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Is the JRPG genre dying?

Just take a look at this data I compiled using Gamerankings and VGChartz. It doesn't look good for the JRPG genre...

Why has there been such a sudden decline? Is it because of Xenophobia?

I wonder what Western RPG's are doing right that Japanese dev's aren't. Maybe Western RPG's are easier to get into and more suited for casual gamers. American RPG's have adapted to the market? On the other hand, Japanese developers have sadly fallen behind on this sort of thing. Can they come back from their current position?

I would say these are the top 5 things which are to blame:

1. Decline in Quality of JRPG's
2. Less advertising and promotion
3. Rise of western video game consoles and FPS games i.e Xbox 360
4. Rising cost of video games, resulting in small japanese companies taking less risks
5. Fewer JRPG's in general

What do you think?

----Number of JRPG's in Gamerankings top 50 PS1 game list----

1. Final Fantasy 9 -93.32% -5.3m sales
2. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night -92.62% - 1.27m sales
3. Chrono Cross - 92.18% - 1.86m sales
4. Final Fantasy 7 - 92.1% - 9.72m sales
5. Vagrant Story 91.97% - 0.87m sales
6. XenoGears - 90.94% - 1.46m sales
7. Final Fantasy 8 - 89.17% -7.86m sales

Number of games which got over 90%: 6

----Number of JRPG's in Gamerankings top 50 PS2 game list----

1. Persona 4 - 92.4% - 0.82m sales
2. Final Fantasy X - 91.84% - 8.05m sales
3. Final Fantasy XII - 90.77% - 5.95m sales
4. Dragon Quest 8. 90.05% - 5.21m sales

Number of games which got over 90%: 4

----Number of JRPG's in Gamerankings top 50 PS3/X360 games list----


*Except if you consider demon souls which got 89.8%

Number of games which got over 90%: 0

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Ranma12014d ago (Edited 2014d ago )

Am not talking about handhelds, just consoles. But not even that many handheld JRPG's have gotten over 90%.

But there are these which sold a lot:

1. Dragon Quest handhelds

2. FF handhelds on DS

3. Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

4. FF crisis core.

WildArmed2014d ago

I miss console JRPGs, I can't play every JRPG on handhelds all day. I like 'em on HD consoles

NewMonday2014d ago

they get made but don't get published, or get published late after lots of kicking and screaming like Tales games and Last Story/Xenoblade.

CalvinKlein2012d ago (Edited 2012d ago )

so like turn based JRPGs? I never liked those except for FF7 that is one of my favorite games ever.

I think other JRPGs are popular tho too like Demon's/dark souls and Ragnarok odyssey on vita are awesome games I like alot. I dont like it but Monster hunter is really popular everywhere and Id consider that a JRPG too, just not turnbased.

I dont think turnbased RPGs are as popular around the world as they used to be. They are still fairly popular in Japan tho, and that may be why most are on handhelds or dont come over here.

even FFvs13 is supposed to be soo great.....its a realtime RPG not turnbased.

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney2011d ago (Edited 2011d ago )

This is what console gaming does kill stuff.

Shooters seem to be here forever.

Also stealth & horror genres are dying.

Corporation are out to get COD money...

JRPG is here to stay but expect more shooters.

Canary2010d ago

And that's what invalidates your point. The reason for the decline of JRPGs on home consoles is that most of the talent has shifted to the mobile market, specifically cellphone games (most of which aren't released overeas) and handhelds (many of which also aren't released overseas).

Your problem is that demand for Japanese games in the West has diminished due in part to rising anti-Japanese bigotry, as well as economic circumstance. If you really want to get some measure of quality re: JRPGs through the years, you'd need to use Japanese sources. Maybe compile some data from Famitsu, Game and, I dunno, does Dengeki review non-mecha games?

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2010d ago
Godmars2902014d ago

I blame stagnation. Things changed little after the PS1 era and even regressed. Once the the genre became popular, tropes within it became "traditional."

Kratoscar20082014d ago

They are declining because of too much focus in graphics, thats why handhelds RPGs succeed because the graphics is the last of worries.

In japan there are a lot of awesome RPGs but given how strange they are (Like conception) we will never get them.

izumo_lee2014d ago

Those are some eye opening numbers there. I think it does not help the genre when the leading developer of JRPGs like Squarenix are so fixated on westernization of their games.

Ever since this gen started when they clearly stated that they will support the Xbox360 more so than the PS3 was a clear indication of the direction they were & are headed. The JRPG genre became mainstream popular on the PSone with the release of FF 7. When Square & Sony were in that partnership it turned out to benefit both companies. Square has had their most successful business during that time while Sony was thankful for Square's games that help sell their consoles. So when Squarenix decided to sever that partnership with Sony the basically abandoned the fanbase they built with that partnership.

