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