain itself.

 

Meaning that FF11 could continue forward and rebuild.  They could hire out to a company with a solid track record of success (not the Maple Story mafia), to continue content creation and to redesign the in-game graphics with a nice facelift as WoW had done.  Instead, they opt for a mobile version that will force players to start new accounts, and will be filled with cash-shop based sales for cheap, quick, cash-in's.  It's a very sad day for anyone who has ever played an enjoyed FF11.  I've been on the outside for awhile now, but I thoroughly enjoyed the game when I did play.  Essentially, SE has setup FF11's rebuild to fail.  I just hope there are players who dive back into the game in such numbers that they reconsider.  I was at first happy for the mobile release, thinking it was like DQ10 mobile, in that it was a cloud-based connection to the servers, but with a few trinkets specific to the mobile format to make gaming more fun for those who might want to try playing it that way.  Rather it's a wholly separate experience.  So...horrible news and tribulations for FF fans, especially those who had enjoyed FF11.  Closing down the drivers that allowed console players to connect makes sense, but completely shutting off any new content creation when the PC version will be kept in-play is absurd.  I would say more, but I'm not as well versed as other friends, like Mortamor, who can't post here anymore, but who has kept me apprised with links and discussions on what's going on, since he knows I used to play.

 

 

I just love your intuitive answers and as always you're right on point on every point.  FF IV was interesting with it's polygon graphics and the CGI was absolutely breath taking.  I noticed when they came out with the After Years for FF IV which was really good which could only be downloaded on the the WII which I downloaded there.  It was not advertised like you say.  KH III is way overdue.  BTW I was a huge Maplestory fan... and played Maplestory profusely and made it to level 185.

 

I never played a FF MMO or anything but I prefer console when it comes to main series, but I agree with you on everything.  I would love to hear your thoughts on all 3ds DQ VIII additions.

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Oops, I said it's "not" up to them, I meant it's "now" up to them.  Fixed.

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Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts gets all the attention marketing wise over here in the west for sure.

 

Fixed, but sadly, not necessarily that either.  SE only markets the core FF brand names, and KH.  Sidegames...maybe they do, maybe they don't.  Even FF4 DS saw limited marketing, even compared to FF3 DS.  Maybe from their perspective, FF4 should've sold more up front as it was better known, or maybe FF3 just did not appeal to as many gamers as they suspected it should.  I don't know.

 

There's also the problem with handling of fans and attention granted to even FF fans that is...troubling, and while there are some shiny golden lights piercing the clouds, the sky is still overcast.

 

I will say this, and especially given redneck's recent post.  SE deserves a chance to prove themselves.  I just don't like how slow and lethargic are the changes.  There's some hope granted in the Heroes announcement, but words and actions are unique in that one has to follow the other to prove the merit and value of those words.  Words should never be empty.  At the same time, in order to create positive change, one has to be positive.  We, as a fanbase, have been overwhelmingly supportive and positive in our communications.  It's not up to them to show they're placing rocks to hold their house up, instead of digging out the foundations and pretending the rock is present...

 

 

 

SE has botched and screwed over even FF fans.  KH fans in general were only torn from the lack of a true sequel to KH2 over the course of what...like 7 years?

 

For FF fans, while Zero and Agito were released, that was a very long period of time of no acknowledgment.  Sure SE has become more open and talkative, but they still speak in cryptic messages, and aren't as direct and open as I would prefer them to be.  I get the reason why they are, and I do greatly appreciate this change, and yes, given Zero and Agito, it does imply some amount of attention garnered for fans outside Japan, but it lacks real punch in that we've seen little action, very little action.  Some action has been negative as well.  Case in point, FF11.

 

FF11's numbers, just prior to FF14, hit a solid and respectable 2+million, behind Lineage and WoW as the third largest MMO at the time.  Yes, that's right, third largest, in 2013, and 4th in 2012.  They regrew that base after a botched first three years of maltreatment of fans.  I can't tell you how many times I had to repurchase the full game and all expansions, because I took a short hiatus that often happened to be just 3 months, forgetting to log in during that interim (yes, it's my fault, but the rules regarding account continuation were insane, and it was rightfully called bilking money from fans).

