The Legend of Dragoon is a long-time beloved JRPG that deserves a revival. But what are the chances we will actually see a Legend of Dragoon remake or remaster in the future?
Background on The Legend of Dragoon
We can’t assess what kind of future The Legend of Dragoon might have in 2022 and onwards without understanding the game’s background first. The game was launched back in 1999 in Japan, 2000 in North America, and 2001 in Europe. 20 some years later, it still retains its dedicated, cult following. Between the active petition, podcast, Discord group, and upscale project, it’s clear that no amount of time is going to deter The Legend of Dragoon fans from promoting their love for this game.
The Legend of Dragoon was developed by Japan Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the original PlayStation. Development first began in 1996, so it took the team (of over 100 people) three years to bring us this gem. Additionally, $16 million was spent on this project, so it’s clear they were aiming high with The Legend of Dragoon. Specifically, people were drawn to the game’s potential due to its use of CGI cutscenes.
Unfortunately, reception isn’t exactly what the team was hoping for. The game ultimately scored 74 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 12 reviews. In several of these reviews, the game was unjustly compared to the Final Fantasy series. Key notable difference were unfairly brushed over by critics. Even The Legend of Dragoon’s Wikipedia page includes problematic criticism from game outlets. A reviewer at Gamekult stated that The Legend of Dragoon “does not have the magic of Final Fantasy IX.” This type of biased criticism combined with the failure to give emphasis to The Legend of Dragoon’s unique traits—such as the combat additions not seen in Final Fantasy—highlights how critics at the time failed to give a proper representation of the game.
Despite making the top ten sellers list at launch in Japan, The Legend of Dragoon was not immediately successful. Surprisingly, the version of the game that launched in Japan was criticized for being too difficult. This ultimately led to lower sales. By 2007, The Legend of Dragoon had sold 355,240 in Japan and 960,000 in the United States. When the game was released on PSN, it topped the PlayStation Classics sales chart. It even stayed in the top five for the following three months.
Why a Legend of Dragoon Remake Should Happen
Despite what critics had to say, The Legend of Dragoon deserves a remake or a remaster. Ironically, what makes it worthy are its distinguishable traits from other JRPGs. The combat additions, the dragoon attack mechanic, the quirky music unlike other RPGs, and the creative way that the story is presented throughout the game are all unique to The Legend of Dragoon. This isn’t to say the game doesn’t have its faults—just check out some of the English voice acting. But the game’s endearing qualities far outweigh the negative ones. Additionally, it’s clear that there is still a large, dedicated group of people who would drop money on a remake or remaster.
Signs of a Remake
Over the years, there have been hints that a remake could be coming. Sadly, these did not come to fruition. But it is important to note these past events when assessing the chance that the game has a revival.
The Legend of Dragoon Trademark Renewal
In 2012, Sony Computer Entertainment renewed the trademark for The Legend of Dragoon. This led some hopeful fans to think that this might be an indication of a remake. Considering that it was earlier in 2012 when The Legend of Dragoon was released and performing well on PSN, it wasn’t wildly inappropriate to suspect something. Unfortunately, as is often the case with trademark renewals, nothing noteworthy resulted from this event.
Sony’s Rumored Acquisition of Bluepoint Games
The much bigger event that had most Legend of Dragoon fans hyped was Sony’s rumored acquisition of Bluepoint Games, earlier in 2021. On Twitter, the official PlayStation Japan account had intended to tweet a welcome of Housemarque to the PlayStation family. By accident, the company tweeted an image welcoming Bluepoint Games instead. As we all know, this rumor turned out to be reality. But at the time this was first rumored, The Legend of Dragoon fans were more than a little excited. Bluepoint Games had an established reputation for remaking PlayStation-exclusive games.
Sony’s Acquisition of Bluepoint Games
The signs for a Legend of Dragoon remake, unfortunately, seemed to end with Sony’s rumored acquisition of Bluepoint Games. In September, it was announced that Sony officially acquired Bluepoint Games. However, it became immediately clear that Bluepoint Games had no intention of pursuing The Legend of Dragoon any time soon—if ever.
Bluepoint Games’ Plan for the Future
In an interview with IGN, Bluepoint Games discussed the studio’s plan for the future, now that it had been acquired by Sony. Bluepoint Games president, Marco Thrust, had this to say:
Our team is a very highly experienced team, the average experience among most people is about 15 years, and all of them come from original development. It’s not like we’re a bunch of developers that got trained up on making remasters and remakes. We have that original game development mindset in our hearts, and that’s what we’re now ready, finally ready with the support of Sony to push forward and show what we can do, and show what PlayStation can do.
While this is great for Bluepoint Games, it does not bode well for The Legend of Dragoon. Though Bluepoint Games is currently working on an original game, it does not sound like that will be a one-off project. The studio is set on taking a different direction going into the future.
The Closing of Japan Studio
The unfortunate news surrounding The Legend of Dragoon didn’t stop there. It’s worth noting that Japan Studio—the company responsible for the development of The Legend of Dragoon—was disbanded at the beginning of this year. This wasn’t a complete surprise after many of the top executives at the company had already left. According to VGC, Sony Interactive Entertainment released the following statement on the matter:
In an effort to further strengthen business operations, SIE can confirm PlayStation Studios JAPAN Studio will be re-organized into a new organization on April 1. JAPAN Studio will be re-centered to Team ASOBI, the creative team behind Astro’s PLAYROOM, allowing the team to focus on a single vision and build on the popularity of Astro’s PLAYROOM. In addition, the roles of external production, software localization, and IP management of JAPAN Studio titles will be concentrated within the global functions of PlayStation Studios.
Though many of the staff are essentially being relocated, Japan Studios has officially been eliminated.
The Legend of Dragoon Remake: Unlikely but Not Impossible
So where does this leave us for a possibility of The Legend of Dragoon remake? Not in a great place, admittedly. Essentially, there is currently nothing that points to this game getting any attention in an official capacity. This has left most Legend of Dragoon fans feeling understandably hopeless. However, what most fans don’t understand is that they have more power than they think they do.
Part of the problem is that The Legend of Dragoon fans are divided. There are numerous Facebook pages, numerous fan sites, and even several different petitions for a remake that float around. If fans were actually united into one active, vocal group, the chances of being heard and taken seriously increase dramatically. If the fandom is taken seriously, this leads to coverage from journalists. This is an important factor in companies considering how profitable a remake could be.
Ultimately, if things continue going the way they are, then no—we will not see a remake. But if fans can manage to drop the defeatist attitudes and work together, a Legend of Dragoon revival is still possible.