Famed Capcom game developer Shinji Mikami, the father of Resident Evil, Devil May Cry and a number of other top game franchises, has weighed in on the supposed decline of the Japanese RPG in the west in rather frank terms.
He had this to say in an interview:
“I think it is because Japanese RPGs were really never all that popular in the west to begin with.
I think the best way of interpreting things is that they aren’t getting less popular; they weren’t very popular from the start.”
Although this is being widely interpreted as a “frank” statement by Mikami, in fact it is rather evasive – critics such as Bioware never actually said that they were speaking about JRPGs in the west, but were rather speaking generally about a genre which even in Japan has not been enjoying spectacular success of late.
Had he addressed the issue of why Japanese designers have allowed the genre to stagnate to such a degree, his answer might have been all the more interesting.