 

However, with FF14's botched initial release, SE scared away those who had left 11 for 14...most of them.  14 returns, and only core fans stuck around both 11 and stayed to see how 14 would turn out in its reboot.  Around this time, they switched directors for 11 twice, and producers once.  The current producer and director have been slowly shortselling FF11, and as it stands, SE has trashed and destroyed any hope of this game revitalizing itself.  This is insane given it's height was well after release, and WoW is a good indicator that if refreshed, an older MMO can maintain itself.

 

Meaning that FF11 could continue forward and rebuild.  They could hire out to a company with a solid track record of success (not the Maple Story mafia), to continue content creation and to redesign the in-game graphics with a nice facelift as WoW had done.  Instead, they opt for a mobile version that will force players to start new accounts, and will be filled with cash-shop based sales for cheap, quick, cash-in's.  It's a very sad day for anyone who has ever played an enjoyed FF11.  I've been on the outside for awhile now, but I thoroughly enjoyed the game when I did play.  Essentially, SE has setup FF11's rebuild to fail.  I just hope there are players who dive back into the game in such numbers that they reconsider.  I was at first happy for the mobile release, thinking it was like DQ10 mobile, in that it was a cloud-based connection to the servers, but with a few trinkets specific to the mobile format to make gaming more fun for those who might want to try playing it that way.  Rather it's a wholly separate experience.  So...horrible news and tribulations for FF fans, especially those who had enjoyed FF11.  Closing down the drivers that allowed console players to connect makes sense, but completely shutting off any new content creation when the PC version will be kept in-play is absurd.  I would say more, but I'm not as well versed as other friends, like Mortamor, who can't post here anymore, but who has kept me apprised with links and discussions on what's going on, since he knows I used to play.

 

 

I just love your intuitive answers and as always you're right on point on every point.  FF IV was interesting with it's polygon graphics and the CGI was absolutely breath taking.  I noticed when they came out with the After Years for FF IV which was really good which could only be downloaded on the the WII which I downloaded there.  It was not advertised like you say.  KH III is way overdue.  BTW I was a huge Maplestory fan... and played Maplestory profusely and made it to level 185.

 

I never played a FF MMO or anything but I prefer console when it comes to main series, but I agree with you on everything.  I would love to hear your thoughts on all 3ds DQ VIII additions.

Thanks, but I wouldn't say I'm right on every point.  I'm sure I've missed or overlooked quite a number of details.  A lot is speculation because we don't know internal details.

 

OH right, After Years.  Definitely overlooked and under-marketed title.  I think they had banner ads for it, but any intelligent marketing agency and marketer should keep up with the times...most people have ad-block or something akin to it.  Most browsers even come with some ad-block feature.  Most gamers, for whatever their mindset may be, tend to be savvy when it comes to such functions and features, and usually prefer to purchase what they've already decided to purchase, meaning extra and unwanted advertising on the side of websites would be seen as distracting and frustrating.  So many, if not most gamers, are likely to use a feature like ad-block.  Thus negating any chance of witnessing a good portion of what is classified as "cheap," and those who would view it...well, mom's and people who aren't internet savvy.  Even assuming members of these groups are likely to purchase, you have to advertise where they go, and spend a bit extra to compete with other banner ads due to heavier traffic.  Like Tiger Direct...which sees a ton of traffic.  The problem with this is you need to spend a lot extra because they use algorithms that tend to favour stuff these people already purchase, so to be seen/get traction, the algorithm has to favour it above stuff that's more likely to be viewed and purchased.

 

I give Maplestory a bunch of flak, but overall it's a fun game.  Heck, I play Ragnarok Online still, though I never hit max level or near it, as you've seemingly done in Maplestory.  I just sit on my bum or help people play the game.  LOL, or go gear/card/resource farming instead of leveling.  It's just Maplestory's parent company is well known for really milking customers of their hard earned money, more so than even Gravity.  Gravity, RO's owner, is just terrible at caring one whit or iota about planning and how to organize a game, especially GM management for its franchise servers, like the international server I play on.  Poor management = problems, like bot farming to the extent that over 95% of the games economy is based on bots.  Very sad to note that making 500million normally takes about 3 months, but due to bots, plenty of people have in excess of 50 billion, and so the market is in hyperinflation, and the uber rich don't want anything to change.  Ah, and they say fractional reserve banking is an intelligent system of banking that creates true prosperity...oh...oh...oops, there's no actual oversight over how much money is printed (seriously, allegorically equivalent to zenny farming bots in relation to RO's economy).

