The Wii MMORPG: Dragon Quest X

Wii MMORPG News – Dragon Quest X

Most players outside of Japan have not heard of the new Dragon Quest X MMO released last August 2, 2012 because it’s in Japanese only for now. So far there has been no announcement about localization or an English version. The official website is in Japanese: Dragon Quest X.

wii mmorpgIt’s exclusive to the Wii, which is big coup for the console as a successful MMORPG can expect to have a very long life online. In fact, we mention the game here because Square Enix, the company that owns the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest video game franchises, has discussed some very interesting figures.

Square Enix MMORPGs – Final Fantasy XI vs Dragon Quest X

According to this source, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XI MMORPG has generated around $487.7 million in revenue over the past 10 years. Even though Final Fantasy XI sold a mere 120,000 copies initially, it is now the most profitable of the entire FF series due to its monthly membership fee.

dragon quest x screenshotAt first glance it may seem like Dragon Quest X has performed very poorly compared to the previous game in the franchise. Dragon Quest IX sold over 4 million copies in Japan while Dragon Quest X didn’t even hit the million mark, selling “only” 600,000 copies.

However, according to Square Enix’s president, Yoichi Wada, the Dragon Quest MMORPG has already paid for its development costs this year and that next year they expect to make a profit off its 400,000 subscribers.

The Future of Console MMOs: Pay to Play is Still Alive and Well

So why do we care? Well this just goes to show that pay to play (p2p) MMOs can be very profitable, especially compared to single-player video games. That’s why developers are still trying their hand at p2p despite the fact that most MMOs these days have fully embraced the free-to-play business model.

In our year-end summary of 2012’s top MMO hits and misses, we noted that sales of Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) was actually quite healthy since 2 million copies sold soon after its launch. Yet SWTOR is now free to play (f2p). What went wrong?

SWTOR sold a good amount of copies and likely has a decent number of subscribers. Reviewers seem to mostly consider it a fairly good game and in fact I know several people who play and enjoy SWTOR a lot. However, SWTOR reportedly cost so much to make that some people are calling it the most expensive video game ever created. SWTOR simply cost so much that it needs a huge number of subscribers to recoup its investment.

On the other hand, SWTOR’s going f2p doesn’t mean that p2p is dead. Looking at the 10-year success of FFXI and the current news about DQ2 having paid for its development costs already just goes to show that subscription MMOs can still succeed even though there are tons of free MMORPGs available these days. DQX’s recent successful launch on the Wii could even herald the start of a new era in console MMO gaming.

Console MMORPGs in 2013

Notable Upcoming MMO Games:

We have written about some upcoming titles that are due to be released on various consoles, so click on these links for more information.

Phantasy Star Online 2 for iOS, Android and Playstation Vita

Destiny for the Xbox 360