Souls series producer Hidetaka Miyazaki spoke out about the difficulty of games like Elden Ring, saying they were a part of From Software’s identity.
In an interview with the New Yorker, he talked about the Souls series now-iconic levels of difficulty, saying that the satisfaction in games like Elden Ring were meant to be derived from overcoming hardship.
“We are always looking to improve, but, in our games specifically, hardship is what gives meaning to the experience,” Miyazaki says. “So it’s not something we’re willing to abandon at the moment. It’s our identity.”
That being said, he wasn’t trying to gatekeep either by assuming that only the hardest core of players would be able to enjoy his series, which has garnered a passionate fanbase over the years.
Instead, he counts himself among players who enjoy the game but consider themselves unskilled:
“I’ve never been a very skilled player,” Miyazaki says. “I die a lot. So, in my work, I want to answer the question: If death is to be more than a mark of failure, how do I give it meaning? How do I make death enjoyable?”
This has been common advice within the Souls community, to people who get demotivated from the constant death screens in the game.
Rather than view death as a game over, the game resets upon death, simply lining up all the pieces for you to try again, even resetting your number of healing flasks.
“I do feel apologetic toward anyone who feels there’s just too much to overcome in my games,” Miyazaki says. “I just want as many players as possible to experience the joy that comes from overcoming hardship.”