Dragon Quest Craze Set to Sweep the UK

Posted by at 10:37 am on July 23, 2010

Queues a mile long formed for the launch of Dragon Quest IX in Tokyo with sales of 2.4 million in the first weekend – a world record launch in a single country.

And huge crowds are gatheirng at the official UK launch of the game, in association with GAME, today with Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity performing at the launch in the Westfield Shopping Centre in London. Already the game is attracting outstanding reviews from the UK press.

Such is the impact of Dragon Quest in its native Japan, the latest launch was even held on a Saturday morning, when games previously always launched on a Wednesday, in order to stop mass truancy by children and adults missing work in the race to get their hands on this immersive role-playing game.

In one district of Tokyo the local authorities have roped off special zones for Dragon Quest players so they don’t wander off the pavements or collide with other pedestrians while immersed in the handheld game on their Nintendo DS.

The nine games in the Dragon Quest series have sold a total of 53 million games in Japan alone, beaten only by gaming icons Mario and Pokemon for sales. And in Tokyo there is even a restaurant devoted to Dragon Quest where diners eat off screens showing the game. The first eight games were aimed almost exclusively at a domestic audience, but with Dragon Quest IX it has been aimed at a more global audience.

James Honeywell from Nintendo UK said: “Britain is one of the biggest gaming markets in the world and after the phenomenal success of this franchise in Japan, it looks like the Dragon Quest craze is really set to take off over here.”

“Reviewers in the UK have already given Dragon Quest IX some of the highest ratings we’ve ever seen for such a game, reflecting the focus this time on getting European gamers into this Japanese phenomenon.

Neil Ashurst Head of UK PR at GAME added: “We’re delighted to be hosting the UK launch of Dragon Quest IX and with Diversity performing and crowds of our customers and shoppers at Westfield wanting to try out this great game.”

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