Hardcore gamers have long slammed casual gamers for killing traditional story driven games such as the JRPG. Over 15 years ago when then Squaresoft released Final Fantasy VII it sold the PS 1 to people all around the world and several other JRPG franchises benefited from this event. One of those being the Tales Series, which still exists today with Tales of Xillia.
In an interview with Silicon Era, Producer of the Tales Series Hideo Baba says there is no doubt that JRPG sales have declined over the years because JRPG’s take a long time to make and because Japan’s gaming industry has become smaller. However, among the many other reasons for the genre’s decline, Baba decides to point the finger at casual gaming.
“the rise of casual games, mobile games… gaming as a whole has become so dispersed.”
Baba may be right that the numerous avenues of gaming, fueled by casual gamers, is a reason. Although I would just say it is a change in the mindset of gamers and people in general. This generation of society are all about “we want action now and we don’t want to be limited or have to sit through anything to get it.”
I’m a huge JRPG fan and am upset by its decline as well. I would chalk up the tremendous amounts of scene watching, the turn based gameplay itself causing people to not feel like they are in control of the action, and how long it takes for future installments of a series to come out for bigger reasons why it has declined.