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Bioware: “Final Fantasy XIII Definitely Not An RPG”


Leading western RPG developer Bioware has said that hit corridor crawler Final Fantasy XIII “isn’t an RPG.”

Commenting on the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic, Bioware’s Writing Director Daniel Erickson launched into an opportunistic salvo against Final Fantasy XIII:

“Well, before I address the main point I just want to take a slightly more controversial route: You can put a ‘J’ in front of it, but it’s not an RPG.

You don’t make any choices, you don’t create a character, you don’t live your character… I don’t know what those are – adventure games maybe? But they’re not RPG’s.”

Bioware has previously criticised JRPGs as being “stagnant,” so it is by now no secret that the company has a low opinion of a genre which in fairness has only a tangential connection to the original conception of a “role playing game” – “stats based dungeon crawler” might be a fairer description.

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    • When Bethesda comments on making choices, they are referring to choices that lead to progression of the story and character development; Making choices in paradigm means nothing as the gameplay pertains nothing other than the battle mechanic.

      You fail on understanding.

  • Anonymous says:

    Bioware be trollin’.

    True, JRPG’s are a bit stagnant….Jculture in general isn’t in the golden era it was a decade ago. I blame it mostly on not enough original artists and everyone trying to copy older styles.

    But the US RPG market is just as bad, if not worse. How many times must we suffer through the whole D&D based fantasy world? I’m sick of WoW, I’m sick of D&D, I’m sick of everyone trying to be more “hardcore” than the last guy. There’s no sense of design, no sense of mirth.

    Here’s hoping FFXIV is everything I hope it to be.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bioware is not trolling, learn to know what “Role Playing Game” actually means in the first place. And no, I am not your fucking teacher to tell you, you cunt.

      Well if you say that reading a book is an example of rpg then I might as well lose hope to these new age JRPG fans.

  • Anonymous says:

    man, i swear the god or to myself. I never ever, will not even look at the screenshot, not to mention buying your shitty game. I tired of bio-ass trash talking about j-rpg, rpg has a different representation. Who are you to decide that rpg should be “that” way? i don’t care, if rpg is being interpreted as pen or paper, or creating GENERIC character who DOESN’T has any personality, etc. I like j-rpg period. If i wanted to play free roaming around without linear story, and multiple choice, hell i’d play mmorpg. Its more fun.
    So, why not stop your marketing propaganda, and let see 10 years from now, is your shitty company still live for its expectation or not. Until then, lets shut your fucking mouth.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you like linear story, with you watching what happens then I rather stop playing JRPG’s and read a book, or watch a movie.

      You have no say on what will happen in a JRPG story, the characters that you supposedly control acts by themselves and “you” have no say on what they will do or on how you want their story to develop. It is not a “role-playing” game, you are a spectator with the job of arranging stats and pushing the “attack button.

      Congratulation JRPG fans, you are the extreme french maid. Your job is to arrange stats, buy the characters some clothes, buy them weapons, get them a fucking ship or fucking mascot and tell them when to attack or not. After all that, just go and sit in a corner and watch them on how they discuss about the weather.

      Have fun with your “Role playing”!!

    • Oh my God, please tell me the reason why Sims is considered an RPG? The things that I know about Sims and how it is played, my lack of knowledge of its gameplay and the sentence that you wrote with a +4 approval combined makes my head hurt.

      Or you could just tell me you guys are trolling so hard.

  • Anonymous says:

    I guess if WRPGs didn’t have shitty ass ugly characters, boring stories and worlds I would like them more. Yeah ff13 isn’t the best ff or the best JRPG, but damn if Resonance of fate is! I mean what JRPG creators need to look is what sells on amazon from the psone for hundreds of dollars and tons of yen, learn from these games. Because they shouldn’t try to be competing with WRPGs because people who want to play a JRPG dont want to play a WRPG (at that time) anyways. They should start doing what fans want, an actual return to the classics.

    • Anonymous says:

      I just hope you are goddamn kidding us. Seriously, the 8-bit era is something I would not rather go back too.

      Or if you are smoking crack then I may understand what you mean.

  • Anonymous says:

    Said by the people who ruined mass effect by making it into a run and gun shooter in mass effect 2.

    I knew that would happen once EA bought Bioware they whored out mass effect to the general gamer and fucked over the fans of mass effect 1.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m pretty tired of the JRPG bashing.

    It’s hard to defend them these days because the people who criticize them expect things from the games that I just think are totally irrelevant, like agency. I just want to have a good story and interesting characters; WRPGs never really provide me with that. They expect *you* to provide the interesting lead, but that’s not what I paid $50+ for. I want professionals to entertain me, not to entertain myself. That’s easy enough to do in pen and paper RPGs, which I also enjoy. In a sense, pen and paper RPGs made WRPGs obsolete to me before they even existed. Why would I play a Bioware game when I could just play Eclipse Phase (Which is free, even.) or D&D? The choices I can make in those games are more complex, and with the addition of my friends they become social activities too. For the same reason, MMOs never held any appeal to me.

    I also have no interest in their petty questions of “small morality,” such as whether or not to kill some unsympathetic NPC you know for all of twelve minutes of in-game dialogue. Much like sandbox games (Grand Theft Auto), morality in WRPGs is a meter that removes all sense of ambiguity and trivializes the issues they claim to represent. Real life doesn’t work that way, and it’s comical that the highly unrealistic plots of JRPGs are in this sense more believable to me despite their often absurd coincidences and plot holes.

    Most JRPGs tackle more complex issues, not because the Japanese writers are in any way better at it (They may be worse, even.), but rather because they just aren’t distracted by writing a million sidequests and can focus on a story without having to account for the random element of the player. If WRPG developers wrote more linear stories, they could do this as well, but developers like Bioware have succeeded in selling a false value like “agency” to gamers more interested in wish-fulfillment than storytelling.

    • Anonymous says:

      I like what the Western game developers are doing these days than what the Japanese game developers have been doing.

      WRPG developers are not afraid to experiment on new things and new ways to improve their game and is never stagnant up until today.

      Just look at how far they have gone compared to the old titles like FF and with more innovations introduced by them, who knows what new games will come up that is more up to date and more fun than the standard “click attack to attack”.

      That is the reason why I hope the Japanese will stop sticking to the “tried and tested” formula and do something dramatic. THIS so called “bashings” is a wake-up call for them.

      To not suck cocks if you ask me.

  • Anonymous says:

    “Stats-based dungeon cralwer”

    And Mass Effect 2 isn’t? There’s towns (plantes where you buy shit and get missions/comrades) and there’s dungeons (running through a tower and running through a dungeon is the same shit. Jacob’s loyalty mission was no less “linear” than running through the forest in FFXIII)

    Yeah, let’s all listen to the fucker who said an entire genre is “stagnant and linear”.


    Oh, and what about “choices we’re forced to make”?

    Guess what, no matter WHAT you did in ME1, the council in ME2 are STILL ignorant assholes. NO-MATTER-WHAT.
    “Will you do this or this?” “No.”
    More like:
    “Will they go here for gold or there for a battle?”
    “Here for gold.”
    “Okay, you went here for a battle.”

    God forbid this mother fucker talks about JRPG storylines, too. The Shin Megami Tensei franchise has deeper, more intricate plots than both DA:O or both of the ME games COMBINED.

    Just go back to neglecting your Mass Effect fanbase and keep up your Lilianna fetish, you fuckwit!

  • Anonymous says:

    idk Choosing what each of your character to be a attacker, caster, healer, defender, and who your main chracter and the crystal lvling up stats is pretty dam rpg. . . . .wow This guy just blew junks not seeings the battle system

  • echelon64 says:

    Bioware is totally correct on this one, FFXIII is not an RPG by any stretch, but then again, neither is any of Bioware’s games either.

    Ah well who cares, as long as it has DFC I’m okay with it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with the Bioware dude.

    RPG’s (role playing games) are defined by the ability to put yourself, or someone who represents a different side of you, or another person entirely, into the game.

    Dragon Age: Origins is a good example of this. In DA: O, your choices affect the game play dramatically. There’s hundreds of ways you can complete the game through the major decisions throughout it, these choices allow you to define your character better than any JRPG I’ve seen.

