Square Enix has revealed a site confirming the release of Dragon Quest I through Dragon Quest VIII on mobile devices, both iOS and Android. If mobile games weren't suddenly more profitable than the entirety of Japan's core gaming industry, I might be surprised. Instead I'll frown, place my hands upon my face, and wonder where it all went wrong. For now there's been no localization announcement for any of the ports.
It's no secret that Square Enix is going to through a crisis right now, with most of its largest releases struggling to turn a profit and its largest franchises sputtering. Yet despite all reason it seems like their program of converting classic and beloved console RPGs into mobile titles is only picking up steam. This despite being hugely controversial in western regions for being low quality and implementing exploitive microtransactions.
Dragon Quest is perhaps Square Enix's single most popular franchise in Japan, where gamers devour the single player games unlike any other (barring the recently released MMO). There's really no doubt that Japanese gamers will pick up the games in large quantity... but at what cost? These one astonishingly pretty console games that players experienced on televisions are being shrunk down to fit in the palm of a hand, stripped of basic controller support to work with simple touch controls. Can it even be called a similar experience? What's being sacrificed here?
It's not ridiculous to imagine these Dragon Quest mobile ports to come westward eventually. Expect more news soon.