LONDON, August 25, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Dragon Quest, the gaming sensation that became a phenomenon in Japan, has been the summer holidays hit for school children in the UK.

The Nintendo DS role playing game was launched at the start of the school holidays with a major fanfare at London's Westfield shopping centre featuring Britain's Got Talent winners Diversity.

Since then it has sold more than 50,000 copies with some retailers selling out.

Gaming experts are attributing the success of the game to its involving story.

Dragon Quest IX: 'Sentinels of the Starry Skies' allows players to put themselves in the role of the game's hero or heroine - a guardian angel fallen to Earth who must embark on an epic adventure in the mortal world, protecting mortals, battling foes and ultimately completing a Quest which will return them to the Kingdom of Angels.

James Honeywell from Nintendo UK said: We've seen a lot of research which suggests keeping children entertained on long car journeys or on rainy days is a real challenge for parents. Dragon Quest IX is a real epic game that provides more than enough entertainment for the long summer holidays.

And we're sure the game will be the talk of the playgrounds when the first wave of players return to school having mastered Dragon Quest IX, he said.

About the Dragon Quest phenomenon:

Queues a mile long formed for the launch of Dragon Quest IX in Tokyo with sales of 2.4 million in the first weekend - a world record launch in a single country.

Such is the impact of Dragon Quest in its native Japan, the latest launch was even held on a Saturday morning, when games previously always launched on a Wednesday, in order to stop mass truancy by children and adults missing work in the race to get their hands on this immersive role-playing game.

In one district of Tokyo the local authorities have roped off special zones for Dragon Quest players so they don't wander off the pavements or collide with other pedestrians while immersed in the handheld game on their Nintendo DS.

The nine games in the Dragon Quest series have sold a total of 53 million games in Japan alone, beaten only by gaming icons Mario and Pokemon for sales. And in Tokyo there is even a restaurant devoted to Dragon Quest where diners eat off screens showing the game. The first eight games were aimed almost exclusively at a domestic audience, but with Dragon Quest IX it has been aimed at a more global audience.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii(TM) home console and Nintendo DS(TM) family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System(TM), Nintendo has sold more than 3.4 billion video games and more than 565 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi(TM) and Nintendo DSi XL(TM), as well as the Game Boy(TM), Game Boy Advance, Super NES(TM), Nintendo 64(TM) and Nintendo GameCube(TM) systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario(TM), Donkey Kong(TM), Metroid(TM), Zelda(TM) and Pokemon(TM). A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of Europe, based in Grossostheim, Germany, was established in 1990 and serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in Europe.

SOURCE: Nintendo

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