"For those who have been gaming for decades it is understood that certain genres rise in popularity and then fall back to obscurity in a cyclical fashion. Gameplay staples once perceived as innovative or engaging become old-hat, even loathed, and players move on to a new style of play leaving the old way with little more than a niche audience. When consumer interest moves on so too does development muscle in order to satiate the preferred taste of the day. It happened most notably in the late 90s when 2D platforming masterpieces such as Donkey Kong Country and Yoshi's Island gave way to 3D collectathons spearheaded by the excellent Super Mario 64.
A staple genre slowly died, the old order was gone replaced by a new standard. Today I see JRPGs taking much the same course. The elements that distinguish the genre itself have become repulsive to many and the audience for these titles narrows with each passing year. Perhaps this genre too will give way, presumably to the Western RPG, a subcategory that is currently thriving. Yet I can't help but feel a tinge of sadness, much like I did a decade ago. At times the necessary act of moving forward can seem very heartless."