Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth creative director Tetsuya Nomura and producer Yoshinori Kitase are in disagreement over the use of the term "JRPG" for their games.
Earlier this year, Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida sparked the discussion over the term during an interview, appearing to be uncomfortable with the phrase. At the time, he said: "For us as developers the first time we heard it, it was like a discriminatory term. As though we were being made fun of for creating these games, and so for some developers, the term JRPG can be something that will maybe trigger bad feelings because of what it was in the past."
Now, in a recent interview with The Guardian to discuss the highly anticipated follow-up to 2020's Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Nomura and Kitase were asked about their opinions on the use of the phrase to describe Japanese role-playing games over in the west.
For Nomura and Kitase, they seem to be divided on the issue, with Nomura saying that he doesn't understand the intent.
"I’m not too keen on it," Nomura said. “Certainly, when we started doing interviews for the games that I started making, no one used that term – they just called them RPGs. And then at some point – I can’t remember exactly when – people started referring to them as JRPGs. And I’m not really sure what the intent behind that is. It just always felt a bit off to me, and a bit weird. I never really understood it – or why it’s needed.”
On the other hand, Kitase doesn't seem to mind the term and doesn't see it as "derogative" towards Japanese developers.
"Personally, I don’t see it as that derogative,” shrugs Kitase. “I think obviously with modern gaming, titles developed in the west are the majority now. So if [JRPG] is only used in terms of differentiating – maybe showing off a slightly different approach to games or a unique flavour in terms of Japanese-made games – I’m absolutely fine with that."
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is set to launch on February 29, 2024, exclusively for PlayStation 5, and will feature "nearly 100 hours of adventure". It was confirmed following the announcement that Rebirth won't allow players to import their Remake save files, but Square Enix is offering players some goodies as compensation.
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