Yoko Taro sees no point in merely copying what mainstream JRPGs have been doing for the last 3 decades, and thus opts to make his games as different from them as possible and attempts to create JRPGs geared for older JRPG players, even if it means that his games end up being niche titles with comparatively small budgets.
What’s even more remarkable is that after NieR sold modestly well in Japan but ended up being a bomb stateside, Square Enix became aware of its cult status and liked the game so much themselves that they not only funded another entry in the Drakengard franchise, they also gave the go-ahead to a sequel to NieR itself… with some of the absolute best talent in the Japanese industry, including staff from PlatinumGames (of Metal Gear Rising fame) and Akihiko Yoshida, the character designer for Bravely Default and Final Fantasy XIV.
All of this to make a sequel to a niche game that lost them money. Even Yoko himself thinks Square Enix must have been insane to greenlight the project. It’s unbelievable that Nier was even made in the first place after they made Drakengard 2 to be more in line with other mainstream RPGs of its era and the complete opposite of its predecessor. Fortunately Square Enix had minimal input on Yoko’s vision for Nier’s atmosphere and story, allowing him high creative control which further shaped the future of the series. Drakengard has now become a cult series that garnered enough interest to become a trilogy and two spinoff titles, largely on the novelty of having such evil bastards as main characters without being ironic or tongue-in-cheek.