The Controversy Behind the Term ‘JRPG’

The term “JRPG” has been used to distinguish between different types of RPGs, but it has also sparked a debate.[0] Naoki Yoshida, the producer of Final Fantasy XVI, has recently called out the term as discriminatory.[1] This is due to its history in the gaming community 15 years ago, where it was often used to mock Japanese-developed role-playing games.[1]

During the seventh console generation (the late 2000s to early 2010s), Japanese games were widely criticized as being outdated, childish, and poor quality. This made it difficult for Japanese developers to expand their business and be successful in the West.

Final Fantasy VII producer Hironobu Sakaguchi commented on the time period saying that Japanese developers had an easier time mastering the hardware due to their ability to ask Nintendo and Sony directly in Japanese.[2] He also added that people in the West saw pixel art and three-heads-high characters as something for children.[2]

Koji Igarashi also joined in, noting that Japanese developers had been developing skills specifically for console games, but in North America and Europe, there was a long history of PC culture.[2]

In the last ten years however, Japanese games have started to be praised more outside Japan and the term “JRPG” is mainly seen as a way to distinguish between different types of RPGs. Despite this, Yoshida and other Japanese developers are valid in their comments about the term because of what it was in the past. To learn more about why this was, subscribe to our newsletter and read the full article for free by entering your email address in the box below.[0]

0. “GamerBraves Newsletter vol. 84 – JRPGs And The Struggle For Japanese Games In The 7th Generation” GamerBraves, 8 Mar. 2023,

1. “‘Final Fantasy XVI’ Producer Naoki Yoshida Is Entirely Right About ‘JRPG’ Being A Discriminatory Term” Forbes, 7 Mar. 2023,

2. “Final Fantasy creator says adding CG is what made Final Fantasy 7 such a success in the West” Gamesradar, 13 Mar. 2023,

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