A new Dragon Quest Monsters is the right call from Square Enix, and it seems fans will be getting a new entry into the underappreciated franchise if rumors swirling around the Dragon Quest Summer Festival 2019 are any indication. Square Enix actually already shared artwork of a new Dragon Quest Monsters in development for consoles back in November 2018, but those waiting for updates have found precious little after the fact, leading some to worry over a potential cancellation or snag in the project.
It's been a long time since fans were last treated to a new Dragon Quest Monsters, with Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 3 and its Japan-only release in 2016 standing as the most recent entry into the series. For Western fans, though, it's been nearly a decade - Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 launched in the United States in 2011, and there's been nothing for fans who don't speak Japanese since. Dragon Quest Monsters is Square Enix's answer to Pokémon, with players taking on the role of a Monster Breeder as they travel, capture various creatures, battle them, and breed them to create new, more powerful variants of monsters along the way. It's an addictive gameplay formula that's proven time-and-again it's successful, but there genuinely might not have been a better time for a new Dragon Quest Monsters than right now.
According to Gematsu, it appears Square Enix has a big announcement in story for Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age character Erik, who is already confirmed to be getting his own one-shot manga. Erik was part of the Dragon Quest Monsters artwork in 2018, as it looked to feature a younger version of the wily thief and his sister Mia as the lead protagonists. If there's a big announcement for Erik besides the manga release, then it seems a safe bet that fans will be hearing about a new Dragon Quest Monsters on the horizon.
While it's exciting, though, it's also savvy business from Square Enix, the kind that could push the franchise to new heights. Make no mistake about it - although Dragon Quest Monsters has been historically niche for Western fans, that's set to change in 2019 and beyond. The climate for Pokémon-style games has never been better, with Pokémon GO introducing millions of new players to the world of collectible monsters. Beyond that, other franchises have shown similar success in adopting a catch-em-all mechanic, with World of Final Fantasy and Digimon World both impressing in the West despite low sales expectations for the localized versions of the games. The former is a Square Enix title, too, demonstrating that the company is well-suited to a 3D monster-taming game that sells.
A new Dragon Quest Monsters that ties in to Dragon Quest 11 will also extend the series' reach, as DQ11 had the best launch month in series history in North America by doubling the sales of the franchise's previous best. It's clear that Dragon Quest 11 is a build-around for Square Enix, with the protagonist set to appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (alongside other iterations of Dragon Quest heroes) and Erik getting his own spin-off manga. Dragon Quest Builders 2 just launched to rave reviews, with many suggesting its one of the series' best thanks to how heavily it leans into the mechanics that made it so great - which includes getting very familiar with the world and monsters of Dragon Quest.
Now that fans have a better idea of what the series is about, a new Dragon Quest Monsters could be a monster of a sleeper hit for Square Enix. It's likely the publisher knows it, too - reviving the series is no small task, and choosing Erik as a protagonist is a deliberate nod to understanding what fans want next. A new Dragon Quest Monsters is absolutely the right call for Square Enix and, if fans are lucky, that will be confirmed in a short amount of time when the Dragon Quest Summer Festival 2019 takes place in August.