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Where Did All The JRPGs Go?

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.

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richierich2103d ago

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

Canary2103d ago

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).

forevercloud30002103d ago (Edited 2103d ago )

I pretty much agree with your analysis.
bubbles to you.

ronin4life2103d ago

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.

knifefight2103d ago (Edited 2103d ago )

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.

darthv722103d ago (Edited 2103d ago )

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.

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Godmars2902103d ago

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.

-Mika-2103d ago

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.

ronin4life2103d ago

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.

tplarkin72103d ago

JRPGs have not changed...ever. They are fundamentally the same since the mid 90s. That's the problem.

Snookies122103d ago

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.

ronin4life2103d ago

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?

kevnb2103d ago (Edited 2103d ago )

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.

helghast1022103d ago

Nothing needs saving, you're just not looking in the right places.

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