Kotaku- BioWare On The Decline Of The JRPG

Kotaku- Final Fantasy aside, Japanese role-playing games simply don't command the respect (or sales) they once did in the West. You may have an opinion on this! That's great. So do BioWare.

With Mass Effect and Dragon Age both leading the way as far as Western RPGs are concerned, they're a company well-placed to know what's good, and what's not so good, about the Japanese entries in the field.

DrRobotnik5026d ago

Well, when you release all your Rpgs on a shooter heavy system and ignore the system that sells rpgs, then yeah, I guess they won't sell. Idiots.

Simon_Brezhnev5026d ago (Edited 5026d ago )

comment from article

"This is all pretty funny considering that Bioware shamelessly ripped Dragon Age's tactical combat features directly from Final Fantasy XII" LOL

It is real funny how bioware are so arrogant. Dragon Age's is a good game but no evolution like most fantasy WRPGs here's the formula elves, dwarves, or humans. The Witcher is my favorite WRPG.

Tony P5026d ago

^^^And then the comment below it refutes it somewhat. The only thing you can consider "ripped-off" is the gambit-like system for enabling scripts (which themselves have been around forever on PC). And even that guy was wrong because the fighting isn't WoW, it's like every isometric RPG ever invented.

raztad5026d ago

So far I know, the JRPG genre has been evolving constantly. From turn based to a faster action packed gameplay. FFVII (PSP), FFXII, FFXIII, WKC, Star Ocean 4, etc etc have different gameplay styles. WKC is specially interesting because it got some MMO-like with big cities, a lot of free roaming and online. Demons Souls is crazy innovative and rewarding.

It seems to me Bioware while trying to hype ME2 is getting a bit uppity and Turning 10.

DaTruth5026d ago (Edited 5026d ago )

If they say this enough times, the sheepish people of the western nations will come to believe it and no longer buy JRPG's! Than we will spend all our money on western developers games.

Doesn't help that Square is almost sacrificing their company to get people to buy the 360.

"Aren't you gonna buy the new Final Fantasy?"

"No, I hear the JRPG's are not commanding the respect they use to; If I buy it, people may think I'm not cool!"

Rock Bottom5026d ago

Ahh! not really.

I don't know why the sudden hate for JRPGs, they never did a good job in NA(other than FF) in the first place, and there have been some really good ones lately.

Redempteur5026d ago

i really don't care ...

i'll play WKC , SO4 , FF13 and atelier rorona this year

Yeah yeah Jrpgs are on the decline ... yet FF13 has sold 1.5M already in 4 days ...( japan only )

Wait where is the decline again ?

evrfighter5026d ago

Final Fantasy is the reason I own a PS3.

I loved me my final fantasies. But Mass Effect was better than FF 8 and 10.

Definately a title that will be built upon like Final Fantasy has.

JRPG's no longer interest me like they used to. The weeboo's here at N4G I'm sure will defend JRPG's to the death. Seems there's plenty of them

ReBurn5026d ago (Edited 5026d ago )

Always a conspiracy, everywhere you look. JRPG's aren't declining because of too many shooters on the 360 or FUD from developers. They're declining because there aren't that many being localized for countries outside of Japan. Out of sight, out of mind. It's just part of the evolution of the industry.

There was a time when probably more than 95% of all console RPG's were developed in Japan and then translated for sale in other countries. As games have become more sophisticated and voice acting has replaced on-screen text it has become more expensive and time consuming to localize games. Meanwhile western developers have started making games that are as good as the typical turn-based stuff that used to be pumped out of Japan, so interest has waned.

Personally I was never a fan of JRPG's. The only one I really ever liked was FFVII. But I've been a huge fan of BioWare's stuff. They make awesome games that sell multiple millions in countries around the world. So they should be respected as such.

Redempteur5026d ago

wait so the only people who'll defends jrpgs are weaboo ?

i'm glad you're happy with the genre of rpg you enjoy ..disliking something doesn't mean it's suddenly crap ...

people can dislike one or the other or both just like someone like me can enjoy FF13 AND DRAGON AGE .

What some of you don't get is that Jrpgs and Wrpgs aren't opposed .. both can coexist ...
I also fail to see how liking Jrpgs makes you weaboo...

my conclusion : ...inform yourself more before speaking ...

Bnet3435026d ago

Actually FFXII ripped the battle system from KOTOR.

rockleex5026d ago (Edited 5026d ago )

How many RPGs have been released on the HD consoles this generation.

Then tell me how many of those RPGs have been released on the PS3, where the JRPG fanbase is.

Then tell me how many JRPGs have been released on the Wii, PSP, or DS.

Exactly, JRPGs haven't really made the jump to HD consoles yet. FFXIII is only the beginning.

presto7175026d ago

I still think western rpgs suck. Japanese rpgs are the way to go

Nihilism5026d ago

I don't know why people are getting so upset about this the quote is taken out of context here, in it's original form, the interviewer asked the bioware dudes what they thought about wrpg vs jrpg. Bioware didn't come come out and say "jrpg sucks". Are people seriously taking sides with square, the company that abandoned their entire user base just for a little bit more money, the same company that has taken 3 years to come out with a game for ps3?, Bioware were always pc devs, the fact that they are on consoles now is just a reflection of the industry, but they sure as hell didn't gimp the pc versions for a quick $. They have made masterpiece after masterpiece, and I agree with them, at least half of the jrpgs coming out are below average at best

vhero5026d ago

JRPGS only seemed to be failing because S-E took a huge gamble with MS and it backfired as did mistwalker and now look what happened. They both went to making handheld games for a while and now S-E is back to PS3 support. MS the JRPG killer. Thye are to blame though not the console for paying for exclusivity for a console where the audience don't want that type of game. Fair enough they did it to try pull JRPG players onto the 360 however it didn't work. You need proof? Where is FF13 for 360 in Japan? There isn't one. That's your proof.

