"jRPG" is a term that many of us often use. It's used as short name to describe a particular style of RPG design that originated in Japan back in the last century. However, it turns out that many developers from the Land of the Rising Sun do not want their productions to be referred to as jRPGs. Among those who are not fond of the term is the producer of Final Fantasy XVI , Naoki Yoshida .
jRPG used to be a "discriminatory term"
On the occasion of the game's promotional campaign, Yoshida, along with Koji Fox (director of localization, who translated the developer's statements), took part in an interview with the Skill-Up channel. During the interview, the producer of Final Fantasy XVI was asked whether jRPGs have an advantage over modern action games.
In response Yoshida noted that the term "jRPG" is mainly used by Western media. The developer also added that the aforementioned name "began to appear regularly online 15 years ago or earlier," and at the time was a "discriminatory term" for Japanese developers. .
"One of the things he [Yoshida- ed. note] wants to convey is that when we develop games, we don't think of them in terms of jRPGs. We are creating an RPG title. The term jRPG is used more by Western media than by users and media in Japan.
It depends who you ask, but there was a time about 15 years ago when the term first appeared and when we heard , it was a discriminatory term for us, as if we were ridiculed for making these games. For some developers, the term jRPG may be something that evokes bad feelings because of this.
For many developers in Japan, it was not a compliment. We understand that recently jRPG has better connotations and is used as something positive, but we still remember the times when it was used in a negative context," Koji Fox translated Yoshida's words.
Yoshida prompted a debate
Given the ubiquity of the term in the industry, it's hard to expect it to suddenly stop being used. Nevertheless, Yoshida has sparked an interesting discussion online with his comments.
Journalist Alex Donaldson in a way agreed with the producer, saying that the term "jRPG" is mainly to draw attention to the characteristic solutions, gameplay systems or themes of the game, and then added that it might be worth thinking about a new term that will not evoke such extreme emotions in the Land of the Rising Sun.
jRPGs are not just about Asia
It is also worth adding, as rightly noted by, among others, the editor of TheGamer that games classified as jRPGs are no longer the domain of Japanese developers alone. Such games are also being developed by Western creators. A perfect example of this is the last year RPG Chained Echoes designed by Matthias Linda and published by Germany's Deck13 Interactive.
Finally, let's recall that Final Fantasy XVI will debut on June 22, 2023, on the PlayStation 5 console. Later on the game is also expected to come to PC as well.