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access_time October 7, 2021 at 12:03 AM in News by David Poole

Dragon Quest Series Composer Koichi Sugiyama Has Passed Away

Sad news in the gaming industry today. Koichi Sugiyama, renowned composer for the Dragon Quest series since the very beginning, has passed away on September 30th, 2021 at the age of 90. News broke today from the Japanese Dragon Quest Twitter account today. Even if you’re not a Dragon Quest fan, there’s an incredibly good chance you’ve listened to Sugiyama’s music somewhere. Dragon Quest music made its way into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate when Hero joined the roster two years ago. Most recently, Dragon Quest music could be heard during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games held earlier this year.

Sugiyama was not only known for composing multiple Dragon Quest games, as he was also a council member of the Japanese Society of Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers, an honorary chairman of the Japanese Backgammon Society, and a board member of the Japan Institute of National Fundamentals. In 2020, the Japanese government also declared him a Person of Cultural Merit. While many would disagree with some of his personal choices, we’re here to remember the music that he contributed to the industry. On top of composing over 30 Dragon Quest games, he has composed music for several other games, movies and televisions series.

Not many composers can say they’ve had as legendary of a career as Koichi Sugiyama, and the world will definitely feel this one. It’s unknown how much of Sugiyama’s work will make it into Dragon Quest XII or other projects, but Square Enix will likely pay tribute to the franchise composer when the game releases. We’re saddened that the world lost such a musical genius, and our hearts go out to his family and friends. The full Square Enix statement is available on the Japanese Dragon Quest website.


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