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Thread: RPGs go mainstream in the west

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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Boobie View Post
    So what? TEN MILLION COPIES OF SKYRIM. Three million Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Five million of the Dragon Age games, for better or for worse. It doesn't get any more mainstream than that. To argue that my little brother, who put two hundred hours into Morrowind and Skyrim, and is starting New Vegas too, isn't an "RPG fan" because he didn't also buy Growlanser: Generations is ridiculous. That smacks of elitism. "You're not as big a fan of RPG's as me: I bought Phantom Brave and all the Falcom PSP games. All YOU bought was Dragon Age and Pokemon, you poseur".
    You're completely misinterpreting. It has nothing to do with elitism. I couldn't care less if someone is or isn't as fond of RPGs as me, or if they are an even bigger fan. I'm not 14, for crying out loud.

    What I'm talking about is the difference between if a handful of games are mainstream, standing as anomalies in their genre, or if the genre as a whole is mainstream. Not every RPG needs to be a massive hit, but when 95% of a genre is incredibly niche and not touched by the typical gamer, how can it possibly be a mainstream genre? Look at the mainstream genres in gaming's history. Platformers, fighters, first-person shooters, etc. Obviously there were plenty of games in those genres that went relatively under the radar, but it was widely accepted that those genres at their heights were one of, if not the, most popular genres, that developers were cranking them out left and right, that practically every gamer was buying them, and they were buying more than just 1, 2, 3 of them. RPGs, outside of the select few that break through to the mainstream, are marketed to their loyal diehard audience because publishers KNOW that they aren't mainstream and that they can't count on the casual consumer to buy their product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    You're completely misinterpreting. It has nothing to do with elitism. I couldn't care less if someone is or isn't as fond of RPGs as me, or if they are an even bigger fan. I'm not 14, for crying out loud.

    What I'm talking about is the difference between if a handful of games are mainstream, standing as anomalies in their genre, or if the genre as a whole is mainstream. Not every RPG needs to be a massive hit, but when 95% of a genre is incredibly niche and not touched by the typical gamer, how can it possibly be a mainstream genre? Look at the mainstream genres in gaming's history. Platformers, fighters, first-person shooters, etc. Obviously there were plenty of games in those genres that went relatively under the radar, but it was widely accepted that those genres at their heights were one of, if not the, most popular genres, that developers were cranking them out left and right, that practically every gamer was buying them, and they were buying more than just 1, 2, 3 of them. RPGs, outside of the select few that break through to the mainstream, are marketed to their loyal diehard audience because publishers KNOW that they aren't mainstream and that they can't count on the casual consumer to buy their product.
    I don't agree with your premise. There are certainly subgenres in the RPG mold that are niche products, but on the whole it's one of the most popular genres in gaming right now.

    No one brought out the World of Warcraft point yet, so I'll do it. Ten million monthly subscribers. The Old Republic is at two, give or take. Rift is holding tough at a million. Fallout 3 and New Vegas did exceptionally well, and Skyrim did Call of Duty numbers. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is getting good reviews and is selling fairly well. The Mass Effect games are hugely popular. Ditto Dragon Age. The Fable series is one of the best regarded Xbox franchises and has a lot of cross market appeal. Deus Ex: HR did very well last year and there's talk of a follow up.

    I think our difference of opinion stems from the current predominance of the western RPG and the relative niche appeal of Japanese RPGs. Even Final Fantasy is doing (relatively) poorly in comparison this generation, with some of the best games either going unrecognized and flopping commercially or being polluted by Monster Hunter or dating sim mechanics: sometimes both. Poor Valkyria Chronicles.

    This only further illustrates that good old Dungeons & Dragons is the font here in the West. It's not that it's inherently superior than the eastern flavor of RPG: It's just more culturally relateable here. By the time FFVII showed up, the United States had decades of D&D, and the video games inspired by it, under It's belt already.
    Last edited by G-Boobie; 02-13-2012 at 01:02 AM.

