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Elden Ring director feels "apologetic toward anyone" who finds FromSoftware games too hard

"It’s our identity."

Elden Ring has revived the familiar talking points around FromSoftware games: are they too hard? Should they have an easy mode?

Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director of all of these games, spoke about the subject in a new interview with Simon Parkin in the New Yorker. "We are always looking to improve, but, in our games specifically, hardship is what gives meaning to the experience," he says. "So it’s not something we’re willing to abandon at the moment. It’s our identity."

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"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?"

"I do feel apologetic toward anyone who feels there’s just too much to overcome in my games. I just want as many players as possible to experience the joy that comes from overcoming hardship."

Miyazaki resists attempts to link his games' difficulty to experiences in his life or career. "I wouldn’t say that my life story, to put it in grandiose terms, has affected the way I make games," he says. "A more accurate way to look at it is problem solving. We all face problems in our daily lives. Finding answers is always a satisfying thing. But in life, you know, there’s not a lot that gives us those feelings readily."

While Miyazaki is not willing to remove the hardship from his work, Ed did find his latest "the most encouraging Souls yet" in his Elden Ring review. He cites the ability to summon ghostly animals to your side, among other things. "That's the thing about Elden Ring, its open world has your back, in its own - often painful - way." (We've got your back to with our Elden Ring guides.)

Miyazaki makes no such admission to The New Yorker, but the whole article is worth reading for a rare insight into his motivations and managerial style.

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In this article

Dark Souls

PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Elden Ring

PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

PS4, Xbox One, PC

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Graham Smith avatar

Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.