Hidetaka Miyazaki talks about From Software’s different game design approach with their upcoming game.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, From Software’s next game, was revealed at E3 2018, but other than the usual excitement you’d expect to surround a game coming from such a beloved developer, there was also some level of apprehension over their partnership with Activision, who probably don’t have as much goodwill as From Software do.
Since then, a few people have expressed doubts that Activision might try and make From Software dumb down their game, which would be hugely contrasting with what their design philosophy was with the wildly successful Soulsborne games. From Software CEO and Sekiro director Hidetaka Miyazaki, though, has tried to assuage some of those fears.
While speaking on this matter with Edge (September 2018, Issue 322), Miyazaki made it clear that From won’t compromise on their vision for Sekiro to appeal to any particular type of player, while also speaking a bit about how exactly the idea for the game came to the developers. “We’re not consciously trying to make a game that’s oriented towards a certain subset of users,” Miyazaki said. “We’re making games for people that love games.”
Interestingly enough, Miyazaki went on to mention how Tenchu, a series both From Software and Activision have a history with (with From having acquired the rights to the IP from the publisher in 2004), also had some level of influence while they were conceptualizing what Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice would be, which is reflected most of all in the light stealth mechanics that will be seen in the upcoming game.
“When we first started discussing what this project would be, we decided we wanted to make a game with a Japanese setting,” said Miyazaki. “From that stemmed the discussion of ninja. This of course spurred discussion of Tenchu, which is a title both From and Activision have a history with. From these ideas – Tenchu, Japan, and ninja – come these light stealth mechanics. They just naturally weave themselves into the design.”
That actually makes a lot of sense. In fact, when Sekiro was first teased last year as simply Shadows Die Twice, a great many people had suspected that it was going to be a new Tenchu game. To hear that it takes cues from the classic title is certainly encouraging. As for From Software’s working relationship with Activision, Miyazaki has gone on record in the past to state that Sekiro is actually benefiting greatly from the publisher’s support. For those who’re worried that they might be dumbing their game down, don’t be- supposedly, it’s going to be even harder than Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice launches in 2019 for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC.