Who the hell is buying Dragon Quest IX?

[Japan correspondent 50ft. Samurai breaks down who is buying all of those Dragon Quest XI’s.]

You’ve all read about how Dragon Quest IX has invaded Japan and is selling like the proverbial crack rock and really there’s no surprise there, even with its one save slot and RapeLay knock-offs. As Jim astutely pointed out: it’s Japan, it’s DS, it’s Dragon Quest. Exactly what kind of Japanese people, though, are shoveling up DQ IX? Does the fact it’s for the DS change anything? Are these people likely to buy any other games?

Wonder no longer! Thanks to Media Create (they of the weekly sales rankings) and a slice of their rich, creamy point-of-sale data collected on DQ IX’s launch weekend, we can learn exactly what we need to know.  A representative sample of 10,652 buyers were surveyed, some of them perhaps bribed with candy.

More after the break.

In short, the survey reveals this:

  • The ratio of male to female players is 83:17
  • 3/4 of buyers were between 20 and 30
  • Due to the demographics of the DS audience, DQ IX had more female buyers than the last game in the series.
  • Since DQ VIII was released 5 years ago, the age of buyers across the scale has increased by the same amount.
  • Buyers tended to buy Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy titles in the past.

Regarding the ratio of men to women, there’s nothing mind-blowing about the numbers, but what’s interesting is the increase in female users from DQ VIII to IX: 12.07% to 16.51%. This is due to the DS being a very female-friendly platform, so in that respect the game managed to attract some new blood.

We see some other interesting data concerning user age. Look at the chart below. The solid gold line represents the sales of Dragon Quest VIII across user ages 5 years ago. The bars represent the sales of DQ IX (blue for men, pink for women). The dotted line is the VIII age range moved ahead five years (because everyone is five years older) indicates that the same users of DQ VIII have aged five years and picked up DQ IX. It also indicates that sales have lowered for users under twenty-three. The game is selling well to the same people who bought it last time- but younger users now bought less than younger users did five years ago.

Finally, when polled about games they bought in the past, the top five games were either Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy titles with 22% of respondents saying they had bought the previous version and 16% saying they purchased Final Fantasy XII.

Other interesting tidbits? While the game continues to sell well to the 20-30 crowd, the percentage of sales by age taper off until the 50+ range, when they shoot back up. In fact, women over 50% constituted SIX percent of those surveyed. While 50+ is a much bigger age range, adding more likely buyers, it doesn’t change the fact that old ladies play more DQ than women of any other age.

Grandma apparently slays slimes with the best of them. 

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Nick Chester
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