What are the biggest J-RPGs dev teams from the PS2 Era up to ?

This article is part of a series comparing Japan-made RPGs of the 7th generation to the ones of the PS2 era. Last time, we talked about what features were heavily introduced by 7th gen J-RPGs, such as auto-heal, the restart battle option and the progressive disappearance of random drops. In the future, I would like to compare 7th and 6th gen J-RPGs in terms of sales and of critical reception. But in the meantime, let’s see what the developers of the major RPGs of the PS2 era did in the HD era, and what they are doing right now. Of course, J-RPGs largely migrated from PS2 to portable systems, but our favorite teams still created a lot of great (and some not so great)  titles for HD systems. Next time, we’ll look at newcomers.

1. Square Enix First Production Department

6th generation titles

7th generation HD titles

Apart from the Final Fantasy X remake that the team is handling we know that the team is also starting the development of an UE3 A-RPG, for which only a few concept arts have been released :

2. Cavia

6th generation titles

7th generation HD titles

Nier is pretty different from Drakengard, as it plays more like Zelda than like Dynasty Warriors.  It’s an amazing J-RPG that did very well despite its ridiculously low budget. However, Cavia was disbanded and we have yet to hear from Yosuke Taro.

3. Tri-Ace

6th generation titles

7th generation HD titles

Tri-Ace recently showed off a powerful new graphic engine so it’s reasonable to believe  that, apart from their two new portable titles, a HD-RPG is in development. A partnership with Konami seems the most obvious choice, since the publisher of Suikoden is already bringing Frontier Gate and Beyond the Labyrinth to portable systems.

4. Monolith Soft.

6th generation titles

7th generation home console titles

While Xenoblade had a great reception in Europe, it is still being localized in the US. The team also has an unannounced Wii U title in the works, a title that wants to surprise us but will (unsurprisingly) star giant robots.

5. ATLUS Persona Team

6th generation titles

7th generation HD titles

Everybody knows Persona 5 is coming for HD consoles, the only question is when.

6. Tales Studio

6th generation titles

7th generation HD titles

Grace F is coming to the West in 2012, and there is little doubt Xillia will, at one time or another, be localized too.

7. From Software

6th generation titles

7th generation HD titles

The team is hopefully getting some well deserved RPG rest while polishing Armored Core V, although it has been rumored that Dark Souls DLC was being developed.

8. Sonic Team

6th generation titles

HD titles

With the success of Dark Souls on home consoles, could we expect a PS360 announcement regarding Japan’s other huge online dungeon crawler,  PSO 2 ?

9. Square Enix 2nd Production Department

6th generation titles

7th generation titles

10. Square Enix 3rd Production Department

6th generation titles

HD titles

The reformed team is actually working on Final Fantasy XIV 2.0, a reboot that will also constitute the PS3 version.

11. Square Enix 4th Production Department

6th generation titles

Even though the team as no HD titles announced, it has been speculated that Square Enix 4th Production Department is currently working on Final Fantasy XV.

12. Cyber Connect 2

7th generation HD titles

Yes, Asura’s Wrath probably does not qualify as an RPG but we have yet to play it to know. The unannounced games are Strelka Stories and a new .hack featuring Haseo,  (or a Haseo look alike) : let’s hope at least one of them is a HD title.

13. Level 5

6th generation titles

7th generation titles


14. Gust

6th generation titles

7th generation

After Meruru  that is currently being localized by NISA, GUST is currently working on a mysterious new RPG.

So that’s it, here is what the biggest J-RPGS dev teams of the PS2 era have been doing this generation, and what they are doing right now. Of course, many new teams appeared this gen, like Sakaguchi’s Mistwalker and Tri-crescendo (who collaborated on Baten Kaitos). Let’s tackle those some other time.

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