Namco releases a statement clarifying Hidetaka Miyazaki’s earlier statement on introducing an easier difficulty setting for Dark Souls in order to make it more accessible for gamers.
When Demon Souls was released as a PlayStation 3 exclusive all those years ago, it was something that many gamers had not experienced, pain. The game was brutal, unforgiving and brilliant, despite taking players to the verge of throwing their controllers at the screen in frustration.
However, the gameplay, sound and everything about it had players coming back for more, although the number of players may have been a problem for the game’s developer and publisher. The fact of the matter is that Demon Souls appealed to specific audience, almost a cult, as many mainstream gamers were put off by the unapologetic nature of the game.
Dark Souls, the sequel to the game, introduced Xbox 360 players to the same experience and PC gamers will be enduring the same torture right about now as well. However, despite receiving positive reviews from critics and appreciation from fans of the series, the game failed to sell as well as many other games of the same calibre.
The reason for this was how many gamers could not come to grips with just how brutal the game was as well as its steep learning curve. This resulted in Hidetaka Miyazaki publicly confessing the fact that he was contemplating introducing an easy mode into the game, which would allow more players to finish it and therefore more players who would want to play it.
The news was met with an angry outburst from the games existing community who felt that the new mode would destroy the essence of the series. However, it now turns out that Mr. Miyazaki was misquoted, or rather mistranslated.
Namco released a statement in the hopes of clarifying the bit of mistranslation. The statement, with the correct translation read:
“The fact is really sad to me and I am thinking about how to make everyone complete the game while maintaining the current difficulty and carefully send all gamers the messages behind it.”
How on Earth Mr. Miyazaki plans to accomplish that is something that will have everyone guessing. It seems the saying ‘you live by the sword, you die by the sword’ is applicable in this situation as Namco has built a reputation and a brand image with the Souls games, which now seems hard to break.
However, one has to feel for Namco, who provided an original, fresh experience but failed to reap the financial rewards of their efforts because players found it too hard a game to play. Which really does make one wonder if there is room for innovation in the medium, if everyone just wants to win all the time instead of facing challenges.