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    I actually brought up World of Warcraft myself, but again I don't think it's representative of the norm. From what I've seen, it seems like a lot of World of Warcraft players don't even play any other games much at all, let alone specifically RPGs. It'd be like saying farming simulations are hugely popular just because people play Farmville, even though the Harvest Moon series and Shepherd's Crossing and what have you are very niche. One game doesn't make a genre.

    I will admit that I'm approaching this from a console perspective and am largely uneducated on the PC side. Are there many Western RPGs released on PCs these days outside of the handful of top-tier releases? I know the 80s and 90s had plenty of stuff, but it seems like PC gaming in general is dying these days. But on the console side, these hugely popular Western RPGs make up only a tiny fraction of the genre. There have been a ton of RPGs released in the US on PS1, PS2, PSP, DS, etc., and the vast majority are ignored by Joe Shmoe gamer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    I actually brought up World of Warcraft myself, but again I don't think it's representative of the norm. From what I've seen, it seems like a lot of World of Warcraft players don't even play any other games much at all, let alone specifically RPGs. It'd be like saying farming simulations are hugely popular just because people play Farmville, even though the Harvest Moon series and Shepherd's Crossing and what have you are very niche. One game doesn't make a genre.

    I will admit that I'm approaching this from a console perspective and am largely uneducated on the PC side. Are there many Western RPGs released on PCs these days outside of the handful of top-tier releases? I know the 80s and 90s had plenty of stuff, but it seems like PC gaming in general is dying these days. But on the console side, these hugely popular Western RPGs make up only a tiny fraction of the genre. There have been a ton of RPGs released in the US on PS1, PS2, PSP, DS, etc., and the vast majority are ignored by Joe Shmoe gamer.
    The vast majority of games are ignored by Joe Shmoe gamer. By your argument there's only two or three mainstream genres.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    And most people playing those games probably haven't ventured outside of those. Specific games can be pretty mainstream, but RPGs as a genre can't be considered mainstream when the vast majority of them are only bought by diehard RPG fans.The typical guy that buys Skyrim or Pokemon probably isn't buying Sakura Wars, Mana Khemia, Ar Tonelico, etc.
    I don't think that's a fair comparison. That's like saying the typical guy buying Madden isn't buying Disney Sports Football and using that as an argument that football games aren't mainstream. There's tons of variation with genres to allow for one to be massively successful and another to be niche irrespective of the umbrella categories they fall under. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. The category "RPG" pretty much tells you nothing about the game. People base buying choices on details far more specific than that. The DS Dragon Quest remakes sold like crap, apparently. The DS Chrono Trigger, on the other hand, outsold the SNES version (itself pushing impressive numbers by 1995 standards) by a wide margin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    One game doesn't make a genre.
    I think most people would assume (rightfully or otherwise) that 95% of people who play football games are playing Madden and ignoring pretty much every other football game on the market.

    And, devil's advocate, even if RPGs themselves haven't become mainstream, their characteristics sure as hell have what with character building, stat manipulation, and a number of other aspects traditionally associated with role playing games becoming commonplace among all genres.
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger; 02-13-2012 at 01:13 PM.

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    RPGs were popular computer games long before Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior. Wizardry, Ultima, Phantasie, a million SSI games... there were a HUGE part of gaming before the NES arrived. I'd say they were already mainstream among video gamers. D&D Treasure of Tarmin on the Inty was as advanced as you'd see a console RPG for many years to come, and all the Inty D&D games were pretty popular (though Cloudy Mountain wasn't really an RPG).

    In short, I think the idea of RPGs going mainstream just follows along with video gaming becoming more mainstream. I don't think it has much to do with the games because the genre was already popular amongst gamers.

    Even though I loved computer RPGs, I found JRPGs a giant breath of fresh air. You mean I start off with double digit hit points? I can actually level up in less than an hour? Wow. The style of JRPGs lends itself to a wider audience, I think, because it isn't quite as demanding on the player. These days I'd much prefer a classic Western RPG than JRPG, but I can appreciate both styles and understand why people like each.
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    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    The vast majority of games are ignored by Joe Shmoe gamer. By your argument there's only two or three mainstream genres.
    I think you're toying with the definition of "ignored" here. For something to not be "ignored", that doesn't mean it must have massive sales. I already quite well laid out the characteristics of mainstream genres of the past. The very definition of "mainstream" implies that it must not be solely the territory of a dedicated niche audience, but that's exactly where the majority of releases in the RPG genre are.

