The Term JRPG Is "A Positive" According To Persona 5 Designer 1
Image: Atlus

There's been a lot of discussion over the term "JRPG" in recent years. Used mainly by the Western press to describe RPGs from Japan (well, duh), it has since acquired a somewhat negative association, helped in no small part by advertising which has targeted the so-called shortcomings of the genre.

We've seen some notable Japanese developers speak out on this subject, with Final Fantasy XVI director Naoki Yoshida going as far as to label the term "discriminatory". However, not everyone shares his viewpoint, with Katsura Hashino and Shigenori Soejima (both Persona 5 veterans) telling GamesRadar that they feel the term is actually positive.

Speaking in an interview regarding Atlus' new game Metaphor: ReFantazio, director Hashino said:

I apologize if this is a really basic answer. Some people think JRPG is a good thing, it's a good genre, they're positive about the concept. Some are negative about the concept. I think that's up to the individual. It's up to each person to determine what they like and what they want. For us, we don't think about JRPGs, we don't think about RPGs. We just want to make a fun game. That's all we're trying to do. You can call this a JRPG if you want.

Character designer Soejima added:

For a character designer, when you add the J to the RPG, it kind of embodies the entire movement of what pop culture from Japan is. It means they're not just a creator working on a game, but they're part of the anime and manga and style that exists in Japan. They're a Japanese creator giving to the world. For me, as a creator, it's a positive that I can be considered to be making a JRPG.

Should we still be using the term JRPG?