Dragon Quest 11 on Switch needs ‘many things’ worked out first

All the way back in 2015, two games were announced for Nintendo NX — the first to be revealed for the in-development console. They were Dragon Quest 10 and Dragon Quest 11, the latter of which had yet to be released on any platform.

Now it’s 2018, and the Nintendo Switch, as the NX became, is a massive hit. It would make sense for Square Enix to ensure that Western fans get their choice between PlayStation 4, Switch and Windows PC versions of Dragon Quest 11 once it launches this fall. But the Switch version of the game remains under construction, without any hint of when it will be ready.

At E3 2018, I asked director Takeshi Uchikawa and producers Hokuto Okamoto and Hikari Kubota for an update on the Switch version. What was the holdup?

“We’re making it,” said Okamoto. “We’re still making it. I can’t say anything more.”

OK — but how much longer did they anticipate making it for, and what accounted for the extra development time? I couldn’t pry out an answer to the first question, but Okamoto’s reason for the protracted Switch release makes sense.

“When we first announced [Dragon Quest 11], the Switch hadn’t come out yet, and the development kit also wasn’t finalized,” he said. “The hardware specs weren’t out yet, but we were like, ‘We can manage this. We can put this out on the Switch.’”

Nintendo hasn’t said much about how the NX prototype differed from the final Switch, but it’s no surprise to hear that things changed dramatically along the way. While PC and PS4 infrastructure has been in place since Square Enix announced Dragon Quest 11, the Switch is much newer. And certain other third-party developers have hit roadblocks when bringing their multiplatform games to Switch as well.

There’s no telling when Okamoto and crew will be done “taking care of all those many things” that need adjustments before the Switch version launches. In fact, Okamoto, through a translator, kindly asked me to stop asking about when Dragon Quest 11 would come to Switch as I continued to press for answers.

Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age launches on PS4 and PC on Sept. 4, more than a year after the Japanese release. Switch owners, meanwhile will have to keep waiting.