 

Sorry, got off-track.

 

DQVIII.

 

At first I was a bit upset given the general quality of graphics is rather low, and it should be higher.  However, it's not as bad as say...DQ9, so the reversion is not by that much.  Just a lot more jaggies more than anything, and poor colour saturation on every map.  Much of this could change by the release, but it's hard to say given how soon that is compared to what they're showing now.  There's the fact that the N3DS does improve the graphical quality of 3DS games, as many have mentioned, so that's a positive.  Maybe someday soon Nintendo will get their heads unstuck from their behinds and give free power cords to all current N3DS owners, and recall to replace all N3DS with new boxes that contain power cords, so people are more likely to actually buy the N3DS.

 

I like the idea of past events, and I wonder how they'll unfold.  I don't have much else to say, as I'm kind of limited in my info.  Having enemies on screen is interesting.  For some fans, clearly it's a negative change.  For myself, and a few others, it's a positive change.  The main reason I say this is, it allows personal discretion in choosing when and what to attack.  DQ8 already has the lowest encounter rate of any DQ, so for those who prefer getting into more battles, it's likely this method will improve that, though clearly that means just attacking anything in sight.  However it does imply that if I want to farm Bombrocks, I can farm them without worrying about gorilla encounters.  It will be interesting with the Notorious Monster system however.

 

I really hope Red can steal, maybe Morrie increased monster drop rates.  Or something akin to that.  DQ8, for people who like to farm, is a painfully slow experience.  Especially for seed hunters and abusers like myself.

 

I'm actually excited.  My only qualm is the graphical quality and sound quality, but then I plan on a N3DS at some point soon.

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Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts gets all the attention marketing wise over here in the west for sure.

 

Fixed, but sadly, not necessarily that either.  SE only markets the core FF brand names, and KH.  Sidegames...maybe they do, maybe they don't.  Even FF4 DS saw limited marketing, even compared to FF3 DS.  Maybe from their perspective, FF4 should've sold more up front as it was better known, or maybe FF3 just did not appeal to as many gamers as they suspected it should.  I don't know.

 

There's also the problem with handling of fans and attention granted to even FF fans that is...troubling, and while there are some shiny golden lights piercing the clouds, the sky is still overcast.

 

I will say this, and especially given redneck's recent post.  SE deserves a chance to prove themselves.  I just don't like how slow and lethargic are the changes.  There's some hope granted in the Heroes announcement, but words and actions are unique in that one has to follow the other to prove the merit and value of those words.  Words should never be empty.  At the same time, in order to create positive change, one has to be positive.  We, as a fanbase, have been overwhelmingly supportive and positive in our communications.  It's not up to them to show they're placing rocks to hold their house up, instead of digging out the foundations and pretending the rock is present...

 

 

 

SE has botched and screwed over even FF fans.  KH fans in general were only torn from the lack of a true sequel to KH2 over the course of what...like 7 years?

 

For FF fans, while Zero and Agito were released, that was a very long period of time of no acknowledgment.  Sure SE has become more open and talkative, but they still speak in cryptic messages, and aren't as direct and open as I would prefer them to be.  I get the reason why they are, and I do greatly appreciate this change, and yes, given Zero and Agito, it does imply some amount of attention garnered for fans outside Japan, but it lacks real punch in that we've seen little action, very little action.  Some action has been negative as well.  Case in point, FF11.