    They cannot be grouped together. A JRPG is not an RPG. It just isn’t.

  • Anonymous says:

    The genre has been called “RPG” since its earliest iterations, and as the console releases evolved so did the genre. It’s “role playing game”, so what’s the problem if the role you are playing is defined by the game? You’re still playing the role. Sure, you could call it an “action story” game, but why make up an entirely new genre when you can just as easily plot its evolution from earlier RPGs? Keep nomenclature simple–there don’t need to be multiple genres for similar games.

    Honestly I’ve the feeling Mr. Erikson is just a pen-and-paper “enthusiast” with his panties in a bunch over semantics.

  • Anonymous says:

    Glad I haven’t bought a Bioware title in ages, if all he’s gonna do is trample on JRPGs when they’re down.

    At least Bethesda I still have respect for.
    The whole reason I play JRPGs is because of the unique characters and story. If I were actually role-playing I might as well grab any clone MMO.

    For a modern epitome of the JRPG experience play ‘Resonance of Fate’… it’s got the random turn-based battles and takes them to a whole new level.

  • Anonymous says:

    Since when did choice = role-playing?

    If you ROLE-PLAY as the Pope, do you have a choice in believing or not believing in god?

    When you ROLE-PLAY a role, you have no choice because the choices default to the ROLE you PLAY.

    BioWare and numerous other people are attempting to redefine the word “role-play” instead of coming up with a new word that suits their taste in “choice” “freedom” and other mass marketed buzzwords.

    • Way to go stupid, you won the awards. You can go now and suck a million dicks.

      You are stupid as fucking hell, listen to the guy above before you infect other people with that ignorance of yours that you call knowledge.

    • Anonymous says:

      You couldn’t be more wrong.

      I could role play the pope, lying to my followers that I believe in god, blabla and all just to give a public speech a year later about how the 11th commandment is “Thou shall have gay sex every week!” from now on.
      Your example is a particularly bad one since no other human being can prove that you don’t believe in god/you do believe in god.

      Role playing is the definition of deciding the choices your character makes – I’m a barbarian, but am I a savage that laughs at the brutal dead of innocents going all lengths to reach his goals or am I a lone warrior that lost his tribe now seeking vengeance but still helping the weak? Those are the choices you make for your character – I’m a paladin but even then I have my weak moments and get in fits of unjustified rage against my enemies when in the middle of the atrocities of war, just have to make sure not around my allies or otherwise I will probably die by their blade for committing a war crime (or will someone stand up for me? their decision!).

      In FF XIII you have none of that. You can’t decide who lives or who dies. You can’t make decisions that probably could hurt yourself or your allies later on. If a person insults you can’t decide getting angry or letting it slide.
      Your characters are going on to progress on predefined rails through the story without your input at all. Your task is to get them safe through the battles to get to next person you talk to – nothing else. As soon as you’re approaching a person you can lay of the hands of controller since the characters on screen will act according to their fixed morality/current mood and sometimes they will surprise you when they respond in ways that you think wouldn’t be appropriate for the given situation.

  • Anonymous says:

    That’s funny. I don’t call what Bioware makes RPGs either.

    As far as creating your own character goes? Lightning and her crew of L’Cie or whatever they are called are the only people who can accomplish their mission.

    Going further, who other than Frodo could have accomplished the destruction of the One Ring?

    Creating your own character will always, without exception, detach them from the story to one degree or another. If they can be detached from it, then they are not important to the story. The story just happens around them.

  • haibane13 says:

    RPG’s are about character driven games , not gameplay styles . Somehow some game developers haven’t understood that yet and insist on calling some RPGs “real RPG’s” .

  • Anonymous says:

    I have FF13, and its not so bad but I think that it needs a lot more to be like other rpgs, I like old rpgs like PS1 breath of fire, chrono cross, saga frontier, xenogears etc, and with new generation to play rpgs you need to get a nintendo ds, xbox never had a good rpg and it wont change and ps3 isn´t working hard on this, everything is action and shooter games, and pay $50 for a 3 hours game it´s a waste, at least any FF will keep you busy for more than 20 hours and if you are a real gamer you´´ll get 100% leading you to more than 60 hours, like tales of… anyway a real gamer would play everything and wont cry with every crappy game they mess with, play it or not, its your choice, anyway FF13 is way better than FFX-2(or final fashion like we call it) and I´d play them a few times as I´m a gamer, FF12 is a good rpg it has everything that an rpg needs but people does not like it because you can´t press one key to give 3 jumps in the air and unleash a 40 hits killing combo, my point is that most people sucks on every game so they need a full easy and fashion game, the kind of game that says don´t think just press this and the mess will start by it´s own, it because of this that rpgs are getting worst.

  • Bronxdragon says:

    Who gives a fuck! Stop bitching about other games and make your games fuckin decent. I’m sick of easy games. I remember when I was a kid I had to cheat, like go on gamewinners or force my pops to help me out.

  • psycholoner says:

    Well…a role playing game is where you build your character and play the role. If you think of it like that, most games labeled RPG aren’t really RPGs anymore in that sense. We say RPG, and expect the style of play that are in all RPGs that we know.

    That point has always bugged me…

  • Anonymous says:

    People have been arguing about the definition of “RPG” for over 10 years now. It’s pretty much a GameFAQs level topic.

    In the end, “RPG” means whatever the commonly accepted definition means. Getting hung up over the meaning of the term is about the kind of wanky thing I’d expect from a developer who thinks that providing the player with exactly two choices in every situation, sainthood and puppy kicking, somehow lets them “role play”.

  • Anonymous says:

    You do make choices, you don’t create a character in a RPG but you do create one in a MMORPG, you don’t live your character but you do experience your characters story… I don’t know what those are – adventure games maybe? Wait… Isn’t an adventure game with a strong emphasis on role playing considered to be a RPG?

    I’ve edited the direct quote from Bioware so it’ll make sense. I hate FFXIII and Bioware games. *_*

  • biowares just mad that mass effect and dragon age put together didnt sell as good as FF13.

    there are 2 different kinds of classic rpgs (not action rpgs) the ones that are story driven through scenes that drive character interaction, and those that are driven through in game decisions to reach a conclusion.

    main characters being “customized” or not is a big factor but its a weakness in most cases to telling a good engaging story. case in point a created character cant have any dimensions to them, no thought patterns or monologes or quotes. they dont have to be figured out either so theres no mystery to them.

    • Anonymous says:

      biowares chacter creation is broken , try creating some one who looks good in ME , you’ll go nuts . besides too many choices , none of which matter doesnt really make you live as a character

  • Anonymous says:

    JRPG is not RPG, that why we called it “JRPG”!

    If you look at the progression of RPG in the west as a whole, it never really evolved until FF7 come to the west. Many modern games are actually inspired by FF series, before FF7 most of the western games have almost no story to tell, or the stories simply too shallow to involved the player emotionally. Story telling was never a strong emphasis in western games back then.

    Many so called “(W)RPG” today touting their adventure/shooting/action game got a deep & interesting story to tell… Does that sounds too similar to JRPG from years ago?

  • Anonymous says:

    Agree that FF13 is not an “rpg” by standards but for different reasons. I can play the role of a character and to some extent I am role playing if the game immerses me enough to forget everything around me.

  • There is a simple explanation:

    JRPG = Playing the “Role” of a pre-designed character with their own plot. The player can take on the role of “the Protagonist” of a story.

    Western RPG = Playing the “Role” of an avatar of your own making in a somewhat open-ended plot. The player gets to make their own protagonist to the story.

    Clearly, the definition of what an RPG is totally different depending on the culture, so that’s why they implemented the term “JRPG” to specify it.

    Comparing RPGs and JRPGs are like comparing oranges and limes. Even though they are both citrus, they’re really not that similar.

    • Fallout 3 is an RPG. 1)create a character 2)choices that have impact on the character and the world around him/her that affects the ending 3)tons of customization (stats/mechanic/looks) 4)nonlinear gameplay.

      you just don’t know what an RPG is.

