28 Dec

A comparative look at the role-playing game industry on both Western and Japanese shores yields a strong dichotomy: one of consistent innovation, and one of arguable stagnation. At least, that is the belief that Bioware co-founder/director Greg Zeschuk recently expanded upon in an interview with video game website Destructoid.

“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.” He added, “My favorite thing, it’s funny when you still see it, but the joke of some of the dialogue systems where it asks, ‘do you wanna do this or this,’ and you say no. ‘Do you wanna do this or this?’ No. ‘Do you wanna do this or this?’ No. Lemme think — you want me to say ‘yes.’ And that, unfortunately, really characterized the JRPG.”

“We have big debates on whether GTA is an RPG, for example,” said Zeschuk. “It’s got all the elements, it just doesn’t have the numbers. And what gamers here want is that higher depth, that higher integration of features…Mass Effect 2 is in some ways a continuation of that evolution.”

Do you agree with Dr. Zeschuk? Or is there more innovation in JRPGs than many realize? Comment below with your thoughts!

5 thoughts on “Bioware: Japanese RPGs Haven’t Evolved”

  1. I’m fine with the JRPG not evolving that much in terms of gameplay, but I do think that more wiggle room in terms of story would be good. In WRPG’s, I usually feel like I’m navigating through the world. In JRPG’s, I usually feel like I’m being led through.

  2. Yes, and No. Demon’s Souls is not your standard JRPG, it evolved. SO, can we say the same thing about the WRPG, cause they all see to be the standard, let me do what I want type of game, so it is sorta ironic.

    I think the JRPG is starting to evolve a little, cause over in Japan, SE is worried that the market is being stagnant.

    1. Demon’s Souls isn’t exactly a JRPG. It’s a WRPG made by the Japanese. The gameplay is 100% classic hack & slash. I see a JRPG as a game with a distinct line between the ‘overworld’ and ‘battle screen.’ Or a JRPG with a distinct Japanese style.

      But like everything else, it’s all slowly merging together.

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