CheatCC - Almost a decade ago, the JRPG genre ruled sales charts and gamer hearts. So what happened? We’re not exactly sure, but we’ve got some ideas about what contributed to the demise of this genre, as well as how it can be saved.
I would love to know why there arent that many JRPGs compared to previous generations. Do people ever get tired of First Person Shooters? Thats what is mostly made this gen
The correct answer is, "because you are operating under the incorrect assumption that there are fewer JPRGs being produced now than before." There are fewer JRPGs on the PS3 simply because there are fewer games (period) on the PS3. This is because development costs have risen exponentially with the advent of the current hardware generation. There are just as many (if not more) JRPGs being produced today than ever before, they're just spread out more. Instead of all being on the PS2, they're spread across the Playstation 3, Playstation Portable, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and PC. The only real case where the JRPG is diminishing would be in its western market... fewer JRPGs are getting localized over here. Why? Perhaps partly because of decreased appeal (though I very much doubt this is the case) but more likely it has to do with rising development costs. Then there's the fact that the Western gaming media has been decidedly anti-East since the launch of the Xbox 360 several years ago. That... racism? Cultural bias? Well, that bigotry has seeped into a large portion of the community, and positions many gamers against Eastern games in general simply because of their origin. How many times have you seen Western gamers dismiss games after a glance because they don't like "anime games," regardless of the game's actual content? All the time. JRPGs are as strong (or stronger) than they've ever been... in Japan. Their international market, however, has shrunk dramatically ever since Microsoft entered the game. (I'll let you consider the reasons for this on your own, far smarter people than I have written vast essays on the topic).
I pretty much agree with your analysis. bubbles to you.
The only point I disagree with you on is the assertion that the xbox was a major contributor, as I believe the anti eastern stance had already begun by this point. I do think that the xbox could have contributed to the continuation of this market trend however.
Canary nailed it. Nicely done. Not all of these have been mainstream hits, but I either "liked a lot" or "loved" all of them from this generation: Infinite Sapce, Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Valkyria Chronicles, Valkyria Chronicles 3, Yakuza 3, Yakuza 4, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Nier, Ni no Kuni (DS), Ni no Kuni (PS3), Disgaea 4, Lost Odyssey, Tales of Vesperia, Tales of Graces, Dragon Quest IX, Final Fantasy Type-0, Jeanne d’Arc, Ys 7, Etrian Odyssey, Etrian Odyssey 2, Etrian Odyssey 3, Class of Heroes, Xenoblade, The Last Story, Crisis Core: FF7, Phantasy Star Portable, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor, Half-Minute Hero, Trinity: Souls of ZIll O’ll.
the MSX...the platform that started Final Fantasy and Metal gear and other popular JP franchises...was developed by MS. You cant blame MS for the decline. It is just the sign of the times. It happens in popular culture all the time with movies and TV. Something that catches people's attention then becomes the focus of other companies trying to get a slice of that $$$ pie. The cycle just happens to be on FPS games. At some point the market will be way to flooded with them to remain relevant and something will crop up and there will be a cultural shift to that genre. Rising development costs would be the main factor regardless of the conspiracy theory that is MS entry into games. Remember....people thought similar thought when Sony entered gaming as the diehards for Sega and Nintendo said gaming was going to tank with Sony in the market.
JRPG game makers - including Sqaure - just weren't ready to deal with the added cost and effort just for basic performance. The reliance on UE3, which itself wasn't ready to fill the role it needed to fit.
Games are really expensive to make now and jrpg are really risky. The genre is just not as popular as it used to be in the late 90s and early 2000s. There are big names titles like final fantasy that do well outside of japan. Tales has not had that much success since the gamecube. Hopefully Tales of graces F sells wells and we can then count on namco to start bringing more tales games to the states and europe. Now there are alot of jrpgs on handhelds since that a safer place to make those type of games. Hopefully the 3ds and vita gets a lot of jrpg this gen.
