In a recent interview with Edge (via Nintendo Everything), Dragon Quest's Executive Producer Yu Miyake shed some light on why the RPG isn't as popular in the West as others from Square Enix like Final Fantasy.
"One conclusion that we've reached is that it's a question of historical timing," he began. "When the Famicom came out, Dragon Quest was the key game everyone was playing. But when the PlayStation came out, Final Fantasy 7 was the game that everyone was playing. So the source of nostalgia is different for both groups: in Japan it's Dragon Quest while overseas it's Final Fantasy. The truth is that if we'd put a lot of effort into localising Dragon Quest at the time, we probably wouldn't be facing this issue today. I probably shouldn't be saying this, but we kind of messed up in that regard."
It was only when Square and Enix merged in the early noughties that localisation became a bigger concern, as Enix had allegedly been more focused on domestic markets. "We used a lot more regional voice acting, for example. We put a lot of thought into the menu design," Miyake said. Do you think this is the reason for the lack of international popularity for Dragon Quest in comparison to Final Fantasy?