4 million Dragon Quest VIII’s shipped worldwide

PS2 Dragon Quest VIIIDragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is the latest game in the Dragon Quest series, which is one of the most popular RPG’s in Japan (the series originated on the NES, with this newest release on the PS2). The game was so popular that the Japanese government actually made sure the developer’s couldn’t release the game on a weekday, as too many school kids and adult workers were ignoring their civil duties to go buy the game, placing strain on the market. While that certainly sounds insane (and it is), the games have never reached any where near that level of popularity outside of Japan.

Formerly called Dragon Warrior in the US, Square Enix worked hard on the development of the US version of Dragon Quest VIII to make it one of their biggest titles and making it more appealing to US audiences by adding a bunch of new stuff for the US version in hopes that the game would come to be just as popular as Square’s Final Fantasy series is stateside.

PS2 Controller Dragon Quest SlimeWhile that still may not be the case, SquareEnix at least seems to be making progress, as they just announced that Dragon Quest VIII has shipped over four million copies worldwide. 3 million of those are in Japan, with 430,000 units shipped in North America as of Dec., helping to push the amount over the 4 million mark. While sell through data apparently hasn’t been announced, nearly half a million isn’t too shabby given that the game was only released in November.

In other DQ news, SquareEnix is getting ready to ship a spin-off of DQVIII in Japan called Dragon Quest: Shounen Yangus no Fushigi na Daibouken on April 20th. The game will follow DQVIII hero Yangus through his childhood. Like previous releases in the Fushigi no Dungeon series, it will feature randomly generated dungeon maps.

Also, at his Dragon Quest concert over the weekend, series composer Kouichi Sugiyama told the audience that additional DQVIII spin-offs aside from Shounen Yangus no Fushigi are in development at Square Enix. However, he told the crowd he isn’t allowed to disclose any details at the current time.

Well, here’s to hoping that Dragon Quest VIII sells well in the US, it’s a great RPG any way you slice it and new RPGs are never a bad thing.