    I think most people would assume (rightfully or otherwise) that 95% of people who play football games are playing Madden and ignoring pretty much every other football game on the market.
    I wouldn't, to be honest. I couldn't say for this particular moment in time, but that wouldn't historically be true. Sega's football games used to be quite popular, and Tecmo's farther back, and practically every publisher has taken a stab at the genre with varying degrees of commercial success. These other games may not have had the insane sales of Madden, but they got respectable sales. And the sales weren't from diehard fans super-obsessed with football video games. The purchasers were just typical gamers that had randomly decided to try whatever football game they grabbed off of the shelf. You very rarely hear of non-big name RPGs being bought by people who pick them up at random and think "Hey, this looks cool." It's always people who are steeped in RPG fandom.

    And, devil's advocate, even if RPGs themselves haven't become mainstream, their characteristics sure as hell have what with character building, stat manipulation, and a number of other aspects traditionally associated with role playing games becoming commonplace among all genres.
    No argument there.

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    You're mixing up two different issues, though. You're completely ignoring that the genre itself has little to do with all the random PS2 and PSP RPGs being niche as hell. The fact that their entire presentation is what it is makes them niche as hell. That's a incredibly important difference you're not addressing. The genre really doesn't mean jack shit. You make an RPG with a huge budget, massive advertising, fantastic acting, and a dramatic story and you end up with the multimillion selling Mass Effect. You make a budget PSP RPG with anime cliches, wacky outfits, and rudimentary mechanics and, surprise, niche game is niche.

    Turn Ar Tonelico into a platformer and it'll have the exact same appeal it already does. People aren't avoiding it because it's an RPG. They avoid it because it's...well...THIS. You honestly think that people who pick up Mass Effect aren't picking up Ar Tonelico because they don't like RPGs?

    That's like saying fighting games aren't mainstream because most people only play Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat while ignoring Guilty Gear, Arcana Heart, and Melty Blood.
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger; 02-13-2012 at 10:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    You're mixing up two different issues, though. You're completely ignoring that the genre itself has little to do with all the random PS2 and PSP RPGs being niche as hell. The fact that their entire presentation is what it is makes them niche as hell. That's a incredibly important difference you're not addressing. The genre really doesn't mean jack shit. You make an RPG with a huge budget, massive advertising, fantastic acting, and a dramatic story and you end up with the multimillion selling Mass Effect. You make a budget PSP RPG with anime cliches, wacky outfits, and rudimentary mechanics and, surprise, niche game is niche.

    Turn Ar Tonelico into a platformer and it'll have the exact same appeal it already does. People aren't avoiding it because it's an RPG. They avoid it because it's...well...THIS. You honestly think that people who pick up Mass Effect aren't picking up Ar Tonelico because they don't like RPGs?

    That's like saying fighting games aren't mainstream because most people only play Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat while ignoring Guilty Gear, Arcana Heart, and Melty Blood.
    Yet "THIS" is why that game sells. 2 different markets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    You're mixing up two different issues, though. You're completely ignoring that the genre itself has little to do with all the random PS2 and PSP RPGs being niche as hell. The fact that their entire presentation is what it is makes them niche as hell. That's a incredibly important difference you're not addressing. The genre really doesn't mean jack shit. You make an RPG with a huge budget, massive advertising, fantastic acting, and a dramatic story and you end up with the multimillion selling Mass Effect. You make a budget PSP RPG with anime cliches, wacky outfits, and rudimentary mechanics and, surprise, niche game is niche.

    Turn Ar Tonelico into a platformer and it'll have the exact same appeal it already does. People aren't avoiding it because it's an RPG. They avoid it because it's...well...THIS. You honestly think that people who pick up Mass Effect aren't picking up Ar Tonelico because they don't like RPGs?