  • Anonymous says:

    man im tired of shit being said about this game!! its an awesome game i heard so much shit about this game and i still bought it and im glad i did i fucking loved it! it will make u laugh,cry and you will enjoy it.. dont listen to what others say just play it lol

  • Anonymous says:

    I disagree. FFXIII has customisation and development like RPGs demand. He obviously has a problem with the fact that you can’t create your own unique character from the beginning, instead playing the role of a canon character in a pre-destined storyline. Who gives a fuck? You are still playing the role of a character and you do live the character as much as you can in a video game, through expansion and equipping.

    This is just the age-old W-RPG vs. J-RPG retardfight. J-RPGs have been like this since the beginning.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think it all comes down to the different mindset/culture of Western and Japanese game developers and their clientele. Both have a very different view of how an RPG should be. Western developers tend to design their RPG games along D&D style gaming. Even Mass Effect is just a variation of the old D&D concept, albeit with guns and biotics in a Sci-Fi setting. Westerners also see the ability to make choices (kill the dog or pet it) as a must have of any RPG.

    Most Japanese RPGs however don’t give the player the option of running over an old lady or helping her across the road. The stories in JRPGs tend to be usually set in stone and the player can’t make choices to change the outcome. Sandbox or not, it’s ultimately the freedom to make choices in the plot that differentiates Western RPGs and JRPGs. Apples and oranges ultimately.

  • Anonymous says:

    RPG – Role Playing Game

    Take the Definition from Wiki(I know its a bad start but at least its somewhere):
    A role-playing game (RPG) is a broad family of games in which players assume the roles of characters, or take control of one or more avatars, in a fictional setting. Actions taken within the game succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.

    From this Definition, a RPG you need to make choices and some of the actions suceed and fail of what choices you make.

    FFXIII has none of this at all, you have a predefined corridor and you just flow through it no CHARACTER DIES and all actions regardless what you do leads to the same ending. FFXIII is a story telling game, its like reading a novel.

    ME2 and DA has choices you can take that leads to people to dying or making them hate/betray you at least these games contain an essence of being an RPG.
    Though I think you should of seen Tali’s face but then if you did no rule 34 would come out :S.

  • Fat troll is successful.

    On the other hand it’s not like western RPGs are good RPGs either. They do allow you yo customize you character, somewhat (if you are luck and you actually have any choice), however it’s pretty often there will be something that you think is obvious and should be done but is not allowed. Want to save Aribeth? Oh, your character is not male? Tough luck, Sherlock. Want to send one of your comrades immune to super lethal hazard instead of yourself to press a button? Sucks to be you then, you cant! This shit is not an RPG either.

  • Danudirja Setiabudi says:

    “Role-playing games”

    Some, you see, decided to define this quite literally. If you are put in the shoes of a certain fictional character then you are by definition role-playing. This is apparently what the Japanese school of thought believe.

    Others decided to define it based on its historical context, namely the tabletop traditions. This is what the Western school of thought believe.

    It’s just names. Like chips; in the US it’s crispy. In the UK it’s not. Which one is correct? Neither or both. I wish some people would quit pretending they are more similar than they really are.

    I like both, but as I wrote this I was forced to stare at the portrait of that faggot from Versus in the thumbnails. This mentally scarred me, therefore I currently lean towards the Western side of the debate.

    • Anonymous says:

      Think you’ll find in the US your speaking English. So here in England where we say ‘crisps’ is the right way to go about it. Stop changing our language as you see fit kkthxbye

  • Looks like Daniel Erickson went to the Tomonobu Itagaki Institute of Mud-Slinging.

    Remember guys:

    -Western Games -> Innovate with every sequel. Patch at every opportunity.

    -Eastern Games -> Keep to the tradition as possible. Patch only when deemed necessary.

  • There have been games that attempted to emulate the openness of tabletop play. They have all failed miserably due to tediousness and the simple fact that dungeon-crawling in dungeons with a single sprite for the walls, floor, and ceiling isn’t terribly exciting.

  • And look at you. I played through Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age, and as I see it, those 2 game fucking sucks. I forced myself to play them in hopes I could see what ppl see in those rpgs, but i just couldnt

  • Anonymous says:

    Lol, the definition of rpg is totally fucked up. Back in the days it simply meant you follow a story and have a character which you can customize in terms of skills, stats and equipment. Western companys kinda think that this formular is outdated, so they try to add more to the role play experience, giving the player even more stuff to decide. Japanese companys just hold onto the old way of rpgs.

    But in the end it really depends on the player, some want to enjoy the story while others have more fun forming the story themselves. I think both are totally okay and can be called rpg.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry, But I just have to say a couple things.

    Random Final Fantasy bashing is NOT news. I don’t care what anyone says, it isn’t.

    No one cares about Bioware’s opinion on ffXIII. Don’t try to convince yourself that you do, because you don’t. If you actually do, you have some serious problems you need to deal with.

    Thank you… that is all.

    • Anonymous says:

      What? You’re a retard.

      Baldur’s Gate – 2 million copies sold
      Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn – 2 million copies sold

      Mass Effect – 1.6 million copies sold after six weeks on Xbox360 alone
      Mass Effect 2 – 2 million copies sold after one week
      Dragon Age Origins – over 3.2 million copies sold

  • rev effect says:

    I agree with some of what he says but not all of it. While I do agree that things like character creation and being able to make choices that effect the story line are great in a WRPG but they don’t necessarily work in JRPG’s.

    While they are both RPG’s they are completely different in their approaches, especially story wise. Most WRPG’s allow you to influence the story with your own decisions and play as a character that reflects who you are or what you would like to be, therefore the story has to be more flexible like in Mass Effect 2.

    Most JRPG’s put you in the shoes of a character or characters that already have their own goals or opinions within the world that they inhabit and you get to experience that through their point of view as they go through a story that is set in stone although there are usually some cases where you do get to make some sort of decision. This is why JRPG’s can seem linear to people who are used to WRPG’s. In order for the story in a JRPG to work they basicly have to restrict the player to a somewhat linear path which is why we dont see any JRPG’s trying to immitate games like Fallout 3.

    I think this is why people were upset with FF13 because Cocoon was too linear and Pulse was to open (like in FF12). So basicly it all comes down to the type of game you prefer. Personally for someone who likes both I think they compliment each other in a way. For me the linearity of JRPG’s are a great break from the openness of WRPG’s. There I am done and sorry for the long post.

  • Tokeijikaku says:

    The point of role-playing, by definition, is having you represent a character, not a character representing you. Whether you created them or not is both neutral and irrelevant to the concept.

    Not that it matters, because RPG as a video game genre (like every video game genre) has more to do with the mechanics than the aesthetics. Pokémon Stadium is an RPG, Indigo Prophecy is not.

    • Anonymous says:

      did you know Gary Gygax, one of the two men basically credited with creating the RPG genre, claimed that an RPG IS IN FACT all in the combat system and character growth mechanics?

      he was actually extremely against mechanizing anything else other than that barebones core

      in his opinion everything else was your business how you relate to the character.

      • Anonymous says:

        actually, no

        well sort of

        if you read the original interview the interviewer brought up JRPGs and used FFXIII as an example

        then Erickson made his general comment about JRPGs as a whole

        so take that as you will, but it is TECHNICALLY true that Erickson did not specifically point out Final Fantasy XIII

        • Anonymous says:

          to an extent
          like i said the interviewer provided the FFXIII context, not Erickson technically

          this is what was said in the interview

          “Strategy Informer: The main staple of The Old Republic has always been its story, but I’d argue that without good game play to support it, there is a lack of incentive to want to find out that story. I use Final Fantasy 13 as an example here: excellent story, but sometimes the grind or the linear game play made me struggle in wanting to see it through. What are your thoughts on that?”

          “Daniel Erickson: Well, before I address the main point I just want to take a slightly more controversial route: You can put a ‘J’ in front of it, but it’s not an RPG. You don’t make any choices, you don’t create a character, you don’t live your character… I don’t know what those are – adventure games maybe? But they’re not RPG’s.”

          and then he never mentions the JRPG point again
          so like i said, ERICKSON didn’t name drop Final Fantasy XIII technically
          so it depends on what context you want to draw from that.

        • “Talking with Strategy Informer about the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, Daniel Erickson, Writing Director for Bioware said that Final Fantasy XIII isn’t an RPG.”

          “Would you agree or disagree with Erickson here?”

          Either the writer is being completely misleading or Erickson is indeed mentioning FF13 specifically.

