Top 5 Japanese RPG developers

During last week, Gamasutra released their list for the 20 essential Japanese RPG’s and because of that, I decided to do something similar. But, keeping with the alternative tone of this blog, I thought it would be more interesting to analyze and commend the top 5 essential Japanese RPG creators/developers instead of the actual games. The reason I chose developers, instead of the games themselves is simple: (lead) game designers end up establishing the stylistic trends of their games to a far greater degree the actual franchise name, story or company name. That means they are responsible for the most important decisions that end up molding the game: their narrative tone, gameplay approach, overall art direction and even the game’s purpose for existence. Unfortunately, games are still a very immature means of expression, and because of that, most people in the business have little recognition (apart some of the more mediatic developers). Many people still attribute specific game styles to companies like Square or Enix, when in fact, that has much more to do with specific developers. As such, these posts serve a double purpose: review the best J-RPG developers, including their style and substance, and show the world a bit more about who these guys really are.

And so, onto the countdown…

  1. I think I agree that the overall style of certain games should be attributed to specific game developers instead of a specific company simply because of the fact that a developer may not stay with a company forever. As the employees of a company change out, the style of game the company produces changes, even if by only a little.

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