Gamasutra: I've set myself a strange task. I'm going to make an attempt to answer one timely question: Why the hell do Japanese people like Dragon Quest so much?
This is an obvious question, because the series is, enduringly -- since the days of the Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System -- the most popular series in Japan. It debuted in 1986 to over a million in sales, and only got bigger from there.
Not many series of that vintage have that level of currency. Whether it's due to industry evolution in terms of audience, gameplay design, or the fact that the way the business is run has changed so much over the years but remained more static in Japan -- the big names that helped launch it are still big names, after all -- there are few series with that heritage outside of Nintendo's first-party lineup that can make that claim.