JRPG developer tri-Ace has had almost every one of its games published by Square, but it's lumped in with Sega for its newest game. Why? Because Square's less open to new ideas, tri-Ace says.
JRPGs have been in something of a creative rut for sometime, and though gamers have been vocal about laying the blame on certain publishers at times, rarely do we ever hear of a developer being open about who might have a hand in the drought of new ideas in the JRPG landscape.
Tri-Ace, a JRPG developer best known for the Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile games, has been entirely faithful to a single publisher up until now: Square-Enix. For its newest game, End of Eternity, however, the studio has decided to switch sides and head over to Sega, a company that recently showed that it can do some interesting things with the JRPG paradigm with Valkyria Chronicles. Why tri-Ace switched to Sega might have less to do with what Sega does than what Square-Enix doesn't, however.
"Because SEGA has a more open attitude towards accepting new RPG ideas than Square Enix, we'd decided to have SEGA release End of Eternity," director Takayuki Suguro said.
That's not something I buy entirely. Tri-Ace has had shots at doing new things with Square - last year's Infinite Undiscovery was relatively off the beaten path for a JRPG, though that's not really saying much. And it's not like End of Eternity is breaking the mold, either, from what I've heard about it. There are guns and hex-based battles, certainly different from your standard JRPG, but nothing really novel.
Maybe there's some trouble in this developer-publisher JRPG paradise?