It is the media's fault, and JRPG makers had a part in this. If you look back at the gaming media from just after the jrpg boom in the ps1 era up to now, the attitude towards jrpgs gradually became more and more spiteful and poisonous. This attitude spread to Japanese games in general, causing the fallacy of Western games being superior to Japanese games. So why the hate? A major contributor was over saturation. There were to many jrpgs, and it seemed like that was all that was coming over from Japan, which caused gamers and the media to treat all Japanese made games with complete apathy.
JRPGs have not changed...ever. They are fundamentally the same since the mid 90s. That's the problem.
It's the story and characters I care about, doesn't matter much to me if it's got Final Fantasy 1's battle system lol. As long as it keeps me interested in the plot and world around it, that's what makes a good JRPG, to me anyway. XD So yeah, I'm fine with them being the same as they always have.
If you really think this, you don't know much about jrpgs. They have changed as much as shooters have: they have gradually grown with little innovation but a lot of touch ups and overall improvements. If by "change" you mean innovation, then why have shooters not been affected?
shooters are popular, japanese made rpgs not named final fantasy arent. And the way things are going even final fantasy may go down. Even fantastic games like dark souls arent huge sellers.
Nothing needs saving, you're just not looking in the right places.
When I got my PS3, I expected to play sequels to Wild Arms, Suikoden, Legend of Mana, Saga, Breath of Fire, Valkyrie Profile and many other titles. Disappointed me when the years went by and I saw nothing close to that.
we are on the same boat then! I bought a PS3 for JRPGs and all I got are shooters (Uncharted, Resistance, Killzone) but where is my Wild Arms Sony? When is Konami gonna make a next-gen Suikoden game or at least release Suikoden II on PSN? XD
the studios are behind the times hardware wise.they ran to the cheaper to produce handheld market.
Same, same ! :( EDIT: this was meant to be a reply to rhap D:
pc rpgs started showing up on console, so those traditional console rpgs mostly stay in japan now. Most of them never sold very well outside final fantasy anyway, they would sell even less now.
I'd link development and localisation costs as the biggest issue... JRPGs that aren't called Final Fantasy don't tend to sell well, that's just a simple fact, so the games either aren't being made or aren't making it outside of Japan because the market conditions don't favour JRPGs on consoles... handhelds, though, are on JRPG overload.
Yeah, makes sense. To dub every dialogue in the game would cost too much compared to the sales they could get. I'm glad NIS America is around publishing some RPGs for us, because they are pretty much the only ones doing it. Their games aren't the best, but the Atelier series provided me some fun.
You know, I need to get my hands on Eternal Sonata, it sounds... Different.
The markets has divided abit, japan is more into handhelds nowadays, while the west are into HD-consoles. And JRPG publishers makes games for the market wich will give them the greatest profits, unfortunately for us, it's allmost impossibhle to make the big bucks on handhelds in the west. :-/
1. JRPG seems expensive - longer development time -> more money required - going with handheld seem more common this gen - Japanese developers seem to be behind in developing new engine for the HD generation. 2. JRPG demise as WRPG become more popular - could possibly be the new trend - people now prefer making choices, building their own character/adventure rather than following a narrative story. Giving player full control may be the key. 3. This generation is really lacking in innovation. JRPG haven't evolve much either. - while it isn't bad per say (maintaining its uniqueness), most JRPG still seems somewhat static in term of gameplay, environment, NPC, etc...including big ones like FF. - too much saturation of JRPG with similar formula/story based on previous generation. Some rare ones like Demon Soul, Lost Odyssey (innovate in story telling while remain traditional) tend to get lost in the crowd. 4. FPS is the trend now, unfortunately. Most people who like JRPG might be in the older generation so gaming may not be a priority like it used too. The new generation are growing up with shooters games, and that currently the most popular trend for developers to focus on. don't know what else could cause JRPG demise: - Iphone? - handheld (provide a cheaper alternative for gaming)?
Thats one reasonwhy I love the 360. Lost Odyssey and blue dragon are amazing Ff13 and last remnant are pretty good.
JRPGs may be "dead" on consoles, but they're thriving on handhelds. And that's one of the reasons why being a PSP/DS owner is awesome.
N4G is a community of gamers posting and discussing the latest game news. It’s part of NewsBoiler, a network of social news sites covering today’s pop culture.