Elden Ring and Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki discussed FromSoftware’s emphasis on difficulty, saying that “difficulty is what makes the experience meaningful.”
Since Demon’s Souls, one of the main selling points of FromSoftware games is their huge difficulty curve and how they give the player few options unless they want to learn all the mechanics from the start. While Elden Ring strives to be a bit more newbie-friendly, that focus on challenge has remained, leading creator Hidetaka Miyazaki to discuss what difficulty means for FromSoftware.
Hidetaka Miyazaki was interviewed by The New Yorker, talking about some of the core philosophies behind his games:
I have never been a very experienced player. I die a lot. So, in my work, I want to answer the question: if death should be something more than a sign of failure, how can I give it meaning? How to make death pleasant? I apologize to anyone who feels like there is too much to overcome in my games. I just want as many players as possible to experience the joy that comes from overcoming adversity.
It looks like this won’t change with future games from the studio, as Miyazaki added:
We’re always looking to improve, but in our games in particular, the difficulty is what gives meaning to the experience. So it’s not something we’re willing to give up at the moment. This is our identity.
I would not say that my life story, in grandiose terms, has influenced the way I make games. A more accurate way to look at this is problem solving. We all face challenges in our daily lives. Finding answers is always satisfying. But in life, you know, there are not many things that give us these feelings.
Elden Ring is available for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.