The state of Turn Based RPGs

Odo

Well-Known Member
#1
Many people used to consider FF the king of the RPG genre and it's now far from being turn based.

I've been reading about the "death of the turn based games", even though we still have games like Xenoblade, Pokemon, Persona, Shin Megami Tensei, Dragon Quest, Fire Emblem and others like Child of Light and Bravely Default.

However we've got to admit that many of the turn based games currently are mobile, niche or indie. Franchises like Dragon Quest don't dominate the charts worldwide and many top-notch titles like Xenoblade and Shin Megami Tensei don't sell like other big AAA games-- if Xenoblade can be considered somehow turn based is yet to be debated--

We don't have a reasonable amount of big worldwide examples like Pokemon and some big franchises like FF just moved on.


What do you think?
Do you have any figures about the market of turn based games to share?
 

Koenig

The Architect
#2
I am not certain if I understand the question exactly. Are we talking about JPGS, RPGs with turn based combat, or RPG's in general?
 

Koenig

The Architect
#4
RPG, japanese or not, that are turn based, like Pokemon and Final Fantasy 1-6.
I would say the problem lies in the fact that we have not gotten many (any?) AAA turn based RPG's on the console/PC front in years. Only smaller projects have stuck with the formula, and they still have the benefit. I think there is still a market for turn based RPG's, as is evident by the recent Pokemon sales (I mean, aside from the fact that it is Pokemon).
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
#5
Many people used to consider FF the king of the RPG genre and it's now far from being turn based.

I've been reading about the "death of the turn based games", even though we still have games like Xenoblade, Pokemon, Persona, Shin Megami Tensei, Dragon Quest, Fire Emblem and others like Child of Light and Bravely Default.

However we've got to admit that many of the turn based games currently are mobile, niche or indie. Franchises like Dragon Quest don't dominate the charts worldwide and many top-notch titles like Xenoblade and Shin Megami Tensei don't sell like other big AAA games-- if Xenoblade can be considered somehow turn based is yet to be debated--

We don't have a reasonable amount of big worldwide examples like Pokemon and some big franchises like FF just moved on.


What do you think?
Do you have any figures about the market of turn based games to share?
xenoblade is not turn based, it basically has the same battle system as MMORPGs like world of warcraft.. you have to wait for an ability to refresh after using it.. but you only have to wait on that 1 ability... you can use other abilities, perform auto attacks, and move around freely.. no turns at all
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
#6
The genre has become niche, and most of the major publishers are not interested in creating titles that do not have enormous sales potential. Games like Child Of Light give me hope that larger publishers will greenlight some projects that the developers really want to create, despite low sales expectations. I have never been a huge RPG guy, Ogre Battle 64 is by far my favorite, and that's just as much a strategy game as it is RPG. Child of Light is one of the more traditional RPG's that I got into, and because I am a novice to the genre, the simplicity really helped me enjoy the journey.

I do feel like even though the major publishers are neglecting certain genres like turn based RPG's, the evolution of development tools and game engines is paving the way for smaller developers to fill the void. Indies are currently seen as 2D platformer and puzzle game developers for the most part, but we are seeing an expansion in this segment. Yook-a-Layee is being developed by Playtonic on a modest budget, and it looks massive and gorgeous. This would have been a AAA project back in 2006, and in 2016 its a very ambitious Indie developed project. Publishers will continue to stifle talent, and thus pushing them away, many of which will see the freedom of Indie development very attractive. We are entering a time where the mid budget game scene has the ability to take off. Small developers are growing, and advanced game engines and tools make it possible for small teams to create large projects on a modest budget.

Back on topic, the stat of turn based RPG's is similar to many other once popular genres. 3D platformers were once top dog, and now they are practically non existent outside of Mario. The same thing that happened to the movie business happed to games, production values took over. Most games are very Michael Bay these days. Its what works when you want to sell 10 million+ copies of a game. Keep in mind that selling a million copies of a game was once a very big deal, these days it probably means the project lost tons of money. So while its a bummer for some that their favorite publishers no longer make a lot of their favorite genres, your also in luck because many of those talented individuals have moved into the Indie scene where they will have the freedom to create those types of games in the future.
 

simplyTravis

"A nice guy, but looks like a f'n Jedi!"
#7
I think turn based RPG's are going to the wayside due to the popular of MOBA and MMORPGs using cool down timers. Most RPG's are influenced by these titles, in my opinion, because they are trying to pick up gamers who happen to play those types of games since there are a ton of them.

Hopefully we will see a turn back to turn based in the future though. The combat in FF XV sounds terrible to me as a turn-based fan. I loved XCX though...so who knows?
 

