Future FromSoft games will build on Elden Ring's "combination between freedom and difficulty," director Hidetaka Miyazaki says

Elden Ring DLC Shadow of the Erdtree
(Image credit: FromSoftware / Bandai Namco)

Developer FromSoftware isn't ready to talk about its next game, but whatever the project ends up being will snatch the baton from Elden Ring and continue "that combination between freedom and difficulty."

The studio's breakout successes - Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Sekiro, and Bloodborne - attracted a devoted cult fanbase thanks to their imposing difficulty, community-building design, and effortlessly mysterious worlds. But Elden Ring flung the studio into the mainstream, having sold over 25 million copies since launch, arguably because its open world made the Soulslike formula more accessible. Rather than throwing your character into the same jaws of death over and over and over again, Elden Ring let players turn around, run away, seek out different challenges, and then return stronger.

"Traditionally, we've always liked the higher-difficulty curve type of games and experiences," director Hidetaka Miyazaki said in an interview with CNET. "But I think that nature in and of itself alienates a portion of the game-playing audience, whereas Elden Ring succeeded in casting a wider net but at the same time keeping that core high learning curve."

Miyazaki continued to say that "an open world game or experience" isn't necessarily the reason why, rather "the degree of freedom and the amount of freedom that we give players [is what] helps balance or offset that difficulty curve and makes the game more accessible and engaging for a certain player demographic."

As Shadow of the Erdtree brings Elden Ring to a close, "that combination between freedom and difficulty will become a big hint in whatever it is we do next," Miyazaki noted. Exactly what FromSoftware is making next remains a mystery. Miyazaki previously expressed desire to continue the mech-explodathon series Armored Core, but, somewhat surprisingly, his "ideal fantasy RPG" still remains a dream in his head.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree debuted to ‘Mixed’ Steam reviews as players complained about unfair difficulty and performance troubles.

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.