Business / Corporate

New Dragon Quest smartphone game, inspired by Pokemon Go, to be released this year

Kyodo

Square Enix Co. said Monday it will release a new smartphone game title in its popular role-playing Dragon Quest series this year, enabling players to locate and battle monsters in real-world locations.

Dragon Quest Walk, to be available in Japanese on Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating systems, is similar in concept to the smash-hit “Pokemon Go” game in which users catch virtual characters that appear on their smartphone screens based on the player’s location.

Yuji Horii, creator of the Dragon Quest series and executive producer at game developer Square Enix, acknowledged at an event in Tokyo that he was inspired by the location-based Pokemon Go game released in 2016, calling it “extremely fun” to play.

“I hope many players will take their smartphones and go outside for an adventure as a hero,” Horii said. “I think it will push users to go outside for walks and allow them to discover new places.”

In the upcoming Dragon Quest title, if a player visits landmarks such as Tokyo Tower or Nagoya Castle, they can advance in the game’s narrative as they encounter new foes.

A player can also set a destination in Japan where they can go and take part in battles with monsters and collect items.

Since the launch of the first Dragon Quest title in 1986, Square Enix has sold over 78 million units worldwide. The series is famous for its blue onion-shaped mascot character named Slime.