FriedShoes

MLG
Moderator
#8
I don't see a resurgence happening on the mainstream level anytime soon.
I think the games that have made traditional turn based action their bread and butter will continue to go down that route. They may forever remain niche. I think the problem is that its not flashy like other styles of games, so it's harder to sell to the mainstream. But they are, this is me talking out of my ass and not really knowing anything about game development, probably much cheaper to make and sell. The turn based style is easier to grasp and understand by the mainstream too, but just not as fun to market, I guess.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#10
I would say the problem lies in the fact that we have not gotten many (any?) AAA turn based RPG's on the console/PC front in years. Only smaller projects have stuck with the formula, and they still have the benefit. I think there is still a market for turn based RPG's, as is evident by the recent Pokemon sales (I mean, aside from the fact that it is Pokemon).
Is there any other turn based RPG as big as Pokemon? Selling 10-15m units?

I don't find anything.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#11
I do feel like even though the major publishers are neglecting certain genres like turn based RPG's, the evolution of development tools and game engines is paving the way for smaller developers to fill the void. Indies are currently seen as 2D platformer and puzzle game developers for the most part, but we are seeing an expansion in this segment. Yook-a-Layee is being developed by Playtonic on a modest budget, and it looks massive and gorgeous.
Do you think the fall of turn based RPGs is also related to the fact that turn based system was supposed to be a way to make a fight happen in the game when consoles didn't have the power to deploy a real time action?

Some people could argue that today turn based system is deprecated and pointless.
 
#12
I'd say there is still an audience. I feel like the Final Fn
Is there any other turn based RPG as big as Pokemon? Selling 10-15m units?

I don't find anything.
Final Fantasy 7 and 10 both sold over 10 million I believe. The rest of the series sold well too, but I'm not sure how consistent they all are.
 
#13
Turn Based RPG's, stealth, strategy, 3d platformers are all mostly dead. Sure, some games have bare minimum stealth components, some games have some platforms to jump on, but pure stealth and pure strategy is mostly gone.

I blame publishers trying to make their games as broadly appealing as possible. Sandbox games try to have everything these days. How many games have the "do it your way" tagline for combat? It's not enough for Activision to buy Spyro, but they have to turn it into a toy machine for little kids. I'm impressed they're remaking Crash, but I assume that's nostalgia money and Sony more so than Activision.

Every now and then you'll get a Bravely Default or Yooka Laylee, but why make a game like that when you can make the deafult Ubisoft-tier open world game and rank in the millions on hype?
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#14
The genre has become niche, and most of the major publishers are not interested in creating titles that do not have enormous sales potential.
I don't see a resurgence happening on the mainstream level anytime soon.
I think the games that have made traditional turn based action their bread and butter will continue to go down that route. They may forever remain niche. I think the problem is that its not flashy like other styles of games, so it's harder to sell to the mainstream. But they are, this is me talking out of my ass and not really knowing anything about game development, probably much cheaper to make and sell. The turn based style is easier to grasp and understand by the mainstream too, but just not as fun to market, I guess.
Yes, unfortunately that's true.

I don't see those games going back to mainstream, but I do wonder if some AAA company decides to release a big franchise game (imagine FFXVI) as turn based. How much could it impact the industry.

I think there was a time where the trend was to be pro modern mechanics, but nowadays people see 2D games as modern games too. Perhaps the turn based system could be once again considered "normal" for a big modern game.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#18
How many other AAA turn based titles have there been in the past 10 years though? (I consider pokemon AAA by 3DS standards)
Pokemon is. That's exactly my question, is there any other? I don't find anything but Pokemon. Is Pokemon the only one today?

If so, we can argue that it's solely because of the Pokemon brand.
 

Koenig

The Architect
#19
Pokemon is. That's exactly my question, is there any other? I don't find anything but Pokemon. Is Pokemon the only one today?

If so, we can argue that it's solely because of the Pokemon brand.
Which I also eluded to in my second post. We don't have any AAA games to test the hypothesis on; however I dare to say that the "death" of Turn based RPG's in the AAA market is not a natural event, but is instead primarily the result of publishers and marketing department abandoning the genre altogether and blindly chasing profit. The viable market has shrunk for turn based RPG's, but it is still entirely viable for a AAA turn based RPG to do well if catered to it.
 

Koenig

The Architect
#21
Bravely Default, Dragon Quest, and south park come to mind
Good point(s). Although Bravely default was a new IP. Southpark was a definite exception, although I wonder how many people bought the game looking for a turn based RPG. I just don't know whether to equate the game to its brand or its gameplay in terms of its financial success.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#22
I sorted a steam store search with the tags "turn-based" and "RPG", and got a ton of games. The image below is only about 3/4 of page 1, and there are 20 pages of this. I would say that it's true that turn-based games aren't being represented by the usual companies (Square Enix, Capcom) or by the usual AAA budgets, but there is an abundance of quality indie and mid-budget turn-based RPGs that I don't think has ever been there before.

Turn-based RPGs.jpg
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
#23
so psyched for the next south park rpg... 2017 should be nice

though I cannot play it.. persona 5 looks sweet... we finally get zelda AND switch... and south park: the fractured but whole (the most hilarious subtitle ever)... those alone excite the hell out of me
 
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