 

FF11's numbers, just prior to FF14, hit a solid and respectable 2+million, behind Lineage and WoW as the third largest MMO at the time.  Yes, that's right, third largest, in 2013, and 4th in 2012.  They regrew that base after a botched first three years of maltreatment of fans.  I can't tell you how many times I had to repurchase the full game and all expansions, because I took a short hiatus that often happened to be just 3 months, forgetting to log in during that interim (yes, it's my fault, but the rules regarding account continuation were insane, and it was rightfully called bilking money from fans).

 

However, with FF14's botched initial release, SE scared away those who had left 11 for 14...most of them.  14 returns, and only core fans stuck around both 11 and stayed to see how 14 would turn out in its reboot.  Around this time, they switched directors for 11 twice, and producers once.  The current producer and director have been slowly shortselling FF11, and as it stands, SE has trashed and destroyed any hope of this game revitalizing itself.  This is insane given it's height was well after release, and WoW is a good indicator that if refreshed, an older MMO can maintain itself.

 

Meaning that FF11 could continue forward and rebuild.  They could hire out to a company with a solid track record of success (not the Maple Story mafia), to continue content creation and to redesign the in-game graphics with a nice facelift as WoW had done.  Instead, they opt for a mobile version that will force players to start new accounts, and will be filled with cash-shop based sales for cheap, quick, cash-in's.  It's a very sad day for anyone who has ever played an enjoyed FF11.  I've been on the outside for awhile now, but I thoroughly enjoyed the game when I did play.  Essentially, SE has setup FF11's rebuild to fail.  I just hope there are players who dive back into the game in such numbers that they reconsider.  I was at first happy for the mobile release, thinking it was like DQ10 mobile, in that it was a cloud-based connection to the servers, but with a few trinkets specific to the mobile format to make gaming more fun for those who might want to try playing it that way.  Rather it's a wholly separate experience.  So...horrible news and tribulations for FF fans, especially those who had enjoyed FF11.  Closing down the drivers that allowed console players to connect makes sense, but completely shutting off any new content creation when the PC version will be kept in-play is absurd.  I would say more, but I'm not as well versed as other friends, like Mortamor, who can't post here anymore, but who has kept me apprised with links and discussions on what's going on, since he knows I used to play.

 

 

I just love your intuitive answers and as always you're right on point on every point.  FF IV was interesting with it's polygon graphics and the CGI was absolutely breath taking.  I noticed when they came out with the After Years for FF IV which was really good which could only be downloaded on the the WII which I downloaded there.  It was not advertised like you say.  KH III is way overdue.  BTW I was a huge Maplestory fan... and played Maplestory profusely and made it to level 185.

 

I never played a FF MMO or anything but I prefer console when it comes to main series, but I agree with you on everything.  I would love to hear your thoughts on all 3ds DQ VIII additions.

Thanks, but I wouldn't say I'm right on every point.  I'm sure I've missed or overlooked quite a number of details.  A lot is speculation because we don't know internal details.

 

OH right, After Years.  Definitely overlooked and under-marketed title.  I think they had banner ads for it, but any intelligent marketing agency and marketer should keep up with the times...most people have ad-block or something akin to it.  Most browsers even come with some ad-block feature.  Most gamers, for whatever their mindset may be, tend to be savvy when it comes to such functions and features, and usually prefer to purchase what they've already decided to purchase, meaning extra and unwanted advertising on the side of websites would be seen as distracting and frustrating.  So many, if not most gamers, are likely to use a feature like ad-block.  Thus negating any chance of witnessing a good portion of what is classified as "cheap," and those who would view it...well, mom's and people who aren't internet savvy.  Even assuming members of these groups are likely to purchase, you have to advertise where they go, and spend a bit extra to compete with other banner ads due to heavier traffic.  Like Tiger Direct...which sees a ton of traffic.  The problem with this is you need to spend a lot extra because they use algorithms that tend to favour stuff these people already purchase, so to be seen/get traction, the algorithm has to favour it above stuff that's more likely to be viewed and purchased.

