Some creators distinguish between RPG's and action games more than others, and BioWare seems to be keenly aware of what they're doing as "Star Wars: The Old Republic" takes shape. "Final Fantasy XIII," meanwhile, provoked reactions from a number of RPG traditionalists with its decidedly more linear structure. At least one writer working on "The Old Republic" believes Square Enix went too far and left the RPG genre entirely.
"You can put a 'J' in front of it, but it's not an RPG. You don't make any choices, you don't create a character, you don't live your character," BioWare writing director Daniel Erickson told Strategy Informer. "I don't know what those are — adventure games maybe? But they're not RPG's."
Erickson believes there are players who play for story, but he prefers to cater to the table-top fantasy gaming crowd in hopes that they'll stick with his games through multiple playthroughs.
"One of the things we've always been aware of is that a lot of people play 'Baldur's Gate' to death, and those people who play it 3,4 5 times aren't story guys, they're D&D guys," he explained.
Anecdotally, it's hard to disagree with Erickson's point here. If you see everything the first time around and don't reach an ending wondering "What if?" over and over again, there isn't much incentive to revisit previous plot points and cut scenes. Still, "FFXIII" was clearly targeted at the RPG crowd.
Do you think "FFXIII" qualifies as an RPG? Do you agree with Erickson's perspective? Share your opinions in the comment section below.