“Lack of evolution” has hurt the JRPG genre, says BioWare co-founder

The current forerunner for western style RPG development, BioWare, has weighed in on the state of the JRPG. When asked about the genre’s current decline, co-founder Greg Zeschuk said, “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.”

I see his point, though the pool of JRPG’s from this generation is perhaps not enough to bury the entire genre. How many entries in the genre have been released on all three current consoles? Like ten, maybe? The problem is that all of the truly great and innovative JRPG’s are currently being released either on the PS2 (Persona 3 & 4) and the DS (The World Ends With You, Mario & Luigi: Bowsers Inside Story, Devil Survivor), and thus aren’t getting as much attention as the schlock shoveled out on the current home consoles.

Lost Odyssey and Tales Of Vesperia were both well made games, but neither of them attempted to reinvent the wheel in the slightest, and paint-by-numbers affairs like Cross Edge, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Magna Carta 2, and Infinite Undiscovery are so stale by this point that their acceptance of mediocrity has turned off mostly everyone except for hardcore JRPG fans. What about you, are you satisfied with the current state of the genre?

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