Square Enix released the transcript of its latest quarterly financial conference call, and it includes some interesting data on the performance of Dragon Quest XI.
What we hear is a little bit of a surprise. President Yosuke Matsuda explained that Dragon Quest XI has “generated a great customer response and garnered praise for its contents,” clarifying that the company has seen stronger sales of the PS4 version than the 3DS version.
That being said, given the installed base, the company has “high hopes” for growth in sales of the 3DS version as well going forward.
This is a reversal of the results presented by Famitsu and Media Create, that saw higher sales on 3DS than on PS4 (albeit by a narrower margin than many expected, including Square Enix, apparently). The reason is probably that both sources track only physical retail sales, and only for Japan.
Yet, the game is sold digitally as well, and has been dominating the Japanese PlayStation Store for two weeks in a row. Japanese gamers are notoriously much more accepting of full game downloads in the PlayStation camp compared to the Nintendo camp. That might have contributed to reversing the retail results, on top of sales in Asia, where Dragon Quest XI has also been released on the same day as Japan.
Matsuda-san also mentioned later in the Q&A session that the percentage of digital sales is still lower than those that the company would see if the game was already released in the west, even if he did not provide specific figures, because there is a possibility that they might increase going forward.
He also explained that the company believes that the game will hit the lower end of its sales plans. The goal is for it to reach the upper end, but that will depend on how shipments of the 3DS version trend in the future.
To that end, Media Create recently mentioned that it expected sales of the 3DS version to increase among casual users during the Obon vacation, which ended yesterday and normally is a brisk shopping period in Japan.
A western release is planned for next year, but platforms have not been officially announced just yet.