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Hidetaka Miyazaki claims Dark Souls 2 “carried” the series forward

Dark Souls 2 remains a divisive entry in the landmark RPG franchise, but Hidetaka Miyazaki believes it led to the success of Elden Ring.

Hidetaka Miyazaki Dark Souls 2: An image of Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Elden Ring is a groundbreaking achievement for FromSoftware, but many players are still revisiting the studio’s previous Soulslike games. However, Dark Souls 2 is often left on the sidelines, but creative director Hidetaka Miyazaki believes the franchise wouldn’t be as successful if it didn’t exist.

In a recent interview with IGN following the reveal of the new Elden Ring DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, Miyazaki says “I personally think [Dark Souls 2] was a really great project for us.” Although Miyazaki didn’t assume directorial efforts on Dark Souls 2, there were essential elements in the divisive RPG game that helped pave the way forward for Dark Souls 3 and beyond. At least that how is Miyazaki sees it.

“I think without it, we wouldn’t have had a lot of the connections and a lot of the ideas that went forward and carried the rest of the series,” Miyazaki explains.  Like many initially maligned games in this day and age, a cult following has formed around Dark Souls 2, with some players claiming it is one of the best games in the franchise.

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Miyazaki even goes as far as saying that “there’s really no way of telling how or if the series would have continued the way it did without Dark Souls 2.” We all know that Dark Souls 2’s reception didn’t matter in the grand scale of the franchise, but it remains as “one little area of regret” for the FromSoftware president.

“I think a supervisor role for me is just something I’m not used to and just is maybe not quite a good fit,” he says on his involvement with the game. But what about the future of the franchise past Elden Ring? Who will craft another one of the best Soulslike games around?

It sounds like Miyazaki is comfortable giving the reigns to a new voice in the future: “I think it’s very likely that we’ll see new directors going forward […] I’d like to step away from that supervisory role and give them full direction and full control over those projects.”

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Demon’s Souls, of course, laid the foundations for everything. However, we’re still very partial to the first Dark Souls game. Discovering Anor Londo still gives us chills just thinking about it, even if those pesky Silver Knights still appear in our nightmares from time to time. There’s a unique atmosphere in Dark Souls that still feels as spellbinding as it did back in 2011.

In related FromSoftware news, hopes for a Bloodborne remaster remain dashed, but at least you can pre-order Shadow of the Erdtree right now.