  • Anonymous says:

    Last time someone made a comment, Japanese gamers did nothing but trash talk games like fallout 3 and oblivion with comments like “too much space” “too much stuff” etc. Gee, a game with an insane amount of customization and free roaming exploration? Nonono says Japan, more angsty teens and linear save the world plots.

    Let’s compare FF6 to FF13. Do you really want those 2 in the same category of JRPG? I think not.

  • Anonymous says:

    I prefer “stagnant adventure” jRPGs with good storyline and battle system than “real RPG games”. Seriously, the last eastern RPG worth mentioning is Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines and that game was bugged as hell (now thanks to fans it’s playable). It’s much better to just play D&D or other systems on paper with friends.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ups, my fail xD

        P:T is my favourite RPG and while I personally don’t like Fallouts I have to admit that both parts are good games. Add to it both Baldur’s Gate and you have pretty much every good cRPG. Rest of them is below good IMHO.

  • Anonymous says:

    Erickson probably came out sounding a bit more arrogant than he intended. Saying FFXIII is not a good game is one thing, but judging what’s a RPG or what’s not is going a bit too far. Let the consumers and critics make those decisions, you just worry about making good games!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think saying “FFXIII is bad game” is far more arogant and subjective than telling “FFXIII is not a RPG”. You missunderstand what good game is and what RPG is. Because RPG=/=Good game. Consumers usually dont fucking know anything about gamemaking and storytelling. Consumers decide what is good game. Developers decide what is a RPG (regrettably since they often use it only as a cheap selling point). If he says that FFXIII is not an RPG because it lacks most principes that makes real RPG for him (and for anyfucking one P&PRPG player) its absolutely right.

      • Anonymous says:

        The point of the comment is that both what a RPG is and what a good game is are both subjective. But trying to expressing your opinion based on some arbitrary principles (such as what an RPG is)in an attempt to give it authority is what’s arrogant. Much akin to someone attempting to claim that he speaks to “anyfucking one P&PRPG player”.

        Personally, I couldn’t care less what Erickson think about FFXIII when he could be spending those time making games that can finally live up to the standards set by Baldur’s Gate series and Planescape Torment? Developers should speak through their games, because that’s where we should listen.

      • Anonymous says:

        The point of the comment is that both what a RPG is and what a good game is are both subjective. But trying to expressing your opinion based on some arbitrary principles (such as what an RPG is)in an attempt to give it authority is what’s arrogant. Much akin to someone attempting to claim that he speaks to “anyfucking one P&PRPG player”.

        • Anonymous says:

          No, what is and what isn’t a RPG is NOT subjective, unless you are talking about how the meaning of all words themselves are subjective, but then you’re of in the deep trenches where words like “house”, “gun”, “tree” is also subjective, in which case the word subjective looses all meaning and your point is moot in any case.

          For a quick example, Quake is not a RPG, nor is Super Mario Bros, and no matter how subjective you claim you are, you will still sound ridicilous if you try tell anyone that Quake is a RPG.
          The games simply lack to many game-characteristics associated to the RPG genre, that is a FACT, and not something that is open to subjective debate.
          You might try wiggling out of it by claiming that all games where you step into the role of a character are RPG games, but then you just end up with such a meaningless term where you can call Portal a RPG game, and by then you really should question yourself:
          Why go to all that trouble when it really doesn’t matter if a game you are enjoying is a rpg or not?

  • FF13 was a failed game. We can all agree on this, but I doubt anyone REALLY went in expecting it to be high in the sky revolutionary. I personally am pissed because at the midnight release I told my buddy Fisher. ‘If it’s a good storyline, I don’t care how it plays’ I got DP fucked. No story, and bad gaming, I wasted good money and better time sitting with that damn game. So yes, we’re all mad because it sucked. It’s an overrated puzzle game at best.

    • Anonymous says:

      This site apparently has a hard time distinguishing opinion from fact. FACT is FF13 got some good reviews, and some people do enjoy it. It’s their fucking opinion. You have to get about 10 hours into the game before the gameplay gets fleshed out by the way.

      If you don’t feel like putting that much time in to test it, that’s fine, but don’t portray your not fully informed opinion as fact.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s the truth. I really don’t care if some people don’t like the game (not everyone can like a particular game). What annoys me is people assuming no one likes the game and that it was a failure for square-enix….looking at the facts, that’s not true at all.

    • Ciscotaku says:

      I for one liked it, spent over 110+ hrs and enjoyed it. Yes it was linear but story sure was good. that’s an important trait on the final fantasy series in my opinion. story. also had a lot of fun doin the tough fights after the story.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree, I loved the story for FFXIII although I don’t understand how some people can complain that the game was to easy and all you had to do is sit there hitting x.

        From my experience playing the game It is a lot more complicated than that, maybe not with all the fights but some of the bosses are quite hard.

        I wonder if even a 10th of the people that complain about XIII have even played it?

      • -points to FF13 trashing boards- They do, so does Japan, it dropped to the discount bin in what, a week? Besides, if me speaking on behalf of the people I know don’t like it offends you, then you should really take an inventory of your personal function.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well, the used-games retail scene IS much smaller in Japan…though shouldn’t that actually result in new retail keeping higher prices for LONGER?

          As for the American launch of FFXIII…well, after the less than spectacular Japanese reception, I’ll wager they drastically lowered their expectations for the international release. Which means, unlike the Japanese release, they didn’t have 5 billion copies of the game to try to offload…

          Less copies produced=artificial demand.

        • Anonymous says:

          Missed that article…thought he was talking about this one…

          doesn’t really matter anyways…it’s not that big of a deal…perhaps things like this are more common in Japan anyways…I sure didn’t see prices going down in America…and last I checked Play-Asia, they still had the same high prices.

          What is with all the hate on comment for Anon 19:48? It’s a true statement. It’s weird..I don’t really understand how some of these comments are getting praised and other comments that seem perfectly fine are considered bad. (some that are fine are praised though…it’s just all over the place)

        • Anonymous says:

          Obviously if you’re looking for people who talk trash about the game you’re going to find them….doesn’t mean everybody hates it. I have seen boards with people who like the game. It didn’t drop to a discount bin in a week. If you are referring to a specific article on this website, that was about 2 months after the release of the game, and they were talking about used copies (“second-hand” copies) of the game. You can find a cheap used copy of any game 2 or 3 months after release if you look hard enough.

        • Anonymous says:

          *points to every player review aggregate that shows it at least being split if not leaning more towards positive*

          and that would say the opposite.

          its pretty easy to use selection bias to support a claim.

  • Anonymous says:

    You don’t need character creation for a game to be an RPG!
    And normally you live the JRPG chars more than any western RPG protagonist, since the story brings you much closer to them, to a degree that you char the chars joy and sorrow also the music is much better.

    • Anonymous says:

      No you don’t, but you need something that makes it more than a linear stream of cutscenes and fights, where you’re only actions that matter is if you kill the enemies or not.

      If you don’t, and still insist on calling it a RPG, what’s stopping you from calling for example Halo a RPG? You just end up with a meaningless term that you watered down so much that it’s useless just so that you could label your chosen game a RPG even though it lack pretty much any element that’s usually associated with role-playing.

  • Anonymous says:

    A role-playing game (RPG) is a broad family of games in which players assume the roles of characters, or take control of one or more avatars, in a fictional setting. Actions taken within the game succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines

    Role-playing games also include offline role-playing video games in which players control a character or team who undertake quests, and whose capabilities advance using statistical mechanics. These games often share settings and rules with pen-and-paper RPGs, but do not enable the same collaborative storytelling.[4][5]

    so yes ff13 is a rpg

    • Anonymous says:

      When I don my shiny armor or pretty wizard [u]dress[/u] robe, I don’t quite expect to be told that my character does this and that in every fucking sequence. The term Role-playing means you are playing from the point of view your character, not watching a movie in which your character does what it wants.

      RPG style:
      Player: “I throw a stone at the ogre.”
      DM/Storyteller/CPU: “The ogre turns towards you. It’s gaze is full of gleaming hatred… (yada,yada)”

      FFXIII style:
      Player: “I throw a stone at the ogre.”
      Game: “You silently slip into the shadows and avoid the ogre.”

