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Dragon Quest Builders 3: When Will We Get A Sequel?

Crossing a famous JRPG franchise with "Minecraft" might sound like a recipe for a shallow cash-grab game with little substance, but "Dragon Quest Builders" was so much more. The unlikely spin-off entry in the "Dragon Quest" series came out strong with 1.1 million copies sold within a month of its worldwide release. Its engaging gameplay that seamlessly tied into an immersive storyline earned it glowing reviews, and a sequel was quickly put into development: Drawing on all the good of the game and incorporating player feedback, "Dragon Quest Builders 2" was released just under three years later and went on to sell another 1.1 million copies in just a month.

With the overwhelmingly positive reception and worldwide commercial success — coupled with the smash-hit of "Dragon Quest 11" — it doesn't seem too unlikely that Square Enix would want to capitalize on the unexpected popularity of the spin-off series. However, during the franchise's recent 35th-anniversary livestream, there were no mentions of a potential "Dragon Quest Builders" sequel among the long lineup of planned releases, prompting the question: when will we be getting a "Dragon Quest Builders 3?"

No news from the developers

The creative gameplay of "Dragon Quest Builders" and player-minded design of "Dragon Quest Builders 2" drew a dedicated, enthusiastic fanbase hoping for a sequel with even more requested tweaks: increased player customization, more build freedom, extra monster variety, and so on. Many even expressed that they would buy a third game without improvements, so long as they kept the gameplay as-is. It's hard to imagine that Square Enix wouldn't want to tap into such a loyal audience, especially considering that the "Dragon Quest" series has had trouble finding success outside of Japan until recently.

As things stand now, it really and truly seems as though there are no plans for any "Builders" sequel at the moment: Nearly every creative team involved in the series is currently busy with another high-profile project. Square Enix's Creative Business Unit 3, which served as the main developer for the series, is currently preoccupied with working on the highly anticipated "Final Fantasy 16." Koei Techmo's Omega Force division, which worked on the well-received action portions of "Dragon Quest Builders 2," has "Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes" slated for a release in June with no other projects forthcoming.

Despite the success of "Dragon Quest Builders 2," it seems the question for "Dragon Quest 3" isn't when we are getting it, but if we'll be seeing a sequel at all.

Would they really let the series end there?

In a 2016 interview (via Gamespot), "Dragon Quest" series producer Yu Miyake spoke about the difficulties of a potential "Dragon Quest 10" localization for English audiences. Despite the MMO's massive popularity in Japan, it remains the only mainline "Dragon Quest" that was never given a worldwide release: Miyake cites the franchise's historical lack of success in the west as one of the main reasons Square Enix has hesitated to invest in translating the massive amounts of content. 

Crucially, he mentions that the releases of "Dragon Quest Builders" and "Dragon Quest Heroes" were attempts at breaking into the English-speaking market through different genres to build a more stable fanbase for the series — largely in preparation for the release of "Dragon Quest 11," which went on to be a huge success worldwide. It seems it was never meant to be a series in the first place: In another Famitsu interview (via Gematsu), the developers mention that Square Enix decided to make a "Dragon Quest Builders 2" because of the original's success. With a new line of re-masters, spin-offs, and "Dragon Quest 12" in development, it very may well be that the "Builders" series has served its purpose as a foothold in the global market. 

Of course, as with any game, there's no telling if a developer will revisit a franchise at some point later down the line. But for now, it seems another "Dragon Quest Builders" won't be happening anytime soon, if at all.