FFXIII is “not an RPG”, but an “adventure game”, says SWTOR writer

Thursday, 13th May 2010 22:15 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Daniel Erickson, BioWare’s lead writer on Star Wars: The Old Republic, has offered his ideas on what consititutes an RPG.

Turns out, it’s not Final Fantasy XIII.

Speaking with Strategy Informer, Erickson was asked about how story and gameplay were brought together in SWTOR, to make it feel less of a grindfest or too linear, usuing FFXIII as an example.

Here’s what he had to say:

“Well, before I address the main point I just want to take a slightly more controversial route: You can put a ‘J’ in front of it, but it’s not an RPG. You don’t make any choices, you don’t create a character, you don’t live your character… I don’t know what those are – adventure games maybe? But they’re not RPG’s.

“Without the systems, you’re nothing. One of the things we’ve always been aware of is that a lot of people play Baldur’s Gate to death, and those people who play it 3,4,5 times aren’t story guys, they’re D&D guys.

“We know there are going to be people here for Star Wars combat, for PvP all that… and actually, what we were originally going to do was just have standard MMO combat. Two guys swinging at each other, but not interacting. It didn’t feel like Star Wars though, and it wasn’t fun.

“So we went back and prototyped this run-and-gun, lightsabers touching, choreographed combat sequences in real time. The director always holds everything we do to this ‘standard’ – does it look and feel like Star Wars? If no, fail”.

SWTOR is out next spring, and you can check out our latest interview with the game’s executive producer, Jake Neri, through here.



  1. Erthazus

    It’s not even an adventure game, it’s a mess and pile of crap.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Dralen


    #2 5 years ago
  3. zoopdeloop

    He doesn’t even have a clue of what are the basic elements among others that define an RPG altogether.they are not the ones he mentioned.
    FFXIII is a special occasion even in the franchise and differs but it has those basic elements

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Aimless

    I don’t think he’s totally wrong as FFXIII doesn’t fit in with the criteria of a traditional Western RPG, but on the other hand the bifurcation of the genre between East and West has been obvious for, what, 20 years?

    You can put a ‘J’ in front of it because they are demonstrably different styles of game; they’re like third- and first-person shooters, clearly distinctive whilst similar in many respects.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. BlueOne

    they just thinking about new style ,they dont work 4 fans or maybe they just want new fans 2 love those games

    #5 5 years ago
  6. zoopdeloop

    @4 you have point.
    Still JRPG’s WRPG’s share the same basic elements that define them.
    1. statistical setup for characters that describe certain skills/aspects of that character.
    2. a method of increasing and strengthening those statistics
    3. a menu-driven combat system that utilizes the skills/aspects of the characters.

    There is a lot of misunderstanding of what defines a RPG and what not.
    FF’s were always RPG’s.Zeldas on the other hand as an example (even though they are GREAT) they have always been Adventure games

    #6 5 years ago
  7. theevilaires

    Have to say it: FFXIII is pure SHIT! and its M$ fault!

    #7 5 years ago
  8. zoopdeloop

    I don’t think it is shit TEA…i think it was decent, but if you have to blame someone ,blame SE. it was clearly their choice how the game will be,where it would be released (having in mind the different formats and limitations)
    apparently they lost it somewhere between these parts and the result isn’t great

    #8 5 years ago
  9. theevilaires

    Yea zoop I was shocked how ass backwards the game was and I really did feel like I was playing an inferior product even though it wasn’t the 360 version.

    I so hope FF versus XIII benefits from being PS3 exclusive but this is the worst FF game I have played yet especially since FFX was so damn good and this was the same team behind it.

    Its so fucking infuriating watching this industry turn into shit. All publishers and devs care about are fucking green paper now. The fun is being drained out and when next gen hit its just going to get worst I fear.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. MegaGeek1

    @9 “Its so fucking infuriating watching this industry turn into shit. All publishers and devs care about are fucking green paper now.”

    On the bright side, hardcore gamers are to smart for this type of bullshit. If we could just get the rest of the EA and Activision consuming masses to follow suit, things would have to change.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. NoxNoctisUmbra

    FFXIII is a chix flick!

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Johnny Cullen


    #12 5 years ago
  13. Blerk

    SquareEnix ruined Final Fantasy long before Microsoft came anywhere near it. :-)

    #13 5 years ago
  14. zoopdeloop

    I have to agree with Blerk on this one…i do think that the FF franchise was taking the downhill from a long time ago.
    Although SE has some good ideas they don’t know how to use them properly.FFXIII seemed to me(although i kinda liked it a) a desperate attempt from SE to match FFVII sales hence the many obvious similarities they share.
    As for fun being compromised for the sake of green paper as you call it TEA…spot on :)

    #14 5 years ago

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