Yuji Horii and the rest of the team behind Enix's Dragon Quest VII were recently awarded by the Japanese Government for their top-selling RPG title, released in Japan earlier this year. They were announced as the winners of their field in the 2000 Media Art Festival, and honored with the distinction among all other games.
Over the past four years, the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs has bestowed awards in four major categories: animation, comics, and both interactive and non-interactive digital art. Dragon Quest VII, which took the grand prize in the interactive digital art field, was hailed by the agency as "the true definition of a role-playing game." As well, it was said that Enix's title "reminded us again that the origin of a game's fun does not come merely from visual realism," a strong statement for the title's excellent gameplay.
The series producer, Yuji Horii, spoke briefly about digital media itself during his acceptance speech, expressing his belief that it "possesses special characteristics that other media don't." As well, he predicted that "it might not be too long before something appears in this media
that can truly be called 'literature.'"
While there were several runners-up in the interactive digital art category, including Sega's Shenmue, some of the big-name RPG's such as Final Fantasy IX were nowhere to be seen. This may be further evidence as to just how well Enix's latest Dragon Quest title has done in Japan. While news of Dragon Quest VII's North American release is eagerly anticipated, no official word has yet been given. However, having awards such as this behind the game can only aid its chances.