    That's like saying fighting games aren't mainstream because most people only play Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat while ignoring Guilty Gear, Arcana Heart, and Melty Blood.
    No, that's exactly the issue at hand. We're not talking about specific games or why some are or aren't popular; we're purely talking about the genre as a whole and if it's mainstream, and when the vast majority of the titles in that genre AREN'T mainstream, for whatever reason that may be, then you simply can't conclude that the genre is mainstream. If there were more Pokemons and Skyrims to tip the balance, then maybe you could make that call, but not with the genre as it is now.

    I'm not so sure I'd call fighting games mainstream these days either, not like they were in the early/mid 90s (and late 90s for the 3D ones), at least. Capcom has only just recently started reviving their franchises, and outside of those, there's really not a ton out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    No, that's exactly the issue at hand. We're not talking about specific games or why some are or aren't popular; we're purely talking about the genre as a whole and if it's mainstream, and when the vast majority of the titles in that genre AREN'T mainstream, for whatever reason that may be, then you simply can't conclude that the genre is mainstream.
    If that's the case, then most genres are not mainstream for the simple fact that so few titles ever hit the big sales figures when compared to the larger quantity of titles in that genre. That takes us back to Madden. Regardless of Sega and Tecmo's previous success, it's pretty much entirely Madden at this point for various reasons. So football is niche now? Or at least is more niche than it was 15-20 years ago?

    You keep talking about the "RPG genre" as if it's all or nothing. As if there has to be a majority of success on all fronts irrespective of the content of the games themselves. That's crazy. People don't buy games based on genre alone. They base their decisions on game content. People don't go "Oh, I like Mario...guess I like God of War, too, since it's also a platformer." They very well may like both games but one doesn't beget the other. Just like if people are playing Mass Effect but not Ar Tonelico, that doesn't mean the genre as a whole isn't mainstream. Correlation is not causation. There are too many variables among the titles in the genre, every one of them can alone determine why one game succeeds and another fails. You can't ignore all of that and write it off as the entire genre being niche. If anything it just means there's a niche within the larger genre.

    Seriously, if it the vast majority of titles in a genre not being mainstream renders the genre itself not mainstream then we'd be left with...I dunno...one mainstream genre? If that?
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger; 02-14-2012 at 01:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    IThat takes us back to Madden. Regardless of Sega and Tecmo's previous success, it's pretty much entirely Madden at this point for various reasons. So football is niche now? Or at least is more niche than it was 15-20 years ago?
    EA also has a successful NCAA Football franchise that does quite well.

    Just what football games are being released that aren't doing well? I don't agree with it, but her argument is that RPG's aren't mainstream because most games in the genre don't sell in huge numbers. I didn't see anything about number of releases per year in her argument about why RPG's are still a niche genre, so I don't see what the fact that we only get two major releases per year in this subgenre has to do with the discussion at hand. She's talking about sales performance and Madden and NCAA Football sell many millions of copies every year.

    Beyond those two series from EA, has anyone even tried to crack the market in years other than attempts to restart old arcade football franchises like Midway's Blitz series and Tecmo Bowl? Her argument is that most RPG's don't sell well. So how could you apply her argument to the football genre when both releases it typically gets each year are huge sellers? Unless a dozen other competitors spring up and Madden and NCAA still dominate, you certainly can't twist her argument around that way.
    Last edited by Leo_A; 02-14-2012 at 01:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_A View Post
    EA also has a successful NCAA Football franchise that does quite well.

    Just what football games are being released that aren't doing well? I don't agree with it, but her argument is that RPG's aren't mainstream because most games in the genre don't sell in huge numbers. I didn't see anything about number of releases per year in her argument about why RPG's are still a niche genre, so I don't see what the fact that we only get two major releases per year in this subgenre has to do with the discussion at hand. She's talking about sales performance and Madden and NCAA Football sell many millions of copies every year.

