TL;DR of Below
A quick overview of why the JRPG really is in a severe pickle, where this kind of thing has happened before, and where subcultural production has really moved.
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I'm with kyuusei and Prime Mover on this one. It isn't a matter of taste, and we can't blindly defend the market because we want to cling to a hopeful idea. As consumers, it's our right to demand change, either by waving our wallets and pointing to the competition, or by directly approaching developers if we have the opportunity.
Perhaps, however, it's because of the pendulum effect that every industry (and heck, just about everything) is subject to. For a large portion of the early 90's (or even late 80's) through the early 2000's, Japan was the foremost producer of fan subculture material. From anime to video games to comic books (re: manga), Japan was doing excellent work. There were all kinds of cultural reasons, from a growing economy to an excitement about new techniques and technology. Japan's subcultural markets were growing, eagerly.
That current has move to North America, though. I was recently at an Anamanaguchi concert and it struck me that North America is really where the cultural movement has shifted. From some of the better games out there (re: Mass Effect, BioShock), to the rise of the indie comic (similar to the doujin movement, but far more legitimate. re: Scott Pilgrim), to the general effect it's having on music, movies, and art in general, it isn't hard to see where all the work is happening.
It's an interesting parallel to what happened in the Japanese market a decade ago, with the rise of the doujin market, the anime market, and so forth. But it's larger now, and carries far more impact because the North American industry is building on the ideas of the Japanese. A decade from now, we're likely to see it shift back, or at least somewhere else (Korea? India? The UK?), and a whole new movement will take hold.
RPGs are a slowly fading medium, I believe. But I'd actually extend that to the idea of distinct genre. Think of how laterally the genres are moving, melding and borrowing from each other with each new title. God of War (and I am speaking strictly about the first) has a better sense of characterisation and dramatic theme than most RPGs these days. This gets back into the whole "what is an RPG" discussion, but if we can lift ourselves up from that, it's interesting to note that a lot of RPGs, if supposedly based around dramatic themes and narrative, especially in the JRPG market, simply don't deliver.
There's also an immaturity of storytelling that the JRPG needs to grow out of. I don't know if it's because of the Japanese otaku mentality, but JRPGs are almost always providing either escapism or comfort in some way. Bright, cutesy designs are more formulaic and prevalent than ever. As much as I want to like Reccetear, the critic in me is repulsed by the character designs. Not because they're "bad" (whatever that means), but because they speak to me about the mentality of the target audience. Cute, bright, and comforting.
Now, is comforting bad? Is cutesy or bright bad? Is escapism bad? Well, no.
They do limit what a developer goes into a project with. They limit and curtail how "out of the box" the thinking will be, right from the very start. If a company feels it needs to make money, it could very well compromise any vision whatsoever for appealing to a target demographic. In this, the masses really are dictating how the art is made, and that my friends is a sorry state of affairs.
There's a fine balance to be had: Companies need to respect the needs of the players, listen to criticism, and respond to it accordingly. But the audience can't fully dictate how the game is wrought. To do that is to proverbially put too many chefs on one soup. In the end, you'll wind up with a thin, watery mess with no real substance.
Oh sure, people will buy it. But people also buy McDonalds and Burger King food, despite how crummy it all is. You simply can't rely on your audience to dictate good taste. Although that may sound elitist, it's kind of a sad and painful truth. Most people will eat whatever's in front of them, and ignore a better meal in favour of a cheaper or more familiar one.
So why would a developer in a tight economy make the choice to be different or work on substance over appearances? That's kind of the problem with JRPGs right now. It became an oversaturated market (and still is), full of bandwagon-jumping developers who are looking to make money, rather than do the right thing and make a good game. Look at what happened to fighting games in the early 2000's. It's the same story all over again.
^ joining the older tired of eating same old regurgitated crap train. I still to this day love turn based battle systems, but the plots...... I don't really think this is just an American problem. The fact that there are not that many JRPGS on the ps3 or Wii at this point shows how much they are not selling. Part of it is due to the economy the other part is due stagnation and overall lack of quality.