While we got a small teaser of the next Dragon Quest in May, it is only the beginning as Square Enix president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda said in Famitsu, The Flames of Fate will shape the series over the next 10 to 20 years.
That sounds extremely odd considering all we know of Dragon Quest XII is its subtitle and that it’s currently in development. Square Enix is promising a ‘more adult’ entry for the series by asking players to make choices about things happening within the game. While that gives us zero indication of what Matsuda means, it’ll likely be some time before we get out next glimpse of the next entry.
Matsuda mentions that “There are parts that remain consistent with the traditional image of Dragon Quest, but new elements are also necessary. After all, as a brand, we always need to innovate.”
Over the last decade, Final Fantasy has shifted away from the traditional Active Time Battle system to a hybrid action-RPG battle system. We’ve seen the changes made beginning in Final Fantasy XIII before culminating with last year’s Final Fantasy VII Remake, combining elements familiar to longtime fans as well as newcomers. It is likely we’ll see a paradigm shift with the next Dragon Quest to keep the series relevant as it continues to press forward.
The quote from Matsuda provides some insight into how Square sees the Dragon Quest brand and clearly cares enough about it to time the time necessary to craft a brand new experience worthy of the series but as if it’ll be something that resonates with fans, will be a test we won’t be able to solve just yet.