4Sh0w5026d ago (Edited 5026d ago )

Damm you guys are so quick to attack without ever putting things into context. I truly believe you guys only read headlines and a few comments before you throw out such BS accusations.

Kotaku is doing a duplicate story on the same qoute taken from Biowares interview with Destructoid, it says so right there prior to the qoute, and the Destructoid story was already posted on n4g.

If you read the original interview Destructoid repeats a familiar concern about JRPG's the idea that JRPG's are in decline, this isn't a new idea, many have said it, including Japanese devs, so Destructoid ASKS Bioware why they think its happening, there answer is their opinion, you may disagree but its generally what the public thinks, sure alot of hardcore jrpg fans may think jrpg's are still the best thing, but Bioware along with many others are simply giving their opinion, I see know reason why all the hate and talk of them being arrogant, they aren't flat out bashing jrpg's or saying they suck, just giving their honest impression, but I guess some of you would rather they lie and say they think jrpg's are on the rise and have very new an exciting gameplay to make you feel better. Grow up gamers, criticism is good, they sure took alot of it about the elevator and framerate issues in ME1 and did what any good dev would do, address it and try their damm best to fix it.

Millah5026d ago (Edited 5026d ago )

Kind of hypocritical. Bioware games have evolved about just as much as JRPGs have, well maybe Mass Effect could be an exception but shooter mechanics aside it was still basically KOTOR/Jade Empire. So the argument could be made that while Bioware/WRPGs added shooter mechanics to their existing formulas, some JRPGs have added real time combat mechanics to their existing formulas.

The thing is, the fact that they said this proves they never were much of JRPG fans. The fall of JRPG has nothing to do with their lack of evolution, ask any true JRPG fanboy, we actually WISH they STILL played like they did on PSX. JRPGs just aren't nearly as well made as they were in previous gens. It hasn't nothing to do with their lack of evolution, rather their failed attempts to evolve the genre is contributing to the decreasing quality.

The Jap devs are no longer making their games solely aimed at the Jap market, problem is that the Japanese culture in their games was part of its appeal. Now that they have been trying to aim at different markets, they've changed the soul and DNA of what a JRPG is. The end result is something that lacks its original appeal, and just doesn't have the same quality or passion from the devs.

The shifted influence on the gaming industry from Japan to now the West is what ruined JRPGs, and partially Japanese gaming as a whole. The Japs are still producing excellent games, but not at the rate they used to.

StarCSR5025d ago

It's not that simple... i have all the systems and have some of the so called "better" RPG's of this generation: Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Eternal Sonata and I've played Star Ocean, Last Remnant and Infinite UNdiscovery. And I can assure you: The reason they aren't selling is NOT that Xbox-owners don't buy that stuff (most of the RPG buffs around me have that system btw), but that that stuff just isn't as good as it used to be. Lost Odyssey is REALLY good and that one sold, Eternal Sonata also sold and that one's "OK"... But the rest just sucks... It's not like Star Ocean & Eternal Sonata sell that much better on PS3 outside of Japan...

PS: It's not Bioware complaining that it doesn't sell, it's Bioware saying the games just aren't that good anymore. So keep your fanboy crap for the Open Zone.

Sarick5024d ago

Don't forget they took no shame in making the Dragon Ages and their other titles copy locked.

The favorite part of RPGs for me is growing and becoming a bad arse. Unfortunitly, those are short lived when you lose 100's of hours of work because DRM.

+ Show (16) more repliesLast reply 5024d ago
hatchimatchi5026d ago (Edited 5026d ago )


i'm not knocking bioware, they seem like a solid enough studio but to say that jrpg's aren't evolving is a little silly to me. 90% of the stuff out right now is either recycled stuff or sequels. I'll take a solid jrpg any day over a cover system tps game (or a bioware game for that matter). You can't take a jrpg and turn it into an all out action game, it wouldn't be a jrpg. Jrpg's have a very dedicated fanbase, somewhat niche, but very dedicated.

Also, i don't think it's all that fair to judge the state of jrpgs right now in the game industry. For one, they do great on handhelds and two, the ps3 has hardly any rpg's in it's software line up. I bet if the exclusive rpgs square made for the 360 were multiplat at launch or sony exclusive the sales figures would have been completely different. The 360 isn't a system that people bought to play jrpgs on.

sikbeta5026d ago


People still believe that lol

Is not going to Happen

ezcex5026d ago

it's only declining in the west because they tried to change the games that have came out to appeal to a more western audience which makes it automatically a POS

DaTruth5026d ago (Edited 5026d ago )

While trying to appeal to more people, they end up turning of their core fanbase and appealing to less people!

Video gamers are generally the people that western culture least appeals to... except maybe the culture of war!

happy_gilmore5026d ago

played morrowind, was great for about 100 hours
played oblivion, kinda boring
played mass defect, boring
played dragon age, even more boring

FFXII is the best in the series since FF6

Nihilism5026d ago

I disagree on all points, but FFXII was an amzing game, F the haters, the game was brilliant