Japanese RPGs are arguably less popular in the West now than they were ten years ago (not counting Final Fantasy's ongoing success). According to Bioware's co-founder, the genre's fall is partly due to a lack of evolution and progression in the genre...
"The fall of the JRPG in large part is due to a lack of evolution, a lack of progression," Zeschuk said. "They kept delivering the same thing over and over. They make the dressing better, they look prettier, but it's still the same experience.
"My favorite thing, it's funny when you still see it, but the joke of some of the dialogue systems where it asks, 'do you wanna do this or this,' and you say no. 'Do you wanna do this or this?' No. 'Do you wanna do this or this?' No. Lemme think -- you want me to say 'yes.' And that, unfortunately, really characterized the JRPG."
Zeschuk admits that there are definitely exceptions coming from the East (Demon's Souls is currently one of his favorite games), but North American definitions of role-playing have simply evolved beyond those of their counterparts on the other side of the world. "We have big debates on whether GTA is an RPG, for example. It's got all the elements, it just doesn't have the numbers. And what gamers here want is that higher depth, that higher integration of features...Mass Effect 2 is in some ways a continuation of that evolution."