    • Niiiiice! Someone knows how to quote Wikipedia! :O OMG! HE’S SO RIGHT! ALL BOW DOWN TO THE ALL KNOWING POWER OF WIKIPEDIA!!!

      … Gtfo -_-

      If you use THAT definition to define a game as RPG.


      • Anonymous says:

        only if you didn’t read half of the definition as stated.
        if you actually read it than no, you can’t define every game in the world as an rpg.

        now its true that more and more games that we wouldn’t traditionally consider rpgs are implementing mechanics of statistical growth

        “yea and if we accepted that than we’d call everything an RPG!”

        yes, we do pretty much end up calling all of those rpg elements…

        should we, that’s a different matter, but that’s pretty much the populist definition of rpg
        and the funny thing about genre definitions of media is there’s very much a populist factor to them

      • wow…troll much?…

        RPG is a broad family of games…and i dont see how bioware even has the right to criticize a gaming franchise that basically put RPG into map and revolutionized gaming as we see it today… to be honest and not to be offensive, but Americans are elitists, they think that whatever they create or do or anything for that matter is the best… now…thats a very large exaggeration by me…but really… Know some facts before you(Bioware) make a statement like that.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yup. Anon 23:39 is correct. Bioware is a Canadian company. It’s also owned by EA. This should speak volumes on its own. Now to my own coffee fueled rant.

          Western and Japanese RPGs really are something like two sides of the same coin or two breeds of dog. They both embody the same basic formula at the core but have largely different methods of presentation. While FFXIII is something of a departure from traditional JRPGs it still follows the trend of a greater focus on story telling to the player and character development (from a personality perspective) that characterizes the genre while more recent western RPGs have been focused on character development from a choice and statistical side and letting the player tell their story.

          At the core the difference between the two boils down to simply how the player engages with the game.
          JRPG: The player assumes the role of a predefined character, seeing the world and experiencing the story through their eyes and perhaps having a modicum of control over their actions and choices at critical times. (If you’ve ever read “A Swiftly Tilting Planet” by Madeline L’Engle this should sound similar)
          WRPG: The player, in the role of a created character (usually with some minimalistic predefinition such as background or destiny or whatnot), inserts themselves into the game world with a predefined setting and proceeds to tell the story of their character from there with near full control over the (again usually with a small amount of predefined story events.)

          Anyway all of this is of course my own opinion and everyone is entitled to either agree or disagree with it. FFXIII wasn’t my favorite Final Fantasy game but I enjoyed it nonetheless just as I enjoyed Dragon Age Origins. Sorry for a long comment haha. Too much coffee.

        • well, obviously…the first RPG title game that comes to mind for almost anyone born within the last decade or 2 would say Final Fantasy…not Ultima…

          I see your point…heck, The father of all games is PONG… but still, Erikson and all these other PR assholes dont even have a clue what they’re talking about, or usually they have a bias statement about themselves. Its these reckless people who stir up hate in the gaming industry.

          and lets get the facts straight….an RPG is like a TREE…there are MANY BRANCHES…

          I dont like the fact that people are now using MMOs such as WoW as a benchmark for an REAL RPG…thats just fail on its own… La de da…i can create my own character, what now? mindless grinding in a storyless universe and fight big bad guys like the lich king over and over again?…(i play wow, but i dont like the fact that they try to finish the lore through an mmo when “Warcraft I-III” was told through an RTS, might aswell make it a whole bounded chronicle so we can read it.”

          And lastly…I some what defend FFXIII, they tried something new and it sucked..lesson learned. the crystal system was much like the sphere system in FFX which was one of the best FFs ever… Story wise…it could of been WAY better, but the characters were good.

          And as someone said before, who are they to claim what is an RPG or not… let the critics and players decide…you just focus on making a good game.

          and favourite RPG is not FFXIII, if i had to say my fav RPG, it would have to be Star Ocean: TEOT

        • Anonymous says:

          Did Bioware criticize the franchise that revolutionized RPGs? No, can’t see that they mentioned anything negative about Square soft, really. It seems to me they criticized a crappy game made by Square-enix.

        • Anonymous says:


          “I dont like the fact that people are now using MMOs such as WoW as a benchmark for an REAL RPG…thats just fail on its own… La de da…i can create my own character, what now? mindless grinding in a storyless universe and fight big bad guys like the lich king over and over again?…(i play wow, but i dont like the fact that they try to finish the lore through an mmo when “Warcraft I-III” was told through an RTS, might aswell make it a whole bounded chronicle so we can read it.”

          Funny cause I also play WoW and I think you’ll find there’s more story behind WoW than possibly any other game out there, what with all the published books it has. The comics, etc etc. Not to mention the upcoming movie. If your gonna criticise something for having no story at least use a good example, your miles off with your example there. If your trying to sell something that doesn’t have any story just use something shitty like runescape.

        • @20:32 Or maybe he’s like the many of us who were born _before_ the last decade or two, and even played games for more than those two decades.

          A lot of the games of today are PATHETIC compared to games from the previous millennium. It’s like RPGs have regressed more and more into railway style gameplay. This despite many orders of magnitude faster computers and storage space that has multiplied even more.

        • Anonymous says:

          Funny is that you bash Bioware because its famous american studio and you call them elitist because they claim that your favourite “so called RPG” is not RPG at all. But had you ever considered that they can be right? And that you dont heard that FF is not RPG from anyone else because you didnt heard any other official opinions from other game companies? Heh? Did you? I bet you didnt.

          Its good if they say what really is RPG and what isnt anymore. If someone like Bioware says it, it will surely be heard more than if I or some small european company says it. Current trend uses term RPG only as a selling mark, not as a guarantee of real RPG gameplay.

        • Anonymous says:

          Final Fantasy? Get your facts straight.

          For a game that “revolutionized” gaming, it certainly took quite a bit of “inspiration” from Ultima and some of the other early CRPGs.

  • Philosopher says:

    I wonder if Artefact hates FFXIII. Just a hunch…

    Valid point by Daniel Erikson. Personally though I prefer the older definition to use for RPG: take the role of predefined characters.

    And I really don’t understand this argument of linearity. Nearly every single game out there is “linear”. Every single player game, you go to the same places in the same order.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Every single player game, you go to the same places in the same order.”
      Maybe nowadays, because everything is just easy, shiny and linear to appeal to the stupid masses.
      In the past they used to make superb games like Baldur’s Gate where you got like 80% of the game areas accessible after prologue, with only hints on what you should maybe try doing. Baldur’s Gate 2 was more linear but vastly improved game mechanics and interacting with NPCs.

      Too bad they don’t make games like that anymore.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow bioware, it’s not an rpg if you don’t create the character snf make a lot of choices?

      Also innovative my ass, fuckers keep making the same game again and again, just rename things like character and monsters and call “planet jedi star wars faggot nerd bull shit” “planet space star trek bull shit” and change the visuals..

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree, I mean in ME2 I love it but it felt like a a shooter with a choice. And it’s just as go down this hall then this hall. I love both but FFXIII is just as much as a rpg. You still have the classes you can choice to use to level and develop like neverwinter nights a game bioware made.

    • In JRPGs your character are much more established with their own personalities and traits, meanwhile in modern western RPGs you can spin whatever you want onto your characters. Its just that they have both diverge from the basic hack and slash, dungeon crawling, inventory manager into two different types of RPGS.
      The JRPG method will allow for better stories to be told by spinning it around the character they have written while the RPG method revolves around the player.
      In the end we must decide whether we want to be in the role of said written character or inject our own elements into the game.

      Of course according to Bioware’s definition, there are almost ZERO RPGs around since I cant play as a flat chested female gunslinging galactic defender and so on.

    • Anonymous says:

      If mMA is linear, then what isn’t? A sandbox game with no story?

      According Wikipedia “nonlinear gameplay presents players with challenges that can be completed in a number of different sequences”.
      One would assume that being able leave your current quest and then come back to it 20 hours later qualifies.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets all agree on one thing.

      Every new Final Fantasy that came out after 10 was god awful.