    Beyond those two series from EA, has anyone even tried to crack the market in years other than attempts to restart old arcade football franchises like Midway's Blitz series and Tecmo Bowl? Her argument is that most RPG's don't sell well. So how could you apply her argument to the football genre when both releases it typically gets each year are huge sellers? Unless a dozen other competitors spring up and Madden and NCAA still dominate, you certainly can't twist her argument around that way.
    Again: Skyrim, Dragon Age, World of Warcraft, Mass Effect, Pokemon, Deus Ex, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Rift, Guild Wars, The Old Republic... These games are all million sellers or better. That's as close to mainstream as anything I can imagine. Those are big numbers for any media.

    I think we're dealing with a disagreement over the definition of "mainstream".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_A View Post
    Beyond those two series from EA, has anyone even tried to crack the market in years other than attempts to restart old arcade football franchises like Midway's Blitz series and Tecmo Bowl? Her argument is that most RPG's don't sell well. So how could you apply her argument to the football genre when both releases it typically gets each year are huge sellers? Unless a dozen other competitors spring up and Madden and NCAA still dominate, you certainly can't twist her argument around that way.
    Actually, yes. There was an attempt at an All Pro line of football titles with classic players but it didn't fare so well. And let's not ignore that Midway tried to reinvigorate Blitz with Blitz: The League prior to going under and I think Blitz is still alive and well under new ownership. Then there was Konami and its Disney Sports line. Tecmo Bowl Throwback specifically brought that series back from the dead. EA itself tried to do the NFL Street thing, too. If you want to look at different sports there were similar basketball games like Hoopz, recent NBA Jam outings, Mario Hoops 3 on 3, etc. Baseball has Mario Super Sluggers, I don't know if the Backyard Baseball games are still being made but they were not too long ago. The sports game landscape is faaaar more robust than EA's main line. To say that the RPG genre isn't mainstream because, for example, the PSP is a dumping ground for RPGs that push middling numbers is no different than saying sports games aren't mainstream because most people don't pay attention to anything outside of EA's flagships.

    If you think I'm being unfair limiting it to football and you want to expand it to the entire sports genre you end up with EA's major franchises doing amazingly well with all kinds of fringe titles not getting nearly as much focus from the same crowd. It's no different from the RPG landscape in that regard, with a bunch of major titles pushing phenomenal numbers while the PSP (currently a bit of a niche system itself) and it's slew of budget RPGs push niche numbers. Of course games like Hexyz Force and Ys are going to be niche titles. 1) They're on the PSP. 2) They're budget games with little to no advertising. 3) They're decidedly last gen in presentation. All of those factors matter a hell of a lot more than them being RPGs. What, just because there's so many of them that ends up outweighing the mainstreamness (a word?) of the genre as a whole?
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger; 02-14-2012 at 10:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    I think you're toying with the definition of "ignored" here. For something to not be "ignored", that doesn't mean it must have massive sales. I already quite well laid out the characteristics of mainstream genres of the past. The very definition of "mainstream" implies that it must not be solely the territory of a dedicated niche audience, but that's exactly where the majority of releases in the RPG genre are.
    So, again, how many genres qualify as mainstream to you? Three? FPS, racing, sports, that's it? Maybe minigame compilation if we count that as a genre?
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    Yeah, maybe Nintendo had to give away copies of DW1 at one point, but maybe that's not a rejection of RPG's by gamers, maybe that was just a reflection on how DW1 was incredibly archaic even for an NES game by that point and some of us had already played things far superior on a technical level, even on consoles (Phantasy Star 1 and the NES port of Ultima 3, for instance). Don't get me wrong, I still bought DW1 (yeah, I never got one for free, dunno how I missed that promotion entirely) and enjoyed it, but I can see why it wasn't near the phenomenon here as it was when it hit in Japan years earlier.

    And yet it still did well enough that all three NES sequels wound up getting released. Sure, the next two on the SNES never did, but there's a LOT more at work there than lack of demand. Enix had plans to release them, but the DQ5 code was so messy and buggy that it didn't pan out, and when they decided to just skip it and move on to DQ6, the company was going through major changes and wound up closing their US offices before it could come to fruition.

