Editorial: Where Are The Next-Gen RPGs?


So the first big next-gen-only RPG on the radar, Witcher 3, has been delayed til at least February of next year. Where does that leave the RPG fan like myself, hoping to see some great epic RPGs that only my shiny new powerful (and expensive) next-gen console can deliver? Pretty much out in the cold. And the next couple years aren’t looking horribly bright either right now.

Sure, maybe later this year we have a new Dragon Age, but that’s assuming it doesn’t get delayed much like the latest Witcher title just did. And that’s still a cross-gen RPG where most likely the only difference will be that the PS4/Xbox One versions will look shinier. What’s even on the horizon beyond that? Well Final Fantasy XV is coming at some point (maybe 2015 if we’re lucky), and Kingdom Hearts 3 sometime after that (I seriously would not be surprised if that’s a 2018 title at this rate). Maybe a Mass Effect game somewhere in-between as that’s definitely being worked on, but it’s in the extremely early stages.

Of course, those are the really big titles that take years and years to develop. What about some smaller RPG series like Disgaea, Persona or Tales, that are almost like RPG comfort food in delivering the same but still fun reliable experience? They are still sticking with last-gen systems and most likely won’t come to next-gen consoles until they are near the end of their lifespans and development costs have come way down. While that’s fine for those of us who have held on to our PS3s, many have ditched or are at least wanting to ditch their old consoles and are ready to move on. Lord knows I’d love to free up the space in my entertainment center; I don’t really have a spot for an Xbox One in it at the moment.

Now I realize we are pretty early in this console generation, and the first E3 to really embrace it is right around the corner, but RPGs typically speaking don’t get cranked out like Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed. Anything unveiled at this year’s show will most likely be a long ways off because it takes years to develop. And the dominant genre still looks to be shooters, just now with more open and dynamic worlds.

I’m not asking to be drowned in RPGs, as they are pretty much designed to be anywhere from dozens to hundreds of hours of gaming. I have a job and a wife and other interests. But I still usually manage to get through several RPGs in a given year. What I would like is a somewhat regular slate of at least a few a year so someone like me, whose favorite genre by a longshot is RPGs, doesn’t have to wait horribly long to get his fix. Right now next-gen isn’t providing that, and it really doesn’t look to be anytime soon. Seems like myself and other RPG fans might want to start looking at older games we may have missed over the years to fill that void. So excuse me while I peruse my Vita with it’s pretty epic digital library of older RPGs…

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