Resident Evil Creator: JRPGs Were Never Popular In The West

In the West, new role-playing games like Mass Effect (and its sequel) have been picking up steam. There has been concern that the popularity of Japanese role-playing games are on the slide in the West.

It's not that simple, says Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami.

"I think it is because Japanese RPGs were really never all that popular in the west to begin with," the game designer told website CVG. "I think the best way of interpreting things is that they aren't getting less popular; they weren't very popular from the start."

Obviously, Final Fantasy is popular in the West, but there are more Japanese role-playing games than Final Fantasy.

The reason for this decline? According to Mikami, "The fall of the JRPG in large part is due to a lack of evolution, a lack of progression. They kept delivering the same thing over and over. They make the dressing better, they look prettier, but it's still the same experience."

Agree? Disagree? Discuss!

News: Japanese RPGs 'were never popular' [CVG][Pic]


    I think the pinnacle of JRPG popularity in the west was during the FF 7 – 8 era. The reason for this, I think is because it took one huge critically and commercially successful title to bring the genre out of the niche market and into everyone’s homes. That title was FF7. I think that game represented the entire genre, and as soon as they bought that game, they bought the whole genre. Does that make any sense?

    Anyway after that I think the mass market got tired of the novelty and JRPG games became a niche again. But, all it takes is another milestone like FF7 to put the interest back into people in the west. We are totally capable of wanting JRPG games again en masse. Sure, it will be much harder now than it was 10 years ago because of titles like Fallout and Mass Effect, but it can still happen. The Final Fantasy series is definitely in no position to get people excited about JRPG games in the future.

    Choo! Choo! Make way for the progress train!

    Western RPGs (ya know, REAL RPGs) are superior to JRPGs in pretty much everyway

    Agree 1000%. Aside from the odd quirky title, many Japanese series have not evolved at all in the last decade, aside from prettier graphics. MGS4 plays just like MGS1 did. FFX12 played just like FFVII did (FFXIII didn't which is why it got bashed!). Fighting game #2134324 played exactly like fighting game #2134313. Not to mention Resident Evil...

      ...I'm not sure, but you're being sarcastic right?

      Like, FF7 and 12 couldn't be more different.I, the interface isn't even the same.

      And MGS1 and MGS4 are very different as well.

      The only way you could believe that is if you never, you know, played the games.

      Unless you were being sarcastic, in which case, you proved your point pretty well, but the internet does not convey tense very well.

        Totally confusing comment there...DID you play those games?

        I'm shocked by the division of opinions with RPGs.
        Personally I just like RPGs some are better than others yes but the deciding factor has never been the location they were developed. There are as many sucky western as there are eastern, also there are as many good western as there are eastern.

    100% agree.

    this borders on hilarious, coming from the creator of resident evil, and what the franchise has turned into. They were important to me, genius, for a time, they were the only games I played, as nothing else was good enough.

    Agree. It really does feel like the same basic structure/framework from within the same franchise and in other JRPG franchises used ad nauseum. It may work well in a Japanese commercial culture, but in Western culture, if something is not new or changing, it is seen as stagnant and redundant. Honestly, I don't think Japanese developers will full get it, nor Western in reverse...well, not in the foreseeable future.

    I'm a fan of the JRPG, and I quite like Mass Effect 1 and 2. I actually like the older style JRPGs and I think its a shame they have been trying to evolve them into some sort of action game. The nice part used to be that you could think out your strategies and choose what to do (like FFVII,FFVIII,FFIX).
    It all depends what I'm feeling like playing: a shooter (eg Mass Effect or Fallout 3), a classic turn based (eg FFVII), Tactical JRPG (eg Disgaea), Action JRPG (eg Star Ocean or Phantasy Star)
    There are good game that are a lot of fun in all those categories, if your in the mood for it.

    Agree. My opinion is that JRPGs have not grown with gamers over the years. In western RPGs like Dragon Age we have themes like racism, caste discrimination, etc - mature themes not too poorly woven into the storyline. JRPGs in general do not approach such mature themes, and if they do, it is done with a juvenile approach, as if their target audience were still in their teens. The fact is gamers have grown up, while JRPG makers have not.

    yeh coz they suck

    This guy's pretty honest for a Japanese developer

    Hit the nail on the head. JRPGs have truly never really evolved since the PS1 or hell, even the SNES era. This really became obvious when I played ME2 and FFXIII at around the same time and the difference was.... great.

    FFXIII looked VERY pretty but was like being in an Aquarium tunnel. All this amazing stuff around you that you can't touch and have to stick to a straight path. I like that they tried something different by eliminating hubs and shaking up the combat system but ultimately, it wasn't as fun as any good western action RPG's.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now