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Naoki Yoshida Dislikes the Name “JRPG”

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Naoki Yoshida, the producer of the next Final Fantasy XVI and shepherd of the rejuvenated MMO Final Fantasy XIV, is not the biggest admirer of the label JRPG, as it turns out. Many people in the West use the term “JRPG” fairly casually, and we continuously debate as fans what really makes a true Japanese role-playing game. It serves as a shorthand to refer to a particular school of game design that emerged in that nation in the late 1980s, experienced a golden era in the 1990s, and contributed significantly to the popularity of the PlayStation as a platform.

Yoshida was questioned about how JRPGs have developed in comparison to action games in an interview with YouTuber Skill Up, who traveled to Japan to speak to the senior development team. Yoshida was reportedly obviously uncomfortable with the term, according to the interviewer.

Director of localization Koji Fox noted that “one point [Yoshida] wants to make is that when we make games, we don’t approach them with the intention of making JRPGs; rather, we just make RPGs. The name JRPG is used by western media rather than consumers and media in Japan”.

We admit to occasionally using the word, but we never really gave it much thought because we thought it was just another neutral descriptive abbreviation like MMO.

Fox’s translation of Yoshida’s statement continues, saying that some Japanese developers dislike the word: “Depending on who you ask, this phrase may have originally appeared 15 years ago, and for us developers, it felt like a derogatory phrase when we first heard it. For some game creators, the name “JRPG” may conjure up negative memories of how it was in the past, as if we were being ridiculed for making these games.”

Yoshida continues by saying that “That wasn’t meant as a praise to many Japanese devs.” “Although we are aware that JRPG is now used more positively and with better meanings than in the past, we are also aware of its past bad implications.”

It seems that some developers don’t want to be associated with a moniker that, in some situations, is used in a derogatory manner, especially given that Final Fantasy XVI is up against other AAA heavyweights like Hogwarts Legacy and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Yoshida clarifies that the phrase has negative connotations, “that it’s turn-based, that it’s anime like, these teens saving the world, “very JRPG’,” for example.

Given how common the term has become in the industry, it is not clear if its use will change in the future, but Yoshida’s comments have definitely sparked discussion. How do you feel about the word “JRPG,” and can you understand Yoshida’s perspective?

As Editor here at GeekReply, I'm a big fan of all things Geeky. Most of my contributions to the site are technology related, but I'm also a big fan of video games. My genres of choice include RPGs, MMOs, Grand Strategy, and Simulation. If I'm not chasing after the latest gear on my MMO of choice, I'm here at GeekReply reporting on the latest in Geek culture.

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https://x.com/THR/status/1761565877684568412?s=20

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Leaked footage of LittleBigPlanet Hub on PS3 brings a nostalgic wave

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Once upon a time, Sony revealed Little Big Planet HUB, a free-to-play exclusive for the PS3 available on the PS Store. It seems that the game will merge all the content from LittleBigPlanet and LittleBigPlanet 2, giving fans the opportunity to play, create, and share without any cost. The concept was ambitious, which likely made the platform holder hesitant.

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