"While the Western RPG designers took the route of freedom and player decision/customization, Japanese RPG developers kept with the linear adventure that focused on a deeper, cohesive storyline. Now, I'm not saying that all JRPGs had better stories than WRPGs - I'm not about to make that kind of rash generalization - but there's one rule of thumb that can't be avoided: the more freedom you give to the player, the less emphasis we can have on story. This is simply because the story writers can't possibly know what players will choose in their quests, which is why we've only seen minor branching storylines in some WRPGs like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Authors of books don't let you change the story; how could they? You get the point."