    Another thing to consider, gaming itself is far more mainstream today than it was back in the 80's and 90's. As gaming has grown, so has the RPG genre.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Boobie View Post
    Again: Skyrim, Dragon Age, World of Warcraft, Mass Effect, Pokemon, Deus Ex, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Rift, Guild Wars, The Old Republic... These games are all million sellers or better. That's as close to mainstream as anything I can imagine. Those are big numbers for any media.

    I think we're dealing with a disagreement over the definition of "mainstream".
    What's that have to do with what you quoted from me? I wasn't even talking about RPG's nor did I agree with her opinion. I simply don't see how the football genre, which typically only gets two releases each year that both sell well, could be used to show the flaws in her logic. Her logic is RPG's aren't mainstream since most RPG's (Particularly Japanese RPG's) don't sell well.

    Seems to me then that we would need a good number of football releases each year that aren't million sellers in order to use this as an example to show her the flaws in her thinking. Yet, we don't have all those underperforming releases in this genre each year.
    Last edited by Leo_A; 02-14-2012 at 06:05 PM.

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    Edit - Sorry about the double post, meant to edit all this into that post but forgot by the time I was finished.

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    Actually, yes. There was an attempt at an All Pro line of football titles with classic players but it didn't fare so well. And let's not ignore that Midway tried to reinvigorate Blitz with Blitz: The League prior to going under and I think Blitz is still alive and well under new ownership. Then there was Konami and its Disney Sports line. Tecmo Bowl Throwback specifically brought that series back from the dead. EA itself tried to do the NFL Street thing, too. If you want to look at different sports there were similar basketball games like Hoopz, recent NBA Jam outings, Mario Hoops 3 on 3, etc. Baseball has Mario Super Sluggers, I don't know if the Backyard Baseball games are still being made but they were not too long ago. ?
    Those are just a handful exceptions spread out over the past generation or two.

    In general, each year, we only get EA Sports football releases. And each year, they sell millions of copies. How can you apply her argument to the football genre to disprove it to her when the two releases we generally get each year are some of the biggest selling games of the year?

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    To say that the RPG genre isn't mainstream because, for example, the PSP is a dumping ground for RPGs that push middling numbers is no different than saying sports games aren't mainstream because most people don't pay attention to anything outside of EA's flagships.
    In most years, there aren't football games outside of EA releases to ignore.

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    If you think I'm being unfair limiting it to football and you want to expand it to the entire sports genre you end up with EA's major franchises doing amazingly well with all kinds of fringe titles not getting nearly as much focus from the same crowd. It's no different from the RPG landscape in that regard, with a bunch of major titles pushing phenomenal numbers while the PSP (currently a bit of a niche system itself) and it's slew of budget RPGs push niche numbers.
    You need to go look at what has actually even been released in these genres (Heck, you didn't even know EA had a second successful football series, yet I despise the sport and was aware of it). Looking at what has been released for the Xbox 360 at GameFaqs, a platform with perhaps the biggest sports fanbase at present, basketball has the successful and long running VirtualConcepts/2K Sports line, EA Sports revival of Midway's NBA Jam arcade line that seems to have been successful judging from how they've returned to it several times over the past year or two (Something EA only does if there's money to be had, they don't stick with underperformers), EA Sports own basketball line, a single failed Midway game, and a single Tecmo game that I doubt succeeded since I never heard of it before and it has no sequels. So 90%+ of the games in that genre on the Xbox 360 have came from two publishers that are successful in this genre every year, with only two exceptions. Hockey has even less variety (EA's successful series, 2KSports successful series, and a EA XBLA hockey arcade game that has been popular judging by sales rankings on Major Nelson's blog since release). I doubt the Wii has much more to offer in these series beyond perhaps Mario spinoff sports games that always seem to perform well or releases aimed at young children.

    I'm not seeing these legions of releases in these genres each year that don't sell well that would allow you to apply her reasoning to them in order to disprove her line of thought (Which I've stated several times in this thread that I also disagree with). By and large, it's all EA Sports with some competition from the 2KSports lineup in a few areas. Both of which are successful in regard to sales numbers.

