Today we will be going over public information, compiled together in order to try and form a somewhat decent conclusion though it is mindful to note that this is no way going to be a definitive answer – that is still very much up for speculation.
Firstly, we know that From Software are currently working on three games, a dark fantasy game that Dark Souls fans will be familiar with, which further from here we will refer to as the Souls-Like game. Then, we’ve got a reboot of an old franchise, presumably Armored Core or Kings Field. Finally, we have a total mystery game rumoured to be a PS VR exclusive.
Referring to the reboot, Hidetaka Miyazaki in an interview with GNN Gamer said this when referring to Armored Core:
“Personally, I want to do it. After all, I was involved in three games in the series. Armored Core is one of the pillars of From Software Software’s lineup. But I cannot yet reveal anything.”
This is important as it lines up with another interview he did with Famitsu, in which he stated that he plans on making the “game that he wants to make now,” without being concerned about whether it is or isn’t similar to Dark Souls.
From Software was contracted to make 3 games – all of which were, of course, Dark Souls after The Ringed City was released. That contract has now expired, and the likelihood of a renegotiation is very low, as it’s important to note this key feature: in the middle of 2014 a company called Kadokawa purchased a majority stake in From Software – 80%.
This makes From Software a Kadokawa subsidiary and is still listed as such on their website. There are 3 important things to note about this big investment, the majority stake that Kadokawa purchased were in Dark Souls and Armored Core, and remember, this is 80% of shares so this is no small number, and then there’s the contract between From Software and Bandai Namco having expired, so Dark Souls is practically off the table. Finally, during the transition of partnership change, Hidetaka Miyazaki became president of From Software, and he’s already stated numerous times Dark Souls 4 won’t happen, so what’s left to keep a majority shareholder happy?
Well, the other game Kadokawa bought into, Armored Core.
With Kadokawa being their main partner and also a self-publishing company, we can’t be sure whether or not they publish to the Western market. The game God Wars: Future Past is their most recent game, yet under publishers, they are listed as Nippon Ichi Software.
This begs the question, with the new partnership From Software has with Kadokawa games, is whether this new Armored Core game going to be published to the western market by Nippon Ichi Software and then published in Japan by Kadokawa. That being said, the latest Armored Core did get published to the west via Namco Bandai.
The key thing here is tidbits of information lining up and forming a bigger picture;
- The zero interest from Miyazaki to make another Dark Souls.
- The 2014 new stakeholders Kadokawa having an invested interest in Dark Souls and Armored Core.
- Miyazaki himself saying he wants to make the games he wants.
- Miyazaki said he wants to do Armored Core.
These statements line up and form the most logical outcome to me, especially from a business perspective, as keeping such a big shareholder happy would be very high up on the ‘to-do list’.
But this is just a theory, which in itself is fine. It’s always fun to go around, finding little bits of information scattered and trying to piece them together. Lastly, we only know about one of the three games, we can put money on the likelihood of Armored Core making a return seeing as the president of the company wants it to happen, so it would make sense that the next From Software release to be a title that they’re a little more open to talking about, albeit still in a From Software fashion. We have nothing solid to go on for the other two games, so it sounds as if From Software might be further in development with this rebooted Armored Core.