The Genre Conundrum: Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is More Than Just a JRPG

When it comes to defining genres in gaming, there is often ambiguity and debate. While some creators are passionate about categorizing their games, others, like Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth director, Naoki Hamaguchi, take a more relaxed approach. In a recent interview with TheGamer, Hamaguchi shared his indifference towards labeling the upcoming sequel as a JRPG, despite its clear roots in the genre. This is a stark contrast to the opinions expressed by other figures in the gaming industry, sparking a new conversation about the meaning and limitations of genre classification.

Hamaguchi expressed his perspective as a creator, emphasizing his global outlook and the diverse audience he aims to reach. Rather than confining himself to the traditional confines of the JRPG genre, he is focused on making a game that appeals to a wide range of players. His disregard for genre limitations allows him the creative freedom to explore and experiment beyond established norms. This mindset challenges the notion that a game must fit neatly into a specific genre box to be successful.

The discussion surrounding genre in the gaming industry has been ongoing for years, and the JRPG genre is no exception. Last year, Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida, also known as Yoshi-P, criticized the term “JRPG,” deeming it discriminatory. This prompted a wave of online debates, with gamers and industry professionals alike contemplating what truly defines a JRPG. GamesRadar’s Dustin Bailey even delved into the historical origins of the genre, highlighting the difficulty in establishing a concrete set of descriptors.

Adding fuel to the fire, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth creative director Tetsuya Nomura and producer Yoshinori Kitase shared opposing opinions on the matter in September. Nomura expressed his belief that the game transcends the limitations of the JRPG genre, while Kitase defended the traditional aspects of the series that have garnered it a loyal fanbase. Amidst these conflicting viewpoints, Hamaguchi stands out with his nonchalant attitude. He simply doesn’t care what people label the game as, as long as it resonates with players and fulfills his creative vision.

While Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth undeniably retains many characteristics of a JRPG, it is also breaking new ground by incorporating elements from other genres. This departure from the traditional formula can be seen as a deliberate effort to appeal to a broader audience and cater to changing gaming preferences. By embracing a more fluid approach to genre, Hamaguchi is challenging the expectations placed on game creators and paving the way for more innovative and inclusive game experiences.

Hamaguchi’s indifference towards the classification of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth exemplifies a refreshing perspective in the gaming industry. By prioritizing the creative vision and the desires of the players, he demonstrates a willingness to transcend genre boundaries and challenge established norms. Whether Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is ultimately labeled as a JRPG is inconsequential to Hamaguchi. What truly matters is that the game resonates with players and offers an engaging and immersive experience.

The genre conundrum surrounding Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is indicative of a larger ongoing debate in the gaming industry. While some creators and industry professionals are passionate about adhering to genre classifications, others, like Naoki Hamaguchi, are pushing for a more fluid and inclusive approach. As the release of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth approaches, it will be interesting to see how players and critics perceive and categorize the game. But ultimately, it is the experience and enjoyment of the players that will determine its success, regardless of the label assigned to it.


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