 

I give Maplestory a bunch of flak, but overall it's a fun game.  Heck, I play Ragnarok Online still, though I never hit max level or near it, as you've seemingly done in Maplestory.  I just sit on my bum or help people play the game.  LOL, or go gear/card/resource farming instead of leveling.  It's just Maplestory's parent company is well known for really milking customers of their hard earned money, more so than even Gravity.  Gravity, RO's owner, is just terrible at caring one whit or iota about planning and how to organize a game, especially GM management for its franchise servers, like the international server I play on.  Poor management = problems, like bot farming to the extent that over 95% of the games economy is based on bots.  Very sad to note that making 500million normally takes about 3 months, but due to bots, plenty of people have in excess of 50 billion, and so the market is in hyperinflation, and the uber rich don't want anything to change.  Ah, and they say fractional reserve banking is an intelligent system of banking that creates true prosperity...oh...oh...oops, there's no actual oversight over how much money is printed (seriously, allegorically equivalent to zenny farming bots in relation to RO's economy).

 

Sorry, got off-track.

 

DQVIII.

 

At first I was a bit upset given the general quality of graphics is rather low, and it should be higher.  However, it's not as bad as say...DQ9, so the reversion is not by that much.  Just a lot more jaggies more than anything, and poor colour saturation on every map.  Much of this could change by the release, but it's hard to say given how soon that is compared to what they're showing now.  There's the fact that the N3DS does improve the graphical quality of 3DS games, as many have mentioned, so that's a positive.  Maybe someday soon Nintendo will get their heads unstuck from their behinds and give free power cords to all current N3DS owners, and recall to replace all N3DS with new boxes that contain power cords, so people are more likely to actually buy the N3DS.

 

I like the idea of past events, and I wonder how they'll unfold.  I don't have much else to say, as I'm kind of limited in my info.  Having enemies on screen is interesting.  For some fans, clearly it's a negative change.  For myself, and a few others, it's a positive change.  The main reason I say this is, it allows personal discretion in choosing when and what to attack.  DQ8 already has the lowest encounter rate of any DQ, so for those who prefer getting into more battles, it's likely this method will improve that, though clearly that means just attacking anything in sight.  However it does imply that if I want to farm Bombrocks, I can farm them without worrying about gorilla encounters.  It will be interesting with the Notorious Monster system however.

 

I really hope Red can steal, maybe Morrie increased monster drop rates.  Or something akin to that.  DQ8, for people who like to farm, is a painfully slow experience.  Especially for seed hunters and abusers like myself.

 

I'm actually excited.  My only qualm is the graphical quality and sound quality, but then I plan on a N3DS at some point soon.

 

Honestly I happened to be on a computer that didn't have ad blocker for that instance I was glad to be pestered and get that message.  I really enjoyed the after years!  Very good story.

 

Alas, a lot of free to play are pay to win or are always doing something that will require you to use money if you want to make any headway in the game.  I've spent in my maple life probably about 300$ and that's only a drop in the bucket to some people.  Had I saved that money I'd be on my way to having a PS4 lol.  Oh yes, the bots, I remember reporting bot after bot, they were easy to spot but kept coming back like roaches.

 

The graphics are most disappointing, but for a hand-held what are you going to expect?  SE has hand-held games like crazy, maybe because in Japan it's more popular?  I wonder what the Japanese population think about that?  The new content such as two new scenarios, one with the Hero's past, and the other with Dhoulmagus' past.  Then of course, the extra dialogue with Morrie and Red in party chat.  That should prove interesting along with what skills they will have and exactly the narrative hook for them joining.  Red joining the party was a no brainer for me, I'm sure you've read my thread full of a lot of other characters being playable which I think they should have at least two more playable ones(Bangers and Mash).  Morrie I was a bit surprised since he is the leader of the monster party tournaments.  His past and power is a true enigma in the game.  I'm sure there will be new dungeons as a result of these characters.  In my modded version, I added new bosses along with some new side quests too.

 

Overall I'm excited about the new DQ VIII, I just want to know the new story line --then they need to import it over here... and DQ VII but that's another conversation lol

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The way I see it, a silent protagonist is meant to be the vessel through which you travel on the journey. They're the blank slate that you control, thereby putting you in the role. Having a second silent protagonist goes against that and negates it. Also, makes you wonder why these two are quite while the rest speak.