      I won’t even call them games, they are movies where you press the X button a few times.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hes right about the lack of choice making. I dont think creating a character is a vital part of what defines an RPG tho. That feels more like a MMO aspect actually. I believe the developers have more control over the story if the characters were pre-defined, if the game were to include a lot more rendered works that is. The line between MMORPG and RPG should really be recognized more. I mean, look at how fail FFXII was when they tried to sort of merge the two almost. I’d personally much rather square-enix keep as they are and do a swing and a miss, rather than get too influenced by western pov and stuff and end up taking the J out of JRPG.

      • “I dont think creating a character is a vital part of what defines an RPG tho. That feels more like a MMO aspect actually.”
        Ahah.. there is always “RPG” after “MMO”. It’s true that in order for it to be an RPG, character creation is not necessary, but usually, if they will not let you create one, they at least let you name him/her.. Take Persona.

        And lack of choice making? you don’t have any choice at ALL through out the whole game. Anyway, I seriously LOVED the game. The visuals were great, the plot was awesome, but I have to agree. This game is NOT an RPG.

        Who cares if it lacks megatons of features? I had fun. I loved the game. That’s all that matters.

      • I don’t think it’s the factor of actually designing a character he’s complaining about, its more the lack of influence you have over the characters and story. There are no choices to made, so it’s not a role that the gamer plays. it’s like those Leap Frog books, we just press the buttons to to to the next page of the story.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m sorry, but what kind of moron would mistake FFXIII for an action RPG? Have kids today really become so out of touch with genre definitions? FFXIII has a turn based battle system, therefore it is not an action RPG like say, Secret of Mana.

        • Anonymous says:

          This is anon from 8:15. I appreciate you being pretty respectful with your response, so I will do the same.

          However, what you categorized would be post FF7 Final Fantasies. The ones before were nothing of the sort (FFV starred a 20 year old who was hardly emo, FFIV also starred a 20 year old, and I believe Terra was 18 in FFVI. Anyone who has played these games knows they didn’t spend a whole lot of time being emo, save maybe Cecil for just a little). I would think you have a bit of homework to do yourself, TehBoringOne.

          I love Mass Effect, and it does have a real story. But not every RPG needs to be a damned sandbox to be a good game. Why can’t the both co-exist? I personally like both flavors. RPG’s do not need to be open ended to be good, and I’m more than a little upset this seems to be the common opinion anymore.

        • Anonymous says:

          I really do not remember this ever being a problem with any other RPG. Ever since this whole stink with FFXIII came about, now everyone seems to have the opinion we should be playing some shitty Choose-your-own-adventure game instead of an RPG with a story. I played a lot of RPG’s in the SNES era, and I don’t recall making a lot of choices that ultimately greatly influenced other parts of the game, or creating characters, or any other bullshit. FFVI did not have any character creation or ultimate plot changers. Sure, you could have waited for Shadow on the island. You could have forgotten him. All it changes is whether or not he was playable in the second half. It wasn’t a problem then to tell a story without complete micromanaging control.

          I agree with what was said: Leave that stuff for MMO’s. Even if you don’t want to, Bioware, fine, make your RPG’s with as a sandbox game. Fine. But please, leave the games with real stories the hell alone. If I want to play a Dress-up-choose-your-own-adventure game, I’ll open up a damn kids book or play an MMO.

        • Anonymous says:

          Way to sound like an idiot, every game requires you to hit the same button repeatedly till you finish. some require less than others, but in the end, you’re still hitting the same buttons.

        • TehBoringOne says:

          Real stories? How is Mass Effect not a real story? Final Fantasy is set with a cataclism waiting to happen every single time (I don’t know about XI, though) and you usually lead a group of teenagers with teenage problems into the fray. Mass Effect goes for the cataclism waiting to happen too, only none of the characters are teenagers with “nobody wuvs me” attitudes.

          “leave the games with real stories the hell alone.”

          You’re taking your own opinion and passing it as fact.

          Do your homework first, 08:15.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s called an RPG a ROLE PLAYING GAME. You are playing the Role of the character. This guy is an idiot. YOU ARE PLAYING A ROLE OF ANOTHER PERSON or PERSONS! It isn’t a YRPG (Your Role playing game) because that would be boring unless you were some sort of assassin or something. In ff13 you play a role of others, thus making it a RPG. You level up, get higher stats, obtain magic, items and etc.

      • I think he’s just being a prick because his pet project is currently on top. Role playing is not always about making a choice, or creating a character. I think he’s mistaken RPG with MMO. Hell, to be perfectly honest, no matter how much I love ME2, that’s more of an action game 3rd person shooter really) than any FF ever has been.

        Not saying that the recent FF wasn’t fail, it most certainly was, but that doesn’t mean you claim it’s not even an RPG. That is, unless your some bloated egoist who’s recreating the definition of the term.

        • Anonymous says:

          Having a Shitting Character Generator and limited selections doesn’t make it an RPG…Dragon Age is fun, but the character is self-generated and as such, absolutely not memorable. I had to wear a helmet because the face is so atrocious. Although not if you are a mage, you are better off just mod out the head overall…

          So it’s not a Western RPG..Bioware is getting way too proud….

        • Anonymous says:

          @DeathCrunch How do you know he didn’t like it because it sucked? He may have not liked the story, or how most of the game was get your team and upgrade (using that STUPID planet scanning thing) your ship. Or how the second half is helping your team mates problems which if you don’t do could screw you out of your team mates for a possible 3rd game which I bet they will scrap and you can’t use. You should judge him like he is a pussy who can’t handle a game. Mass Effect to me is a shooter with choices, because final fantasy xiii is close to a rpg then mass effect two was seeing how they numbed it down compared to the first one. But for me the closest is Neverwinter Nights (which bioware did make and it is my number 1 WRPG).

        • DeathCrunch says:

          Yeah, Riiku you clearly hatted the game because you suck at it.
          Try coming back to that playground insult, you bitch.
          Don’t bother actually, because your opinion probably changes your sexual orientation in Anon 22:48’s eyes as well.

      • Anonymous says:

        yes and no.
        by the definition Erickson presented than most of what Bioware has made aren’t RPGs either.

        the reality is the only true rpg experience is the tabletop experience.
        everything else, western or japanese has never been anything more than tangential.
        beyond that, tabletop rpgs have always sacrificed elements of the game in order to create an easily digitized “core” of an rpg

        a core that Bioware themselves prescribed to

        so in that sense, no, he isn’t totally right
        unless he’s willing to throw down the claim that Bioware hasn’t made rpgs for most of its history either.
        if he’s willing to do that, then fine, he’s absolutely right.

        the reality is what Erickson is doing, and Bioware in general has been doing for the past year, is trolling JRPGs and attempt to redefine the core of video game rpgs to basically be “what we are making”

        he is totally right within the context of his redefinition, which obviously you eat up

        but beyond that its a PR stunt, plain and simple, to get attention because Bioware quickly realized they just have to troll Final Fantasy and it gets their Old Republic or Mass Effect interview front page status on any game site on the internet

        • Anonymous says:

          To summaries all, like what most people would have noticed, its a PR stunt. It just makes me frown on Bioware. What is the definition of an RPG? Or lets put it precisely. What makes it fit into the ‘canon’.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yeah. When I read this I was thinking, “Oh.. it only took them THIS long to realize this about FF XIII. Thanks for stating the obvious, Bioware.”

          PR stunt through and through.

        • Anonymous says:

          Bioware didn’t make Bioshock, that was 2K/Irrational.

          Although, while I have had fun with most Bioware games, I’ll agreed Bethesda’s games are much more RPGs and better done. Bioware puts too much focus on the whole karma thing, and half of their stories are just as crap as most JRPGs.

          Also the way they structured conversation options in ME was mind-numbingly retarded… “hit top good, hit bottom bad, hit middle and be.. middle”

        • Esplin227 says:

          There is no doubt that this is a PR move. But as both an avid fan of JRPGs and WRPGs I’m glad he is saying it! As a fan of JRPGs I feel disappointed by Square Enix. FF12 was such a step foreword (by FFs standards at least) and then they turned around and pulled this shit. I’m sorry but I completely agree with him. WRPGs may not be true RPGs like tabletops are but those criteria are flawed and unreasonable because its virtually imposable to make a video game like that. But based on what we generally understand a a video game RPG to be JRPG companies aren’t even trying. (or they are taking it further from RPG into action adventure gaming)

        • Klingengeist says:

          Ultima Online (rp freeshards) is the only crpg so far where ive seen roleplaying compareable to p&p, actually theres even more rp happening than while playing tabletop with a bunch of friend.

