These Guys Want Half A Million To Prove That People Still Love JRPGs [UPDATE]

If MonkeyPaw Games raises $500,000, they'll know that gamers still love JRPGs.

The publisher, previously responsible for bringing Japanese role-playing games like Alundra and Vanguard Bandits to the PlayStation Network, is launching a Kickstarter campaign to prove that the beloved genre ain't dead yet.

Tomorrow, MonkeyPaw (and partner Gaijinworks) will kick off their Kickstarter to create a deluxe physical version of the RPG Class of Heroes 2, the company has told Kotaku. They want to release an "old-school package," the type you might have seen in games a decade ago, stuffed with maps and figures and all sorts of other collectibles. To do so, they want half a million dollars.

Update: The Kickstarter page is now live.

If this project works out, the team has a "laundry list" of other JRPGs they'd like to bring over to the United States, Gaijinworks president (and former Working Designs head) Victor Ireland told Kotaku this afternoon. Ireland, responsible for the localization of wonderful games like the Lunar series, thinks there's room in the U.S. market for a resurgence of JRPGs.

"There's tons of great RPG and related content in Japan that just isn't making it out because it's just pooh-poohed at unprofitable and written off," Ireland said. "Fortunately with the Vita getting a huge push and its PSP compatibility, we can transition these unloved ugly ducklings so they can finally be seen as the graceful swans we saw all along.

"We're looking at titles on all platforms, but there's a special emphasis on PSP because there's so many titles stuck in Japan that really need to be enjoyed here. However, even though I can't give specific titles, know that we have pursued or are closing deals on all major platforms."

Class of Heroes 2, the sequel to an Atlus-published PSP dungeon crawler (that received rather mediocre reviews), never made it to the U.S. when it was first released back in 2009. Whether or not this Kickstarter is successful, MonkeyPaw says it still plans to release digital versions of Class of Heroes 2 for PSP and its companion, Class of Heroes 2G, for PlayStation 3.

Here are some of the reward tiers that MonkeyPaw and Gaijinworks will make available for this project:

* Custom gold-sealed letters acknowledging pledged hardcore JRPG support from Victor Ireland
* Class of Heroes 2 Deluxe Pack for PSP with bronze/silver/gold commemorative pins per tier
* Class of Heroes 2 Limited Edition character plush toys
* Class of Heroes 2 Poster signed by the entire team
* Inclusion in the game's credits and ability to choose credit placement level with pledge
* Class of Heroes 2 Limited Edition Pocket Watch
* Class of Heroes 2 Limited Edition custom music box
* Grand Tier: All previous tiers and 2-night stay in LA with one hosted day at E3 2012 and dinner
with MonkeyPaw Games and Gaijinworks
* Two tiers off Kickstarter allow a trip to Japan hosted by MonkeyPaw Games and Gaijinworks
to meet the Japanese creators and another that allows fans to be drawn as a character in the
game that will ship.

"This Kickstarter really is a test case for this evolved model of digital/physical hybrids direct to fans," Ireland said. "We're excited to see it work like we think it will and really amp up the RPG market again to satisfy the fans we know are out there."