Final Fantasy VII Rebirth looks like it's going to be a more than worthy successor to Remake, which could make it a cracking JRPG. However, creative director Tetsuya Nomura doesn’t seem to like the term ‘JRPG,’ much like Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki ‘Yoshi-P’ Yoshida.
During an interview with The Guardian, Nomura and producer Yoshinori Kitase were asked about their thoughts on the JRPG label. Nomura revealed that he isn’t too particularly fond of the phrase, especially since some of his earliest games were still referred to as ‘RPGs’ until recently.
"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."
While Nomura has expressed his displeasure for the term, Kitase doesn’t seem to mind it at all. The Final Fantasy VII Rebirth producer feels that this terminology fits with modern gaming genres and doesn’t find it insulting at all. It’s fitting that he doesn’t mind the label since he has directed some of the best JRPGs for Sqaure, including Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, and Final Fantasy X.
"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."
Kitase isn’t the only Japanese veteran who doesn’t mind their games being called JRPG. Hideki Kamiya, who will soon be leaving PlatinumGames, was also asked about the term JRPG and said he didn’t mind it at all. If anything, he wishes games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta were labeled as Japanese action games, showing how different they are from the likes of titles like God of War.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will be coming to PlayStation 5 on February 29, 2024. Whether you call it an RPG or JRPG, all we can do is hope that it’s a good game upon release.