Fans line up early for latest ‘Dragon Quest’ title

Kyodo

Major game developer Square Enix Co. on Thursday launched the latest title in its hit “Dragon Quest” series in Japan, resulting in more than 100 fans lining up outside a Tokyo store to become the first to purchase it.

The release of “Dragon Quest 10 — Mezameshi Itsutsu no Shuzoku (Five Awakened Tribes) Online” for Nintendo Co.’s Wii console is the first game in the role-playing series that allows users to play with others over the Web.

It is Square Enix’s first release of a major new game for the “Dragon Quest” series, which lets users play lead characters to battle their evil adversaries, since July 2009.

The game’s suggested retail price is ¥6,980, but online players will have to pay an additional fee of ¥1,000 for 30 days, ¥1,950 for 60 days or ¥2,900 for 90 days.

“As it is the first online title for the series, I can’t wait to see how the world of ‘Dragon Quest’ will expand,” said Kensuke Matayoshi, a 33-year-old part-time employee who was the first to buy the game after lining up for an entire day outside the Tsutaya movie and music rental shop in Shibuya Ward. “The characters and stories in the game are very attractive.”

Yuji Horii, creator of the “Dragon Quest” series, said at an event at the Tsutaya store he felt both “expectation and anxiety” over the game’s online feature.

“People may have the impression that online games are difficult to play . . . so we put in a lot of effort to make it easy to play.

Since the launch of the series in 1986, Square Enix has sold more than 59 million units worldwide.