Dragon Quest XI Producer Hokuto Okamoto recently was interviewed at PAX East 2018 regarding the Nintendo Switch version, and some answers were given as to why the Switch version of the game is coming out much later than the PS4 and PC versions.
According to Okamoto, Unreal Engine is the cause of the delay for the Switch version, as the version that Dragon Quest XI is built upon is an older version compared to the newer versions that support the new console. In that sense, development is still expected to take a very long time:
“It’s true that the Nintendo Switch version is under development at this moment in time. Specifically with regards to the development, this game was developed on the Unreal Engine, but the version for Unreal Engine needs to be updated, I suppose, in order to support Switch. In that sense, the development is still expected to take a very long time. It’s still a long ways out.”
Furthermore, he explained that the team considered holding back the release of the PS4 version to release alongside the Switch version, but decided to release the PS4 and Steam versions first in the end, as the outlook of the Switch version is still unclear. The team wanted to release Dragon Quest XI as soon as possible, which is why they came to their final decision:
“Of course, we did consider releasing PS4 and a Switch version around the same time if that was even a possibility, but right now the outlook for the Switch version is still unclear at this moment in time. The Japan team, they wanted to release Dragon Quest a XI and bring it overseas as soon as possible for our fans overseas, which is why they proceeded with the PS4 and Steam versions this time.”
While the Nintendo Switch version currently has an unknown release date, Square Enix has stated that it is definitely coming over to the West as well.
Dragon Quest XI is available in Japan for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 3DS. The game will arrive in North America and Europe on September 4, 2018 for PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam.