The finale of the Dark Souls franchise.
Dark Souls III is the fifth game of the Souls series. It is considered the most polished and complete Dark Souls game in the series in terms of weapons, armor, and items. It also contains the most memorable and best boss fights in the franchise.
Dark Souls III serves as a turning point for the Souls games. It marks the end of the Dark Souls series and the beginning of new games and franchises that will continue carrying the torch of Miyazaki’s creative genius.
Discover how Dark Souls III was created and the development story behind Hidetaka Miyazaki’s fourth masterpiece.
- Development Start: Jun 10, 2013
- Official Reveal: Jun 15, 2015
- Gameplay Reveal: Aug 4, 2015
- Release Date: Apr 12, 2016
Background of Dark Souls III
Even before the release of Dark Souls II, FromSoftware wanted to create the next game in the series. Development for Dark Souls III started in the middle of 2013, while Bloodborne was actively being developed. As expected, Miyazaki was not the director during the early stages of Dark Souls III’s development.
To summarize, three Souls games were being developed simultaneously, with Miyazaki focusing only on Bloodborne.
- Dark Souls II, in development from 2011 to 2014
- Bloodborne, in development from 2012 to 2015
- Dark Souls III, in development from 2013 to 2016
This reflects the assumption of FromSoftware that what Miyazaki achieved for the first two Souls games can be easily replicated. Of course, this is proven wrong, as both Dark Souls II and Dark Souls III development struggled.
Miyazaki: Dark Souls III started development when FromSoftware was working on the Dark Souls 2 DLCs. Initially, I was not part of the project. I only joined in the middle of the prototype phase. That was the milestone where I started taking the lead.
Honestly, when the team was working on the prototype, the overall development was not in good shape. We were already at the very late stage of Bloodborne development, and I had settled on a lot of the ideas for what I wanted to include in Dark Souls III.
The Finale of the Dark Souls Series
Dark Souls III marks the end of the series. This is a decision that Miyazaki supports. In several interviews, he expressed his intent to explore new ideas for new titles outside this IP.
Miyazaki: I would state that it is a grand finale in the Dark Souls series. It can be considered the huge finale of “Linking the Flame” since the original Dark Souls. We can also say that it is the stage where we begin on a new title that is not a part of the Dark Souls saga.
Turning Point for FromSoftware
While Dark Souls III was in active development, Miyazaki was promoted as company president. And one of his first decisions as a president is to end the Dark Souls series. If he were not a president during that time, he would not be able to do this.
Miyazaki: Dark Souls is my life’s work. Everything that I came up with for Dark Souls III is based on my personal choices. However, this game is also actually the turning point for the franchise. The previous FromSoftware management launched this series before I was appointed president. In this context, Dark Souls III is the turning point for the series.
As the new president of FromSoftware, I am planning to initiate several new projects. I can’t really exactly share what they are. These could be something like sci-fi, but you would have to stay tuned for more info about this in the future.
Knowll Insight: We can say that both Sekiro and Elden Ring are the results of these opportunities that opened to Miyazaki because of his new position.
Looking into the timeline, observe what followed after his promotion.
- 2014 - Miyazaki becomes FromSoftware president
- 2015 - Miyazaki works as the director of Sekiro
- 2017 - Miyazaki collaborates with George R.R. Martin
- 2017 - Miyazaki works as the director of Elden Ring
Parallel Development of Bloodborne DLC and Dark Souls III
While working as a company president, Miyazaki was also simultaneously directing two games - Bloodborne and Dark Souls III. He assured the fans that he could do it and that it had always been like this since the days of Demon’s Souls.
Miyazaki: The core message is, I think I can do it. I believe that I can do both Dark Souls 3 and the Bloodborne DLC. The main reason is that this isn’t the first time I have had to work on two projects simultaneously. While doing Demon’s Souls, I was also working on Armored Core: For Answer. Even for the first Dark Souls, I worked as both the producer and director.
In the case of Bloodborne, even though I was the lead game director, we have another director-level who contributed. This applies as well to Dark Souls 3.
Knowll Insight: Miyazaki guaranteed that he would always give the best quality for games that he directed.
Miyazaki: As long as I am listed as a game director on the end credits, there is a certain level of quality that the game must meet. I guarantee that the game quality will reach that.