Not blaming the Xbox360 for the poor JRPG games this gen cause we know that the platform is capable of some solid games like Lost Odyssey. It was clearly a poor business decision by Squarenix to go for the money more so than the recognition. They sold out their fanbase for a higher paycheck. That is why the JRPG genre is dying cause the main player has forgotten what got them to be the company they once were & sold out to the mighty dollar.

I am glad that some of the smaller companies like NIS, Atlus, Idea Factory although have smaller budgets are trying to make JRPG games that fans still love & remember. Namco Bandai were once like Squarenix going for the chance of higher profits are now trying to re-connect with the fanbase they built with the Xillia games.

That is why i tend to support the lesser know JRPG games despite negative reviews by game sites cause without the lesser known JRPGs we may as well say goodbye to this once popular genre of yore.

Godmars2902014d ago

It wasn't Westernization that hurt Square but cinemization. The desire to make games look rather than play like epic stories, a balance they found on the SNES, but sad to say when they went over to Sony the scales started to tip the wrong way. Spirits Within was proof of that.

And I do blame MS for the failure of the genre. Where they purposely ignored it on Xbox1, didn't even try to get any devs until near the end with something like phantom Dust, they did a horrible job of drawing JRPG makers too soon onto the 360 which resulted in everything other than the two Mistwalker titles being little more than PS2 ports in HD.

And then there was the Ziods STG and the abortion that featured werewolves, vampires and Nazis in WWII - HOW DO YOU EVEN MESS THAT UP?!

Can't even give NIS and Atlus that much credit, since most of all they've done this gen was on handhelds. Its only five years later - as another next gen is talked about - that they're taking chances on full consoles again.

izumo_lee2014d ago

Actually Square has always been known for their cinemazation (CGI) of games since FF7 debut & that did not hurt the quality of games they have done in the past. From FF7 to a lesser extent FF12, from games like Xenogears, Vagrant Story, Chrono Cross all had cinematics in their games and that too did not hurt the quality of those games so i have to disagree with you there...sorry.

Spirits WIthin was just an over abitious project that Sakuguchi had due to the popularity of FF at that time. He thought by just having the Final Fantasy name on it would also lead to success but unfortunately that did not happen thus leading to the formation of Squarenix as we see it now.

Also you are giving NIS & Atlus less credit than they actually deserve. NIS & Atlus have been very faithful to the JRPG genre by keeping it as it should. Games like Disgaea, 3D Dot Game heroes, Soul series, are examples of what made JRPGs so fun & memorable. Alot of games that NISA has brought over like the Neptunia series, Atelier series are enjoyable but you would not know it cause of the negative reviews they get.

Speaking of reviews it does not help that many big name game sites have not given some of these JRPGs the fair review they should have gotten. They seem to care about complaining about under-dressed young girls, japanese jokes, & other insignificant points that has no bearing on the game mechanics.

As for Microsoft's stance on JRPGs, you have your view & i have mine. Like i said i have no problems with Microsoft cause they tried to gain JRPG players with their partnership with Squarenix when they received games like Infinite Indiscovery & what not from them. It is just unfortunate that many players on their system are more interested in other genres & that is the choice of the gamer not Microsoft.

Godmars2902013d ago (Edited 2013d ago )

No, they've had cinemized games, balanced player interaction and character ability to act and be responsible for a major event, since FF4. When FF7 rolled around they were pretty much there, only to lose it and go too far with FF10.

I mean imagine if Yuna could call Aeons outside of combat - that temple trials were designed Megaman style and required certain Aeon(s) to pass to ensure they be acquired in a certain order - instead of just that one cutscene? How much better and better structured do you thing the game would have been?

(Hell, someone needs to send that idea to Square NOW!!)

Not getting how Sakuguchi defender will point directly at Spirits Within as the most blatant example of sticking the FF name on something not FF yet still say he should still be running the company. That things would be any different.

And I'm giving NIS and Atlus as much credit as they deserve. Yes they're practically the only JRPGs devs on current gen consoles, but what they've done for the past 5-6 years hasn't been anything that they haven't done last gen. I love what I'm seeing from them now, but in all honestly its little real improvement. They should have been doing it years before and likely would have if the gen hadn't been rushed into with little understanding of the hardware.

And this last is an issue which MS exasperated by wanting JRPGs on the Xbox 360 when they did nothing to get them on Xbox1.

[email protected] Tuttle & Divine:
You're missing the point - this is about HD gaming. Mainline consoles. That Last Story and Xenoblade were titles which the West literally *BEGGED* for does not speak well of the genre's health. Their sales is another poor indicator. It also doesn't help that handheld titles bare little to no improvements over what was on the PS1.

No FanS Land2013d ago

When you talk about summoning aeons outside of battle and etc, do you mean have a more adventure like approach? and more puzzle mechanics,
i.e. A bit like the Golden Sun series.

Captain Tuttle2014d ago

JRPG's are thriving on handhelds, aren't they?

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