Is The RPG Genre Dying?

One look at the top games of today and there are only about two or three titles that are RPGs. Does this mean that RPGs are no longer popular? Why are developers no longer making RPGs? In this article, I will mostly be discussing the falling of the jRPG genre rather than western RPGs.

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omi25p2615d ago

With Skryrim and Mass Effect 3 soon to be released and both of which getting a huge amount of preorders i believe the West RPG are fine.

But i think the JRPG are in real trouble

Criminal2615d ago

Exactly what wanted to say. Skyrim and Mass Effect 3.

malol2614d ago (Edited 2614d ago )

well i think WRPG > JRPG

JRPG = get ready to read ALOT OF TEXT (like ps2 and PSP Japanese RPG and never played a JRPG ever after that gen)* EXCEPT VALKYRIA CHRONICLES which is the shit and shits all over a lot of JRPG
wrpg has a nice balance i feel

Trophywhore2614d ago

The JRPG is due to lack of innovation in story and refusal to accept that no one likes turn based combat anymore. Not to mention weaboos are dying out pretty fast.

BraveToaster2614d ago

Why are you talking about third person shooters?

fluffydelusions2614d ago

I dunno FF XIII still sold REALLY well but others yeah not so good. WJRPG's however do sell quite well as you point out.

ArecxP2614d ago (Edited 2614d ago )

XIII only sold well because it was a Final Fantasy game. If it did not have the Final Fantasy title, then it would have been bashed into hell because of how bad it was. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed FFXIII, but as far as RPGs go, it just did not cut it. In fact, I think the only reason why most RPGs sell well now-a-days is because of their names. I haven't seen a new RPG IP that is extremely popular.

TopDudeMan2614d ago

*Cough* Dark souls *Cough* Disgaea 4 *Cough* Pokemon *Cough*

JRPGs are doing fine... Where square are lacking, other developers are picking up the slack.

LadyGaga2614d ago

Dark Souls is NOT a JRPG. It's a WRPG made by a Japanese developer.

Tex1172614d ago

Lady Gaga,
Just becasue battle does not occur through a menu or based on anime does not make the game a non JRPG.

Dark Souls isn't western either. Western RPG's (as they have devopled past the old school PC games), don't have 1/4th the complexity that Dark Souls has.

That being said, WRPG's world wide are doing much better than JRPGS.

I love Dark Souls, but Im greatly looking forward to Skyrim. Two completely different games, but Im sure, will be the noteable games of the generation.

Neckbear2614d ago

Indeed, but can you call those "RPGs" in the first place?

I'd argue that they've forgotten what shapes the genre first and foremost, instead opting to pander towards the lowest common denominator. Depth and complexity in those two you've mentioned are little to none, let alone well-written stories of choice and self discovery. They're more like the hollow husk of an once great genre, the soulless corpse of RPGs.

Bimkoblerutso2614d ago

The emphasis has been shifted toward immersion and creating intricate universes as opposed to numbers, menus and stats. That's pretty much it. If anything, the "role-playing" aspects of these games are better than ever.

I'll have to disagree with you about the stories too. It's not as if Daggerfall or Morrowind were all that story intensive either, and Bioware is still producing some of the best written stories in the industry as far as I'm concerned.

TheDivine2614d ago

Jrpg's are alive and well they just migrated to the handhelds with the occasional release on consoles.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2614d ago
ArecxP2614d ago (Edited 2614d ago )

That's what I said in the article, I'm more focused on jRPGs as their quality and popularity has been failing lately. But you can't necessarily separate western RPGs and jRPGs, so that explains why I just put RPG in the title. At least, that is my reasoning for it.

Bigpappy2614d ago

Well you can't do that. WRPG's are doing really well at the moment. Even thought Deamon Souls was made in Japan, it is very much a western style RPG. Traditional JRPG's are a whole different beast, and are having a difficult time making any real traction in the industry.

ArecxP2614d ago (Edited 2614d ago )

I see. Then I have unintentionally mislead some with my title (which I can tell I have since a lot of people are "countering" by naming WRPGs lol), if I knew how to edit the title then I will change it. Just wish people would read the article and then comment then just look at the title and comment.

Edit: Other than that, I am interested to see what you guys think about JRPGs. I know WRPGs are doing very well, not on CoD levels, but to the point they are household names. Do you guys think that a new JRPG IP will be able to become as popular as those titles or is that genre just losing steam because of [insert reason here]?

Tony P2614d ago

Actually, the case could be made for those Western outfits as well, especially BioWare.

After all, as has been pointed out, while WRPGs in a very general sense have fared better, they have not done so without many changes and sacrifices to the genre.

SolDojo2614d ago

I do agree that tried and true old school style JRPGs are not as popular as they used to be.

But in my mind, natural progression of the genre has moved away from that trend, but somehow Japan didn't notice. It's like RAGE was somewhat open world and has an inventory, crafting, and questing systems. Not because corridor shooters with two gun swapping and ammo boxes all over the world were not, at one point, the cats meow. But instead, because the industry has a natural progression and shooters moved away from that style of gameplay over time.

RPGs have done the same. The genre arguably came from D and D, which was heavily focused on player choices within a narrative. Most of the early Final Fantasy games had choice of class, and some of the later ones featured non linear story progression at certain times, like the ruined world of FFVI.

Natural progression of the industry has caused more and more player driven experiences and emergent gameplay to become the star of modern RPGs, and games like FFXIII just cant stand up when the only way to personalize your experience is to decide if you do monster hunts or not and what paradigms you use. A game like that has less personalization than choosing my perks and loadout for multiplayer in COD.

tiffac0082614d ago (Edited 2614d ago )

1) Japan has become handheld centric.

Knowing this the Japanese developers think they could make a quick buck by congesting the market with JRPGs with less development cost. The strategy did well at the beginning with a lot of sequels and ports leading the way but in the end nothing beats a full blow console experience and it took a while for the Japanese developers to realize this.

2) Unrealistic sales expectation.

Outside from Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest its rare for a JRPG game to actually reach 1M sales LTD even at its height most titles can barely reach 400-500k. Of course these types of sales was probably acceptable to their standards back then since the development cost is inexpensive compared to today but after what Activision's baby did, everyone wanted to make the next CoD which created another problem...

3) Most of the big Japanese developers became western focused.

And JRPGs is mostly not part of this strategy. So it left a void that smaller developers like Atlus, Falcon, Level-5, Nippon Ichi had to fill and most of them create niche JRPGs not mainstream ones and then...

4) Gaming became mainstream.

And with new gamers comes different taste. Its always been this way, once it was Platforming then at one time it was Fighting to RPGs (WRPGs on the PC to JRPGs on the consoles). Now its Shooters. This is the part that cannot be avoided. It just happens every generation or so.

So does this all mean the genre is dying? The answer is "No"

The games are there and a lot of them are good, very good but its the strategy of the developers that's the problem and it seems only a few of them have realized their mistakes so far.

zerocrossing2614d ago


I can't get enough of JRPG's, but its sad knowing they are so niche... if they got more attention then many more devs would be willing to take more chances with the genre instead we get a handful of devs creating miniature masterpieces that only a handful of us will ever truely apreciate :/

gillri2614d ago

Xenoblade chronicles is the highest rated RPG of the year so far and its ht eonly JRPG I have ever had interest in playing

Venjense2614d ago

No RPG has taken over, even shooters have many RPG elements in them now.

Good main story lines are dying though.

HeavenlySnipes2614d ago

Dark Souls

That is all.

*Leaves comment section*

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