Hideki Kamiya, the creator of both Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, and CEO of PlatinumGames, says that Japanese developers should be "proud" of the term JRPG and thinks it "should be celebrated moving forward". These comments come in response to those made by Square Enix's Naoki Yoshida earlier in the year, who isn't a fan of the descriptor. The Final Fantasy XIV and XVI producer said that for some Japanese developers: "It was like a discriminatory term. As though we were being made fun of for creating these games".
Speaking to VGC, Kamiya weighed in on the subject but had a different outlook on the matter. Discussing Platinum's strategy for competing and standing out to Western audiences, he says the best way to do so is to embrace "our unique sensitivities as Japanese creators". Kamiya explains the sentiment:
"When you look at Bayonetta as a character, she doesn't look strong like Kratos, she doesn't look like she could take on these massive demons, but she was very unique in the way she was created, in the way we view action game heroes, from a unique Japanese viewpoint. So when it comes to the term 'JRPG', this is something that ties into this - these are RPG games that, in a sense, only Japanese creators can make with their unique sensitivity when it comes to creating these experiences. I think it's certainly something that should be celebrated moving forward, and someone should actually aim to make a 'king of JRPGs' game to express that. As Japanese game creators, we're very proud of the actual term JRPG."
Our own experience of the term likely mirrors that of many Western enthusiasts; still growing up and not yet awakened to our true gaming powers, we didn't really understand the nuance of the term JRPG or cared (if we'd even heard it before); we just knew that we loved Final Fantasy and wanted more games like it. Finding or affording them, however, was another matter entirely, and because of that scarcity, there was an added mystique to the genre, making each new title we could get our grubbing hands on that much more special.