President of From Software Inc., Hidetaka Miyazaki, recently sat down with Gamespot's Tamoor Hussain to discuss the director's passion for the art of video games, and the future of the Souls franchise. As we now know, Dark Souls 3 is set to be the final installment in this beloved series. Miyazaki wants to ensure that From Software's products remain fresh and innovative, in fact "he thinks it’s critical to the future of his studio." For him, stretching Dark Souls beyond 2016 would be detrimental to his company, and the series.
Thus, we're excited to see what From Software will create beyond next year, and what sort of fresh IPs they'll deliver in the future. But for now, Miyazaki has desires for Dark Souls 3, one of which focuses on players' understanding of what Dark Souls was trying to achieve. But what is Dark Souls really about?
Will 'Dark Souls 3' Reveal What 'Dark Souls' Was Really About?
In his interview, Miyazaki was asked about the Dark Souls series and how he saw Dark Souls 3 in a greater context. Seeing as this is to mark the end of the games, did he envision some form of narrative conclusion, or will it remain ambiguous and elusive?
You know I wouldn't make everything completely clear about a story. But there is the conclusion to a large theme that has continued through the entire series, something that will leave you with the impression of what Dark Souls was really about, tell you about the overarching theme.
Of course you wouldn't make everything clear, it wouldn't be a Miyazaki game otherwise. But in our honest opinion as fans of the Souls franchise, what is the overarching theme of these games? What was From Software been exploring with games as difficult and bleak as they are? Does Miyazaki have something to say about the current state of modern gaming culture or human nature?
Examining 'Dark Souls' & Its Gameplay
For Miyazaki, the Souls series has demonstrated a certain demand for challenge. Modern gaming has become increasingly easy as developers and publishers cater towards a wider and more accessible audience. We've seen it happen with countless franchises, but apparently there were a lot us out there who were hungry for something hard as nails.
The Souls series has a reputation for its difficulty, but Dark Souls is more than just a punishingly hard game - it demonstrates a developer at the height of their artistic power. It's fascinating to me that the Souls series has actually achieved such financial, and critical success. And I think that to understand Dark Souls, is to understand a very relevant section and desire in modern gaming.
In terms of thematically understanding the Souls series, what do you feel the series explores? What is the meaning behind losing our humanity and acquiring the souls of our enemies?
Personally, I feel like Miyazaki has been exploring the cyclical nature of mankind. We've seen countless beasts and cruel lords governing the lands we liberate in these games. However, with every Souls entry we see that the world has once again been plunged into darkness. A new power takes the throne, it gradually becomes corrupt and merciless, only to be thwarted by a powerful new being; one who will eventually need to be removed themselves.
But what does Dark Souls mean to you? What do you think Miyazaki is alluding to with the conclusion of Dark Souls 3?