          PS: Theres more sex happening on UO rp freeshards than in all singleplayer rpgs together. ^^

          PPS: Random encounters suck!

        • Esplin227 says:

          @anon “but beyond that its a PR stunt, plain and simple, to get attention because Bioware quickly realized they just have to troll Final Fantasy and it gets their Old Republic or Mass Effect interview front page status on any game site on the internet”

          I haven’t played the last 3 bio-ware games DA ME 1 and 2, so I’m speaking as a JRPG fan. And its definitely a PR stunt (which is fucking lame because I was hoping WRPGs would adopt some aspects of JRPGs and vice verse). But hes still right. JRPGs aren’t changing except for graphics. They are banking on cliches and while he does deserve to get called out on his bull shit that doesn’t mean that JRPGs should be defended. They should be encouraged to evolve.

          Final Fantasy XIII was a step backwards and it doesn’t make sense. As for other RPGs, having a nice cover with pretty graphics doesn’t mean you can keep making the same fucking game! I wish it wasn’t him saying these things because they are somewhat disingenuous. As for all the arguments against WRPGs at least they kept a fucking level system and side quest. Which is part of what we understand a video game RPG to be. Some people are sick of seeing teenagers whine. FF XI moved beyond that into something more mature. (with some exceptions it was still a JRPG after all) Most JRPGs still refuse too.

        • Actually, by Erickson’s definition, most of Bioware’s games are RPGs. You do create your own character, you do have some semblance of choice, and you can “live” your character to a certain degree, partially because you’re not caught within some on-rails storyline.

          I do understand what you’re getting at, though. Tabletop games are probably the most complete in terms of a true “role-playing” experience, mostly because you can go so far as to create your own settings and actually act out your character.

          We shouldn’t see it as completely black and white, however. If tabletop games are the pinnacle of what defines an RPG, Bioware’s games can be considered very RPG-like, along with many MMOs, while something like FFXIII would register a 3.0 on the RPG Richter scale.

  • Sandalphon says:

    As hypocrite as he might be, the man still does have a point. I can not remember the last time a JRPG sucked me in as much as Chrono Trigger did.

    Good times, but the golden age of JRPGs is gone, just like the age of space shooters came and went.

    A point in favor of JRPGs, its characters are still leaps and bounds more interesting than WRPGs’. Oh Shepard, what a bland character you are.

    And a point on favor of WRPGs, I like having a choice whether I want to hear an NPCs life story or not, take the NPCs quest or not.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is just a return salvo for the comments made by FFXIII’s writer about western game development, and how you can’t tell a compelling story if you give the player the freedom to roam.

    • Anonymous says:

      lol, when did he say that?
      That’s hilarious.
      FFXIII is a terrible game, but I totally agree with him. I find WRPGs boring *because* of the freedom; it’s impossible to write a compelling story when you’re juggling a billion irrelevant quests and the main character has no real personality.

  • Anonymous says:

    So yea I Dan Erickson wants to say JRPGs aren’t RPGs then fine he’s entitled to his opinion (though we all clearly know that was just for PR) and so are all of you. But twisting and turning a definition like that, yall need to set your priorities and remember that’s “your opinion” and not “slated fact”.

  • Anonymous says:

    You know I’ve sat through all these comments to just see opinions in which people believe is fact and not what it should truly mean. Since when is an RPG so focused on do I brush my teeth or not? ME is the purest example of how to Role-Play a life and basically say I can be evil or good. JRPGs aren’t safe either with constant emotional driven stories. But in the end they are both RPGs. In my own definition here is what I believe an RPG is (which alot of you need to state more since that’s all you fucking did):

    RPG-a Role-Playing game is a game in which you assume the role of a character, created by you or pre-determined, which you play through his or her story while they develop in ways intricate to the story plot. Elements that add onto the RPG genre are character skill and stat development, emotional development, and story-telling.

    Skill and stat development assist in the progression of the story whether it deals with the traditional battle system (mostly seen in JRPGS and WRPGS) or through (nowadays more actively included) character choice system.

    Emotional development and story-telling give the player more indepth opinions on how the character feels in certain situations ever present in both J and WRPGs. Through the story-telling aspect, the player is given more information about what happens in the world they are in. In JRPGs story-telling intertwines with the character emotional development; as the story unfolds so does the characters beliefs and feelings on the situation in the plot. However, to where story is also included, WRPGs plot is usually whatever the player wants it to be. In the end it’s their own emotions that drive the character only having little storyline to deal with until, if there is an end corresponding with MMORPGs which have no ending, the very end (present in games such as Fable I&II, ME 1&2, DA etc.[I don’t include Baldur’s Gate due to I have never played the games and would rather not include a game I have no knowledge from into a definition like this]).

    Anything else I do not touch on means it’s not part of this definition just a basic outline I feel I understand more than the traditional “FACT” definition you all believe in.Since again this is my opinion on the definition. So in the end FFXIII was an RPG in my opinion since it satisfied the parameters of Character development in stat and skill and Emotional development with Story-Telling so it doesn’t really need my intervention of what color underwear I should have on or it will jepoardize my well being in saintly to sinster ratio present in ME. Oh and yeah I liked both FFXIII and ME2 even with all the linear gameplay.

  • Anonymous says:

    JRPG or not, FFXIII is way more fun to play than the recent FF’s in SE’s recent years, like FFXII and FFX (or X-2). The gameplay is arguable and I would say that to each is own on that front. But the story is much more interesting, script not being so lame and cliched, the characters aren’t whiny and lame like they usually are in FF, and there are moments in the game you do feel for the characters, like a good story should do.

    Overall, it could have been done better, but there is absolutely nothing to complain about like a frantic FF fanboy.

    Now Bioware has nothing to complain about. If you ask me, their recent stuff is just goddamn pathetic that I don’t know why they’re complaining about JRPG’s.

  • Anonymous says:

    Well, neither was the first one, really. They affixed the RPG designation to games like that way back in the day, even though they had little in common with table-top RPGs. In the old Final Fantasies and Dragon Quests, you were watching a story and exploring a world. You weren’t really playing a role, not like in D&D.

    Whatever you want to call them, I still like the JRPGs better. FFXIII looks like boring, pretty crap, but I’d rather play that than Mass Effect or whatever.

    “Our game is an RPG because it’s GRITTY and REALISTIC!” Yeah, whatever.

  • Anonymous says:

    Anything on a computer is limited in its possibilities and thus, as per their own definition taken to the extreme: is not an RPG.

    Discussing about crap like “genre” is utterly meaningless anyway. Fun or not fun? should be the topic of discussion.

  • Anonymous says:

    They’re right that Final Fantasy is complete shit, but I’m wondering if they feel slightly differently about some of the better Tales games. Personally, Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Vesperia are every bit as fun as Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. They’re both great series.

  • Anonymous says:

    It was just a bad game when evaluated overall.

    The FF devoted have every right to think otherwise (I’m quite devoted to a few franchises).

    Also like to point out that it being from has nothing to do with how it was received – look at Demon’s Souls.

  • Anonymous says:

    among the FF series FF13 was a little off the players expectations. it was a good game but the players want more.

    bioware has developed good to great games, but still players go with what if like this and what if like that.

    well… to me it all depends on the player’s perspective.

    if you like the game, then play it
    if not, get another game

  • Anonymous says:

    look the only way JRPGs will get better is when, people stop buying them. But you won’t. So companies like Square will keep making the same game over and over, and you will keep buying it, and then whine that you spent money on a garbage game, and then go buy the next one. I think FF has atleast another 5-6 games in it which you all will own.

  • Anonymous says:

    Me: “Well, before I address the main point I just want to take a slightly more controversial route: You can put a ‘J’ in front of it, but it’s not an RPG. It is a JRPG.

    You don’t have to pick an option out of 5-8 different ones which usually ends you up almost at the same path as you usually would, you get to pick options that matter, you don’t create a character, you don’t live your character… You play predefined characters that look good. You don’t have to spend time creating ugly characters. You control your characters and live a real life outside your game system. I don’t know what those are – adventure games maybe? or maybe not? But they’re not RPG’s. They are JRPGS.”

