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Nintendo To Publish  Dragon Quest IX  In North America

Nintendo To Publish Dragon Quest IX In North America

February 24, 2010 | By Kris Graft, Christian Nutt

February 24, 2010 | By Kris Graft, Christian Nutt
More: Console/PC

Nintendo of America EVP of sales and marketing Cammie Dunaway confirmed on Wednesday that NOA is working with Square Enix on bringing the Nintendo DS Japanese hit Dragon Quest IX Stateside.

While it was widely expected to eventually head westward, Dunaway only today confirmed at a Gamasutra-attended San Francisco press briefing that the role-playing game is coming to North America. "We're pleased to announce today that we're working with Square Enix, and that Nintendo of America will be publishing Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies," said Dunaway. Nintendo said the game is slated for the summer.

Dragon Quest IX released in Japan on July 11, 2009. The game, developed by Level 5, was a sales and cultural phenomenon, drawing out huge lines at retailers, and selling over 3 million units in its first two weeks. The game also helped publisher Square Enix record a boost in profits for its most recent nine-month period.

Famitsu publisher Enterbrain said that the game sold over 4 million units in 2009, leading all other Japanese video game software in unit sales for the year.

Sales of Dragon Quest games, however, aren't nearly as big in the U.S. as they are in Japan. 2004's Dragon Quest VIII for PlayStation 2 shipped 3 million units in its first three days following its November release. When the game launched in North America in November 2005, the game shipped a respectable-but-not-phenomenal 430,000 units through the end of the year.

Though Nintendo published many of Square Enix's Game Boy Advance games in the U.S., Dragon Quest IX is the first Square Enix game Nintendo has taken on for U.S. release during this handheld generation. This announcement follows comments made by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in 2008 that he wishes to form, with Square Enix, a "a strong tag team to promote Dragon Quest overseas."

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