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Final Fantasy 16 Developers Don’t Want it to be Called a “JRPG”

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Square Enix’s games have long been synonymous with the JRPG genre, but Final Fantasy XVI director Naoki “Yoshi-P” Yoshida doesn’t want the game associated with that particular term. Australian YouTuber Skill Up recently asked Yoshi-P a question about JRPGs, and was surprised by the reaction from the director and translation lead Koji Fox, who helped translate. The developers stated that the team does not set out to make JRPGs, but merely games in the RPG genre. They also went on to say that many Japanese developers find the term discriminatory.

“This is going to depend on who you ask,” Fox translated for Yoshida, “but there was a time when this term first appeared 15 years ago, and for us as developers the first time we heard it, it was like a discriminatory term.” 

The comments from Yoshida and Fox have prompted a lot of discussion on social media from fans about the origins of the JRPG term, and how past members of the gaming media did use it to put down games developed in Japan. There was a point in the last 15 years where there was a major backlash against Japanese games in the West, and it’s easy to see how some developers might not be fond of the “JRPG” classification as a result.

While the JRPG term might not have always been looked at in a positive light, it’s clear that’s changed over the last few years. These days, many RPG enthusiasts use the term as one of endearment when discussing a certain style of RPG that originated in Japan. Even many publishers and developers have embraced it; the box art for Bandai Namco’s recently released Tales of Symphonia Remastered refers to the game as a “legendary JRPG classic.” Clearly, not everyone feels as strongly about the term and its origins as Yoshi-P does, but that doesn’t make his feelings on the matter any less valid.

Final Fantasy XVI will release June 22nd on PlayStation 5.

Are you surprised that some Japanese developers don’t like the term “JRPG?” Did you ever see it as a discriminatory term? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!

[H/T: RPG Site]

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