The Average Gamer

Dragon Quest Series for Mobiles – A Redundant Move?

Dragon Quest Logo
Square Enix has confirmed that Dragon Quest I-VIII will be released for the Android and iOS platforms in the near future. For now, this announcement is only for the series’ native Japan, but nevertheless seems a great idea, and surely releases outside of Japan are imminent, with mobile platforms growing in quality and size. Or is it? I attempt to try and weigh up the pros and cons of yet more re-releases.

The Positives

  1. Releasing this series on mobiles means it will be available to more people than ever before, especially those who don’t own/have never owned a games console/PC.

    Dragonquest VII

  2. Despite numerous re-releases on multiple platforms already, each one has made big profits, one of many reasons why Square Enix still exists. Dragon Quest III has sold 3.8 million copies in Japan alone, which is hard to argue with.
  3. It leaves a fan like me with some hope that releasing on such a wide platform will bring translated versions over to the UK in the future. The first 3 games of the series, which have never seen the light of day in the UK, would be well sought after, but none more so than VII. 16 years and the UK is still waiting.

The Negatives

  1. The history of the series shows its major consistency over the years to be patchy releases to Europe’s shores. Indeed, there have never been PAL versions of Dragon Quest I-III and VII released, and the first ever PAL Dragon Quest released wasn’t until VIII for the PS2 in 2006. Since then, there have been PAL releases for Nintendo’s DS platform, totalling four in three years, the last being only two years ago (VI). Re-release overload.
  2. Square Enix’s mobile games are not cheap. It’s hard to argue the cost of, for example, Final Fantasy III at £10.99 on Android, based on its size, length, etc, but at the same time it isn’t comparative of the mobile gaming market, such as your Angry Birds and Cut the Ropes of this world.

  3. Mobile piracy is a big deal. Those who download official products through unofficial channels do so because they don’t want to pay for it. This goes hand in hand with point 2 above; people may not buy a game when they can emulate it or download it on the side. Particularly re-releases, unless they are supported by the developer well and maybe offer something extra.
  4. Do the Japanese really need these games releasing again? Dragon Quest I + II have already been remade twice, for the SNES and GBC, and for Dragon Quest III this will mark its SIXTH incarnation, the last being only 2 years ago for the Wii.


Although this announcement is only for Japan for the moment, this would be a fantastic opportunity for RPG fans worldwide to immerse themselves fully with Final Fantasy’s main rival series. For the Japanese, I expect these to sell significantly all over again, just like they have in the past. It’s business as usual for them.

Over here, I’d be happy to pay £4.99 or similar for the first couple of releases, but I would expect VIII to be significantly more. The pricing is important; I’m still waiting for a sale on Final Fantasy Tactics, it just seems a lot for a mobile game at £12.99. Based on that, there is the risk of jailbroken devices, piracy, etc. But that will arguably never disappear anyway. One thing is for sure, they will look great on the iPad, and I want them. Make it happen, Square Enix. Don’t sell us short again.