Square Enix’s Attempts To Break The MMO World Fail Again With Dragon Quest X Online
Square Enix are most well known for their high quality RPG franchises such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, but recent efforts have shown that even a franchise with a massive following can fall short on the MMO scene. Originally releasing Final Fantasy XI as their first online MMO, Square Enix seemed to have a successful recipe. A massive game in Korea and China and quite popular in the EU and US, Final Fantasty XI still gets updated regularly and has just received information on another expansion, but 10 years on, Square Enix needed to come up with something else to break into the MMO genre.
Then came Final Fantasy XIV, released in 2010, it was hailed as Square Enix’s best attempt at an MMO game, only to meet disastrous reviews and a number of game-breaking issues within the first few months of beta. They have since released a large number of updates and have promised to make the game live up to its potential, even if they have to start again. It’s a little late for a lot of fans, who have already deactivated their accounts and moved on to greener pastures, but this hasn’t stopped Square Enix from making yet another attempt to break the MMO world.
The most recent attempt, the hugely anticipated Dragon Quest X Online, was all set to make big waves in Japan after Dragon Quest IX smashed Nintendo DS records for the franchise, selling over 5 million copies. However, even a MMO game based on the best selling RPG franchise in Japanese history isn’t a guaranteed success as Dragon Quest X Online has only sold a mere 367,148 copies since launch four days ago. For any regular title, that’s a pretty impressive number but a large majority of Dragon Quest games have been known to sell amounts in the millions within the first week of release.
Despite announcing a Wii U version, many question why Square Enix would release a MMO title for a console nearing the end of its lifespan. The Wii U was announced some time ago and with release just a few months away, it’s left many players confused as to why they didn’t just wait until the Wii U launch.
Personally, I think a few of the MMO mechanics are to blame for the games bad reception. Players that don’t subscribe are only allowed to play for a few hours a day, during a predefined time slot. Another big no-no for MMO gamers is the character deletion. If you’re inactive for 3 months, it is possible that your character will be deleted. 3 months can seem a long time, but I’ve often taken a 3 month break from my favorite MMO waiting for an expansion or important update, so to me this is just another flaw in Square Enix’s MMO journey.
What are your thoughts? Will Dragon Quest X Online make the grade or join the other failed MMO attempts by Square Enix? Well hey, if all else fails at least we have the Final Fantasy 7 re-release on Steam right?