From Final Fantasy to Mass Effect, the RPG of today is barely recognisable compared to the titles that made the genre great.
This perhaps explains why in the latest video for Mass Effect 3, BioWare almost completely ignored the RPG elements of the title to instead focus on the in-game shooting action.
The reason, BioWare Label VP Greg Zeschuk told VG247, is that the genre simply isn't anywhere near as influential or as desirable as it once was.
RPGs are and always have been our bread and butter, our heart is there,” he outlined.
We had the conversation about ‘what is an RPG' and it's a blend. The genres are blending right now, you're getting lots and lots of progression and RPG elements in shooters – online persistence and so on.
The RPG in the context of the current world is – well, it's not specifically irrelevant, but it's becoming less relevant in and of itself. It's more a function of ‘hey, this game has a great story'. For us having that emotion but also having other great features like combat and persistence of character progression and stuff.”
Zeschuk went on to touch on the subject of console MMOs. BioWare has nothing of the sort in development right now, but the developer believes the genre still has a possible future on consoles.
I think there are new technical challenges you just have to consider,” he explained. There's no reason you can't do it – there's nothing that prevents it, but there's challenges. One challenge is the console business model – on the PC you don't have to give anyone else a cut of anything. That's significant.
But you can work around all those things. If we wanted to, it's something I think we could challenge ourselves to do and accomplish.”