We still haven't actually seen Dragon Quest XII: The Flames of Fate in action — all we've got to go on is a logo and Square Enix telling us that it's a more "mature", choice-driven story — but it's clearly building up to be a big deal for the franchise.
Dragon Quest has always been huge in Japan, and although it's never quite cracked the Western market in the same way, it's fair to say that it's still a very well known and highly rated property on a global scale. It's also a series that's never strayed too far from its traditional Japanese RPG roots, despite being over three decades old.
But Square Enix has suggested that Dragon Quest XII will deviate from the formula — at least to some extent. The project will, according to Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda, be a major influence on the future of Dragon Quest.
Speaking to Famitsu, as translated by Gematsu, Matsuda says: "Dragon Quest XII is being developed taking into account the next 10 to 20 years of the Dragon Quest series. There are parts that remain consistent with the traditional image of Dragon Quest, but new elements are also necessary. After all, as a brand we always need to innovate.”
It's an interesting quote given the aforementioned conservatism of Dragon Quest, and it'll be interesting to see just how different Dragon Quest XII appears once we eventually do get some gameplay. Hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer for that.