Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition released for Nintendo Switch on Sept. 27, and it was as spectacular as Square Enix had promised. An enormous quest with an epilogue that encompasses a full third of the game’s length, memorable characters, the usual thrilling soundtrack, classic turn-based combat, two completely different ways to play the game — there’s an incredible amount to love about the game. But the original version of the game, available on Steam, PlayStation 4, and (in Japan) Nintendo 3DS, actually sold much better. And when you add the numbers all up, Dragon Quest XI has shipped or digitally sold over 5.5 million copies total since launch.
Dragon Quest XI S is a last hurrah, but maybe not an extremely successful one
There is reason to believe the Switch Definitive Edition didn’t actually sell very well worldwide. We know it sold swiftly through a good fraction of its initial Japanese shipment, but in North America, it did not breach the top 20 in sales charts for September or October. Furthermore, as of November of last year, Dragon Quest XI had already shipped over 4 million units. Since Square Enix has yet to say otherwise, it is probable that the Switch version hasn’t broken 1 million copies sold.
That’s a bummer, but there’s more good news too. It’s been a long time since people talked about Dragon Quest IX on the Nintendo DS, which released in Japan in July 2009 and in North America and Europe in July 2010. But as of the end of 2010, it was the best-selling Dragon Quest title ever with 5.3 million copies sold. (This does not account for subsequent digital re-releases of series titles on mobile, etc.) Verifiable data of sales on the game since that time is difficult to obtain, though it’s reasonable to think that number kept climbing.
It’s probably unlikely that Dragon Quest XI has enough momentum to catch up with whatever Dragon Quest IX‘s final lifetime sales were, but they are in the same stratosphere. Yuji Horii’s iconic series is riding as high as ever, at the very least. Speaking of which, Horii said the following in a PR address:
I strongly believe that this figure has only been achieved thanks to our fans who have always loved the DRAGON QUEST series and also the new players who discovered DRAGON QUEST or JRPGs through this title. If I could ever go back in time to meet myself when I was still making the very first DRAGON QUEST, I would love to tell him, ‘In 30 years’ time, DRAGON QUEST XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age has been released and loved by international fans beyond seas and languages.’ I will carry on doing my very best to deliver further DRAGON QUEST titles to our fans worldwide. Thank you very much to all the fans who have enjoyed the title!
Are you one of the millions of owners of Dragon Quest XI?