Since AlphaDream went bankrupt back in 2019, there has been a lack of "true" Mario JRPGs. Yes, before you ask, there is Kingdom Battle, but that's more of a strategic RPG (like Fire Emblem), and Paper Mario the Origami King feels more an adventure game rather than a rpg. So it's pretty natural that I (and more people) would like to see a Mario JRPG on the Nintendo Switch.
But do we really need it?
Right now the JRPG market is kinda saturated, with few games that stand out. Now, specifically on the Switch, there are two mainly popular JRPG series that have been successful: Xenoblade (with XC1 Remastered and XC2) and Fire Emblem (especially Three Houses). The success of the genre and of the Switch convinced third party and indie developers to port some of their games/rpgs on Nintendo's console.
Let's not forbet about Pokemon though, because it's a really popular brand worldwide, and in many cases (like where I live, Italy), Nintendo is more often associated with the Game Freak's JRPG rather than Super Mario or Zelda or even Animal Crossing.
Now onto the point. The kids' jrpg scene is almost dominated by Pokemon, and in the teens' scene there are more various and more serious IPs. So it feels that there is no need for a new rpg series, let alone a Mario one.
Which brings me to the second point: can a Mario RPG make good sales?
Mainly Super Mario is known for the platformer games, and for some spinoff games (especially kart racing). Up until some time ago, there was also a niche about the two JRPG series: Mario&Luigi, and Paper Mario. The latter has gotten a change towards the action/adventure style in 2009/2010, and the first one continued on his unique style.
Popularity wise, I think that a new Mario RPG would not be as popular as any other Mario spinoff series, because of the main public's view on Mario (just a easy platformer series, having the same tropes as the first games). And given that there is a wider range of RPGs/JRPGs, I think it would make just poor sales numbers.
So yeah, even if I hope for a reboot of the M&L series made by another software house, I think the Mario RPG series has ended, and that there will be only the sports spinoffs onwards, alongside the 3D and 2D platformer series.
And you? What do you think? Do you feel that there might be the need of a new Mario RPG on the Switch? Feel free to let me know.
thank you for coming to my ted talk
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