Maybe it's what they should've been doing all along.
Many old-school fans of Japanese video games (JRPGs in particular) have lamented the seemingly ceaseless drive of Japanese studios to attempt to "Westernize" their products. This has led to major disappointments and missteps.
But these days, some Japanese designers have passed on that idea and are returning to their roots. At least that's what Namco Bandai producer Hideo Baba sees; the guy who has helped bring you some great Tales games says Japanese developers have started to see the light :
" I feel like a lot of Japanese developers, especially ourselves, we've really taken an effort to go back to our roots. We look at what we started with and what we're good at, and we really tried to make an effort to strengthen what our foundations are ."
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch , a highly anticipated JRPG from Level-5 that launches today, is an example of Baba's theory. As for the Tales franchise, that has always stayed true to its Japanese roots:
"With regards to the Tales franchise, we've never made an effort to 'westernize' it. We feel that Western developers are good at certain things, while Japanese developers are good at other things. Rather than us trying to copy Western developers, we really try to look within ourselves and try to improve ourselves. The Tales franchise has been a personal struggle to better ourselves and the franchise."
Now if only Square Enix had adopted this viewpoint at the start of this generation. Just imagine what we'd have by now; just imagine the potential greatness of the Final Fantasy XIII games. Oh, it's almost too painful to think about… But at least some developers are starting to realize that they should stick to their guns.