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Square-Enix to take “Dragon Quest 10” ‘Offline’ in February 2022

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By Nelson Schneider - 12/12/21 at 02:26 PM CT

Usually when there’s a headline about a massively-multiplayer online (MMO) game going offline, it’s met with nostalgic reminiscence and melancholy from said game’s fanbase. Either it’s a long-running game that just isn’t profitable anymore, or it’s a new effort that just failed to get off the ground. Regardless, it’s destined to become a talking point in the argument between IP rightsholders and media preservationists who would rather see such doomed titles open-sourced or given the option to run on official private servers than disappear entirely.

Thus it came as a great shock to learn (back in May of 2021, during the ‘Dragon Quest’ 35th Anniversary Livestream) that Square-Enix, with its long and dismal reputation of taking beloved flagship game franchises and unnecessarily turning one or more of their mainline, numbered sequels into MMOs, was taking one of these games ‘offline’… but in a good way. In February of 2022, “Dragon Quest 10 Online” will receive a re-release dubbed “Dragon Quest 10 Offline,” which will include a revised, chibi-fied art style and reworked gameplay systems to facilitate it as a solo experience. And before Spring of 2022 is over, it’s supposed to receive an expansion pack that’s alleged to double the amount of offline content.

When “Dragon Quest 10 Online” was announced back in 2011, the fact that it was going to be a(nother) subscription-based Square-Enix MMO, hot on the heels of “Dragon Quest 9” on the DS, with its pseudo-MMO, social gaming, and Roguelite inspirations, gave me the sinking feeling that the series was destined to be messed up to the same dire degree as ‘Final Fantasy.’ The incredibly-well-done “Dragon Quest 11” eased my fears for the franchise’s future, but did nothing to fill in the 13-year gap since the last high-quality new ‘Dragon Quest’ release in 2004. Of course, “Dragon Quest 10 Offline” being re-released after “Dragon Quest 11” still does nothing to retroactively fill that gap, but it does give Japanese RPG fans something to do while they wait for the TBA release date of “Dragon Quest 12.”

Yes, Japanese RPG fans can get in on this. Unfortunately, in spite of the series performing quite well in the West and beyond, Square-Enix never published “Dragon Quest 10 Online” outside of the homeland… and there’s no indication that the offline version will see the light of day outside of Mother Nippon, either, in spite of “Dragon Quest 10 Offline” being a multi-platform release for PlayStation, Switch, and Steam.

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