Crunch at FromSoftware was like playing Dark Souls, according to one developer

Dark Souls
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

One FromSoftware employee has compared working at the studio to playing Dark Souls.

Earlier today on November 29, GamesIndustry.biz (opens in new tab) published a detailed report delving into working conditions at FromSoftware. Citing multiple anonymous current and former employees, the excellent report paints a conflicted picture of the studio, as some ex-employees reflected positively on their time at the developer, despite sometimes having to work long hours and for relatively sub-standard pay.

"It's kind of tense in a way," one FromSoftware employee said of working at the studio. "There's a lot of struggle to get things right, but if you get over the hump it is very satisfying. It's just like you defeated a boss in Dark Souls," the developer continued.

Multiple other sources go on to say that there's "some level of crunching" at FromSoftware. "There hasn't been much overtime work for me," said one employee, while another said that "during critical periods of game releases, I often had to work early mornings and overtime for two to three months."

FromSoftware has found unprecedented success this year with the launch of Elden Ring. As of August 2022, the game had sold a blistering 16.6 million units worldwide, far eclipsing that of the Dark Souls series, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Demon's Souls, and any other FromSoftware-made game in history. 

Considering this, one staff called FromSoftware's salary pay "not adequate." While FromSoftware roles start at an average of ¥220,000 per month, Japanese game industry roles pay on average between ¥231,000 to ¥735,000 per month. There's never been any indication FromSoftware intends to increase its relatively low salaries for staff.

Head over to our Elden Ring boss locations guide if you're still powering through FromSoftware's latest release. 

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.