    In fact I dare say the sports genre is one of the few genres out there where you couldn't use her logic to argue that they weren't mainstream due to the monopolization that has went on in recent years where one or two major publishers has a lock on each sport with little competition.
    Last edited by Leo_A; 02-14-2012 at 06:10 PM.

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    First off, of course I know about NCAA. I own a bunch. I don't know why I didn't bring it up. Probably because the market for pro and college is largely the same. My point, of course, is that outside that market is a slew of non-traditional games, none of which attain the popularity of EA's flagships. And, again, expanding it to sports in general and it only furthers the point. Go look up "sports games" in GameStop's system and see just how many games it picks up vs. how many of them pull Skyrim or Mass Effect numbers.

    And second, writing off my list as "just a handful of exceptions over the last few years" is blatantly moving the goal posts. Since when were we talking a slew of football (or sports in general) game releases in a single calendar year? Was that ever a parameter set for RPGs? Did anybody ever stipulate to counting releases within a set time frame? Because it's not like we're getting a floundering RPG on a monthly basis here. You asked for evidence of a bunch of sports games with middling success among the sports playing public and I provided. And now you're basically saying "Now I want more." We could do this forever with any genre where we start applying arbitrary measuring sticks and then raising the bar at each interval. What's the magic number? 8 games a year? 10? Hell, we could write off the RPG issue in an instant with an equally arbitrary "PSP doesn't count." Knock off that one system and you cut out a massive chunk of niche RPGs released over the past 6 years or so.

    Besides, let's pull back a little bit and look at what the issue is. That of, say, 100 RPGs only 10 of them are million sellers therefore RPG = niche. That's essentially the argument, right? Well, what matters here? The percentage of successful games within the genre or the raw number of successful games irrespective of the percentage? Because if you give me 10 successful RPGs in a year and 4 or 5 successful platformers/football/FPSes/Fighting/etc. in a year, what does it really matter if there are 100 unsuccessful RPGs and only 15 unsuccessful of the other? It still means the public picked more games from the one genre. If anything, the high number of unsuccessful games is more evidence the genre is mainstream because it means publishers see fit to saturate the market. Who the hell would flood the market with a genre nobody plays?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    And second, writing off my list as "just a handful of exceptions over the last few years" is blatantly moving the goal posts. Since when were we talking a slew of football (or sports in general) game releases in a single calendar year? Was that ever a parameter set for RPGs? Did anybody ever stipulate to counting releases within a set time frame?
    Her argument is that most RPG's don't sell well. Thus, the genre can't be considered mainstream since most releases in the genre go largely ignored by the gaming public.

    Since I guess we're debating now what the word most actually means, I think it's safe to say that to the vast majority of people, most at the very least means that the number in question has to at least outnumber the other number. Yet EA Sports football releases far outnumber the releases of any competition and that's been the case for years now (Since at least when Sega lost the NFL license and abandoned their well recieved NFL2K line, although I suspect even then that EA was releasing more football games in their two franchises than the competition combined).

    The number of non EA football releases on the Xbox 360, for instance, is a grand total of 8 after nearly 6 and a half years (Just barely averaging one non EA football release a year). Yet the grand total of EA Sports releases in this genre, the ones that account for the vast majority and the ones that actually do well, accounts for 19 releases (Including their two releases slated for later this year, the only upcoming football games in the genre on the release calendar). Even take away EA's own NFL Head Coach and NFL Tour releases, which presumably sold poorly judging from the lack of sequels (Not including their Madden XBLA game since that apparantly was a sales success) only changes the number to 17 releases in hugely popular series to 10 failures. How exactly do the poor sales performers outnumber the successes?

    The fact is, most football games do sell well. The exact opposite of her reason why RPG's aren't mainstream where only a small number of releases get any sort of attention from mainstream gamers. Thus, you can't use her logic against her because her logic would still consider the football genre mainstream since the vast majority of releases perform well sales wise.
    Last edited by Leo_A; 02-14-2012 at 10:02 PM.

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