Pay attention, pubs!
Armed Fantasia is a Kickstarter game that amassed base funding in less than a day, showing that there’s a huge audience out there for new JRPG games. That’s why it’s so surprising to hear that traditional games publishers want nothing to do with them.
In an interview with Gematsu, Armed Fantasia dev Akifumi Kaneko talked about the game’s Kickstarter success, and why the team decided to go the crowdfunding route. It seems crowdfunding wasn’t the original approach, but after being turned down by publishers, the team decided to see if fans would support them.
“We’re doing a double Kickstarter with Machida-san, who’s making Penny Blood. We both made 90s JRPGs, so we thought we want to make another 90s-style JRPG. Machida-san has more of a horror taste, and I a Western taste. In addition, working on Wild Arms for 15 years and working in anime for 10 years inspired me to want to utilize aspects of anime like the storytelling and the way it’s portrayed in Armed Fantasia.
Of course there are still very popular JRPGs like Persona 5, but with Persona 5 that’s the fifth installment. If it’s a part of series that already has a first game, it’s alright, but when it comes to making a new JRPG, Japanese publishers just won’t take the risk. In my case, I went to Sony over and over again, but nothing came of it. It’s not so much that JRPGs aren’t popular, its that publishers won’t let us make them.”