Although Square Enix has remained quiet about the Nintendo Switch version of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, they’re beginning to speak out about it.
Producer Hokuto Okamoto recently confirmed that the Switch version will use the PS4 version—which has a new engine—as the base. He also confirmed that the 3DS version is not coming to the west because the PS4 and Steam versions are the best outlet for a western release.
One of the concepts behind Dragon Quest XI’s creation is the franchise’s culminated thirty years of history. To celebrate this culmination, the team wanted to give new fans an opportunity to enjoy the game and felt that the 3DS isn’t the best outlet for achieving this in the west.
Okamoto also touched on why the Switch version will take a “long time” to be released in the west. Although the Switch version was a part of the development team’s outlook from the beginning, Nintendo’s software development kit was not ready within Unreal Engine 4 at this stage. Now that the kit supports Unreal Engine 4, the team can begin working on the Switch version. But the Unreal Engine supported in the kit is a higher version that the one the game is built on, which means the team must update the engine.
Okamoto said that the team considered releasing the game for all consoles simultaneously, but these developmental roadblocks rendered this impossible.
And since the 3DS game can’t utilize Unreal Engine 4, it’s development is completely separate from other versions of the game.
“Obviously, the 3DS version doesn’t use UE4. So in order to make the same game across two very different platforms and middleware, we ended up with two separate teams working on two separate games in parallel,” said Yuji Horii. “The basic core of the game, the characters and the story, were developed by me and then we gave that to the two teams. They then set out to make the same game in parallel.”
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age will launch on PS4 and PC via steam on September 4.