 

Plus, you sort of have to suspend your disbelief every time you have a silent protagonist but suddenly having two would make it hard for you to do that. Especially when you're left solo for that brief period in the fifth chapter.

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The way I see it, a silent protagonist is meant to be the vessel through which you travel on the journey. They're the blank slate that you control, thereby putting you in the role. Having a second silent protagonist goes against that and negates it. Also, makes you wonder why these two are quite while the rest speak.

 

Plus, you sort of have to suspend your disbelief every time you have a silent protagonist but suddenly having two would make it hard for you to do that. Especially when you're left solo for that brief period in the fifth chapter.

Yeah, thats what Yuji Horii said in his discussion with Miyamoto.  Having one silent protagonist makes you the character.  Having a whole team of silent protags just killed whatever kind of journey you were supposed to be bringing along with you.  I want to be able to talk to my friends as we travel the countryside.  Making them silent in DQIX with no emotions was a huge mistake on their part.

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I had a L99 Lord Knight on iRO. ..

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The way I see it, a silent protagonist is meant to be the vessel through which you travel on the journey. They're the blank slate that you control, thereby putting you in the role. Having a second silent protagonist goes against that and negates it. Also, makes you wonder why these two are quite while the rest speak.

 

Plus, you sort of have to suspend your disbelief every time you have a silent protagonist but suddenly having two would make it hard for you to do that. Especially when you're left solo for that brief period in the fifth chapter.

Yeah, thats what Yuji Horii said in his discussion with Miyamoto.  Having one silent protagonist makes you the character.  Having a whole team of silent protags just killed whatever kind of journey you were supposed to be bringing along with you.  I want to be able to talk to my friends as we travel the countryside.  Making them silent in DQIX with no emotions was a huge mistake on their part.

 

The reason for that is story.

 

You see, based on the story, the Hero is ALWAYS alone.  That's why they're never present in any cutscene.  It wouldn't make sense to explain away mortals being able to see and experience the same things the Hero is, and yet, when in the Observatory, the party goes with.

 

So basically, the point is, it's a solo game, built around a solo game, but allows the Hero to play it non-solo, with any created and crafted party members.  Sure they could have gotten around this by creating story elements suggesting the party goes back to the Inn while the Hero returns to the Observatory, but it would have posed a considerable problem in writing it in a way that's believable in context of the starlight express in the first place.  Since they cannot ever experience, enter, or see it.  So how is it they can travel with the Hero?  The thing is they can't.

 

Another question would be...well, why not use Celestrians?  That's another problem.  It implies that nothing actually happened.  All of the battle-hardened and trained Celestrians were already captured.  The rest were struggling to figure out what's what, and have no concept of how to interact with the world.  Plus they're being tasked with figuring out on their end, what to do.  You are the only one capable of handling yourself, and the only one capable of directly interacting with both worlds.  See, even if they WERE present, they would also be forced to a role of not present, save for savvy dialogue in the background.  It would look odd for the Hero to be listening, at any point, to something no one in the world can interact with.  You think they'd trust the Hero if they thought he was speaking to an invisible force?  One has to recall that at this point, only Angel Falls has any respect for its guardian, and even then, only ONE person makes a real effort, Erinn.  For the rest of the town, it's a story that they may or may not believe, but they're too afraid of the potential reality to do anything like insult or damage the relationship with a Guardian they truly don't believe in.  Meaning the rest of the world has NO faith.  They're atheistic in relation to the Celestrians.  Or they're wormwood.  Wormwood would be less believable if there were any hint the Hero is speaking to or listening to a hidden being.  They already hate the concept of Celestrians, and regardless of the outcome, it would be harder to believe even the Mayor would soften his heart if he felt the hated Celestrians were related to the Hero.

 

So what Horii did is a compromise.  It is a very noble compromise.  One I thought about for awhile, but you really have to consider all the story elements, and the difficulty in writing a script that allows for these elements.  Post-game, with the Inn trio joining, is effectively the same thing.  They're both there and not there.  The inn can't run without them, since they are THE only members running the Inn.  They're there in spirit more than anything else.  So think of your companions as "there in spirit."

