“We’re able to leave things on the chopping board”: Hidetaka Miyazaki and FromSoft Have One Advantage That Makes Them Infinitely Better Than Bethesda at Open World Games

Miyazaki and Fromsoft Have Struck Gold

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SUMMARY

  • FromSoftware, led by the visionary Hidetaka Miyazaki, has carved out a unique niche in the gaming world with its “Soulslike” games
  • Their success and critical acclaim can be attributed to their unique philosophy of trust and freedom in game design.
  • This trust has enabled the creation of open-world masterpieces like Elden Ring, where the sense of adventure and discovery shines.
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The art of crafting an engaging open-world game is the hardest it has ever been in the history of gaming. But Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team at FromSoftware have managed to set themselves apart in a significant way. 

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Unlike many developers who meticulously guide players through every step, Miyazaki trusts players to uncover the game’s secrets on their own. This trust fosters a sense of adventure and discovery that is often missing in more traditionally structured games.

How Hidetaka Miyazaki and Fromsoft Approach Game Design

How Hidetaka Miyazaki and Fromsoft Approach Game Design
How This Unique Approach To Game Design Works With Players | FromSoftware

In an interview with IGN, Hidetaka Miyazaki talked about the upcoming Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC and reflected on Elden Ring and Fromsoft’s games. When asked what it was that made him and Fromsoft deliver AAA experiences to fans so consistently, he said:

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I think one area is we’re able to understand quickly what we want to make and [are] able to make these decisions early on in development. We’re able to iterate and we’re able to leave things on the chopping board.

Miyazaki’s approach to game design emphasizes player trust and the thrill of discovery. He believes that true adventure stems from the unknown, a philosophy that drives the creation of open worlds in FromSoftware games.

We’re able to go ahead with ideas and a quick pace. We’re able to quickly change and quickly decide on the kind of game we want to make.

The success of Fromsoft titles can be attributed to Miyazaki’s deep trust in his players and development team. He believes that giving players the freedom to explore and face challenges head-on creates a more rewarding experience, which in turn betters the immersion of the player. 

This decisive approach with the idea of making haste, leaving unnecessary elements “on the chopping board” allows the Fromsoft team to streamline the game’s development. This efficiency allows them to deliver high-quality, polished experiences without excessive delays. 

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How This Unique Approach To Game Design Works With Players

How This Unique Approach To Game Design Works With Players
How Hidetaka Miyazaki and Fromsoft Approach Game Design | FromSoftware

FromSoftware and Hidetaka Miyazaki‘s ability to innovate within the open-world format is highlighted by the success of Elden Ring. This game married the intricate design of their previous titles with an expansive, open environment, offering a fresh yet familiar experience. 

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The absence of traditional guiding tools like quest markers encourages players to engage more deeply with the game world, discovering its secrets at their own pace. This stands in stark contrast to say, Bethesda’s more guided and sometimes predictable narratives.

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Moreover, the thematic elements of FromSoftware’s games create a distinctive atmosphere that sets them apart. Their dark fantasy worlds are filled with decaying ruins and haunting landscapes, providing a stark contrast to the more vibrant and populated settings found in other modern titles.

How This Unique Approach To Game Design Works With Players
Elden Ring’s DLC comes out in less than a week | FromSoftware

The community’s reaction to FromSoftware’s games further underscores their success. Despite the initial difficulty and lack of hand-holding, players have embraced the challenge and intricacies of the Souls-like games, creating a dedicated and passionate fanbase.

Ultimately, FromSoftware’s advantage lies in its deep trust in players, efficient development processes, and a community that thrives on discovery and challenge. These elements, combined with Miyazaki’s visionary leadership, make FromSoftware’s open-world games not only distinct but also superior.

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Written by Daniel Royte

Articles Published: 171

Daniel is a gamer through and through with a passion for gaming in his veins. His current adventures have taken him into the world of Elden Ring, Wuthering Waves, and Genshin Impact, amongst others.