  • Anonymous says:

    I’ve been a big FF fan since FF7, but since after FF10? Not so much. I’ve recently acquired ME2 and, honestly, yeah, Bioware’s products are so much better.

    But, despite my new found love for Bioware, saying FF13 is NOT an RPG is just arrogant. It feels like he’s claiming his company makes the genre. It doesn’t. Like said, JRPGs and RPGs approach story-telling a completely different way but, to me, RPG is defined by the gameplay– ie, RPGs give customization through the battle system, where you can choose equipment, class, and level growth. There is usually some party system as well.

    BOTH ME2 and FF13 have this. They are both RPGs. FF13 just gives you almost no choice in the story. But, honestly, I don’t think linearity automatically means BAD GAME, NEEDS MORE CUSTOMIZATION. Like Yahtzee has said (and he HATED FF13, so don’t get me wrong), story, by definition, is LINEAR. And just because the story has no choice-making in it does NOT mean you can’t enjoy it, nor did that EVER define RPGs.

  • Azure Xuchilbara says:

    Who gives a bloody f*ck what Bioware thinks!?!

    They’re just jealous doujin artists don’t make hentai doujins of their RPG’s, HA!!!

    As long as it has anime and it’s made in Japan, it will always have hentai!!!


  • Anonymous says:

    Personally I find it really boring to make my own “character” in a game. Maybe I lack the imagination, but I think it’s more the fact that I don’t want to invest my entire psyche in a *video game*. If I want to roleplay, I’ll play D&D.

    Perhaps jRPGs aren’t RPGs in the traditional meaning of the term, but they’re still games in which you ‘play a role’; a role that’s been predetermined. It’s still a distinct genre from other adventure or action games.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’ve played both Bioware’s and Square Enix’s most recent RPG’s and hands down Bioware has not disappointed. When it comes down to it you cant deny that Bioware has earn the right to boast there RPG’s over Square Enix and the hugely disappointing Final Fantasy XIII.

  • Anonymous says:

    He’s not even criticizing Final Fantasy, which seems to drive a wedge up your otaku asses. He’s just saying that FF13 isn’t a “RPG” in the true sense of the word. He’s not even saying it’s a bad game.

    You fuckers need to relax and stop blindly defending all things Square Enix.

    • Anonymous says:

      But then people might actually start using definitions properly.. oh the humanity!

      Besides, defending the likes of Square-Enix is all that most of your aforementioned otaku are good for, so let them enjoy their little circlejerk.

    • Anonymous says:

      the bottom line is that rpg otaku will never get the point, cause they have no life, mass effect, fallout 3 and dragon age are a MUST HAVE, not that ffs j pop style, biowares guy is right ff13 is not a full rpg in the definition of the meaning of RPG, and finally ff13 is an epic fail, just search the topics right here

  • Anonymous says:

    actually not, fanboys here are in rage LOL, just check ign, gamespot and whatever, the score is high for mass effect and other bioware games, at least mass effect deserves to be played, im an avid ff and jrpg player (not mmorpg) as many many noticed lately theres no outstanding jrpg like ff7, ff3, xenogears, chrono trigger, thats why i bought every copy of bioware hits 🙂 without regrests

  • Anonymous says:

    bff just play Dragon Age: Origins, square had the lead, now bioware is the master, obviously bioware games actually are more RPG even of the square classics, why? cause you make decitions that affect the story line and more, of course im not saying that ff7 sucks nor ff3/6 they both are great games.
    it would be interesting to play a ff with a bit of bioware influence

  • Anonymous says:

    hey, hey… whoa, whoa. i think everyone is losing track of what an rpg is here. square hasn’t done one for a while, nor bio-ware. all they have produced is roller coaster rpgs. sexy, sexy, rpgs slightly -morally- skewed railway tracked stories.
    last good rpg i was in was 97 and 98
    ff viii and fallout 1 and 2. (well 1 okay but 2 was fun)
    okay seven was a railway track ending, but i felt something.
    and fallout… why is this being neglected?
    why? it was so pivotal, exciting, morally challenging!

    mass effect 2 has none that, nor does ffxiii.

    get back in the pit developers and make me feel again.
    call me old skool… i know.
    just make me care…

  • If it's on a machine, it's not a fucking RPG any version any variation.

    In the 80s those were called arcade machines and you fed them quarters.

    R P G role playing game. It will be played with a group of friends and have one person that has some letter in front of the letter M ie GM DM etc. There will be books involved and there will be pencils and paper and likely miniatures as well as maps. And you will be all in the same room playing on a table scarfing down pop and chips. There is usually funny shaped dice in attendance.

    My preferred game is currently 4th Edition D&D and NO it doesn't look like WoW WoW just happens to look like 4th edition. Dungeons and Dragons predates your computer and the internet for all practical purposes. And please spare me the history lesson, I was there. A Vic 20 is hardly on par with a PC as we have come to know the term. And before WWW, the internet was worth almost nothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      This post is awesome. I would so create an account and vote but I don’t wanna plunge into Sankaku-ism, so I’ll continue to be Anon, but just know that this… THIS… is THE post… well done sir!

  • Anonymous says:

    Of all the JRPG games I have played, only a few of them I would call JRPG. For example, Persona series, Demon Soul, Tales series, and few others.

    I enjoyed Final Fantasy series, until after FF9 the series went downhill. FF13 are the most annoying FF game to date. Nothing but dungeon crawling and constant battling, it was enough to make me go crazy.

    How I miss those days when I play my first JRPG game, FF7. So far the only games that gave me the same feeling of excitement like FF7 are Persona 3& 4.

  • I’m a fan of JRPGs, but I don’t blame Bioware for this one. Where is the Role-Playing in FFXIII? It isn’t my story! If they gave me the opportunity, I’dve killed off Hope, Sazh, fapped on Vanille, killed Snow-
    Actually- Nevermind. Maybe it’s good that they didn’t give me a choice.

  • I’d like a JRPG where I could have multiple wives, or kill annoying NPCs, or have different reactions if I assassinated the leader of an army versus wiping them all out single-handedly, or have my choice to be with a secondary heroine do more for me than an off date scene before the main heroine’s plot love kicks in, and do all of that without some “Bad End” still frame kicking in.

    Oh, if they wanna sell me a movie that’s fine too. Just take out the fights I can beat by rubbing my dick all over the controller.

  • Anonymous says:

    personally. bioware story, mass effect full voiced dialouge, soul caliber4 char design and customization, mgs4/doa boob physics, ff13 effects, soundtrack and lore(chocobos, summons, etc)

    THAT is an rpg. everything else till now is beta test of what an rpg should be.

  • Anonymous says:

    Tell me what good JRPG actually lets you fully build your own character to play? Just look at the Tales Of series, or the Star Ocean series, or the Final Fantasy series, they all have set stories with some but not that much deviation, apart from sidequests and specific character interactions.

    Bioware really must go back and think what really defines an RPG, because they’re missing the point atm.

    • There are Dragon Quest III and DQ IX that let you fully build your own character. And they are pretty good too. Bioware have the right to speak up their opinion and their voice have weight too since DA was a huge success. Seriously after you have done something so well, will you ever go back and think “did I missed the point”???

      As for Square they have two game that I actually like: chrono trigger and FF7, the rest aren’t as good in my opinion. And you shouldn’t forget thank to those bastards now the tactic ogre series sink into oblivion.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are constraints in what you can make with modern technology. It’s impossible to recreate the random aspect of tabletop RPGs in a computer simulation.

      Bioware is making CRPGs and not RPGs and they are doing a good job at it. If you think you can do better, then go grab a few books on programming and game design. Otherwise don’t Bioware just because their products don’t fit your idea of what an RPG should be.

        • Anonymous says:

          The problem with that is modern games have modern graphics, sound, etc… back in the day you could just describe what happened when you decided to hurl a stone at the big dragon. Nowadays you’d need an engine and AI able to handle it, or a pre-rendered scene showing the effect, or whatever.

          Basically, as games get more complex to make, the amount of choices available gets smaller because the time required to create those choices increases.

  • There are good JRPGs, still they seem to lack innovation.
    Creating my own character would be a good start 🙂 although i would end up in a group full of lolis if it were me…