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SE had a different approach.  I can only speculate, since we don't know what really happened.  Dwaine is the only one who has worked with the merged company, for the DQMJ release, which actually did quite well, though didn't take as well as expected, or something, since DQ4 was lackluster compared to Joker, in its campaigning.

 

Short on time, but I'll respond to this bit and will add more later.

 

I've attempted to work with them on a number of occasions. If nothing else to try and build a relationship. Part of the problem is how the company is structured. It's an international game of telephone. If anyone in that chain messes up (or just doesn't feel like doing their job) the whole thing is wrecked. They've got internal and external PR. For external they contract a number of firms. That's apparently common for them, but I've never expereinced any other company who hops firms that quickly, that often.

 

Those people also are only told so much, which makes it tough to figure out what part's not working. I was planning an E3 trip in 06 and asked well in advance if there was going to be anything DQ related, if so could I get an interview, etc. The response was basically, "...I do'no..." So when E3 came 'round, Rocket Slime had two 200 pixel screen shots in the press kit, but the producer was at the show! Was it the PR firm that dropped the ball or did SEI not relay all the information? Slime Knights was still active at the time, so if nothing else, it would've made a great feature for the site.

 

And speaking of Slime Knights, when the product managers who worked with the site quit, the company really made no attempt to supply it with additonal content. Tim was there, but he was web and there was only so much he could do. They didn't deliver on the prizes. All of that was put on KS II. When King Slime came back, I actually sent him some of the press assets. They didn't even have access to the asset FTP! They bascially left it all up to Affinitive and the users to generate and deliver content. Likely a case of "that's not my department."

 

My worst experience was with a company they were contracting around the time for DQ Wars. They offered me an interview, so I said, "Great, who will I be interviewing?" They didn't know. They said the game's developers. Intelligent Systems developed the game, so I directed the questions towards them. They said it wasn't Intelligent Systems, but still didn't know who, so I wrote the best questions I could and resent. Then they told me interviews had been canceled. Fast forward a few weeks later I see DQ Wars interviews popping up with Inuzuka. I wrote them and asked they said interviews hadn't been canceled, but they had "run out of time." They also copped a pretty snotty attitude.

 

 

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In the end, only five sites got responses back. It wouldn't shock me if they were friends of the firm. Things don't work out, and that's fine. As long as people are honest and try their best, I don't get upset. These guys were the worst people I've ever dealt with. Stupid, lazy, and lied constantly. It seems like they wanted to have Square Enix as a client, but didn't do any work aside from the bare minimum. They're no longer a PR firm. Last I looked they specialized in product placement. All the things gamers hate. Mountain Dew and Doritos type stuff. With a company like Square Enix you'd expect a certain level of professionalism. Maybe that's professional for LA.

 

Although, working with Nintendo via Golin-Harris has been nothing but good experiences. It's tough to build any sort of relationship though given the nature of big PR. PR only cares about you if you're useful to them or their cause. Like if I were working on something for the 3DS titles and approached them, I doubt they'd care. Sony may come Rocktober. Who knows. That's why I gravitate towards working directly with people. Some people are in it for the free games and swag. I'm in it to make something nice.

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 Why it's not popular is due to several reasons, which I'll condense to two.

 

1. We grew up with them. We know and love JRPGs. Younger generations do not. They like Atlus titles and such because they show cleavage. They like FPSs, sports games, and stuff like Dark Souls and junk. We like JRPGs and pixels.

 

2. Square Enix has a piss-poor advertising scheme and international approach for the franchise. That much is true.

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Matt...what are talking about with that Atlus comment? Catherine? Diana and Tiamat's and a few female demon designs from the SMT games? Persona 3 & 4?

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I used Atlus as a broad example. Kids like eye candy, and the animeish rpgs that they and a few other publishers pop out are my example.

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Why it's not as popular in the west as it is in Japan? Japan likes cute things more. The west likes their grimdark edgy RPGs with emo protagonists.

I wouldn't say the series isn't popular in the west, though. 8 and 9 sold very well. It's silly to compare the sales with Japan and go "oh, guess they don't like it then TOO BAD". Namco is guilty of doing the same with the "Tales of" series.

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