Hidetaka Miyazaki is “sad” that the notorious difficulty of Dark Souls is keeping some gamers from taking it on.
Dark Souls, as I understand it, is a pretty tough game. The fact that the PC version that came out a couple weeks ago is called the “Prepare to Die Edition” speaks volumes. But not everyone is a fan of its repetitive, try-and-die gameplay, and Miyazaki, who admitted that the success of the game caught him completely by surprise, said he’s worried that some potential players are staying away from it because of its fearsome reputation.
“I personally want my games to be described as satisfying rather than difficult. As a matter of fact, I am aiming at giving players sense of accomplishment in the use of difficulty,” he said in a recent interview with Metro. “Having said that, however, it is true that Dark Souls is rather difficult and a number of people may hesitate to play. This fact is really sad to me and I am thinking about whether I should prepare another difficulty that everyone can complete or carefully send all gamers the messages behind our difficult games.”
But it’s not ease that players are looking for so much as games that are “interesting and worthwhile,” he explained, so the trick is to find the balance between accessibility and challenge. “I think it is natural that hindrance or stress that does not attribute to such interesting and worthwhile elements will be removed in the end,” he continued. “If the number of easy games is increasing nowadays, I guess it is because difficulty is not related to interesting and worthwhile game elements in many games among players.”
It’s interesting that Miyazaki’s comments would follow so closely on the heels of the PC release of Dark Souls, because it begs the question of whether PC gamers, very generally speaking, have less tolerance for this sort of gameplay than their console cousins. It also dredges up the possibility of arguments and fistfights over whether Dark Souls is more “difficult” than, say, Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, or even the famously hardcore indie darling Legend of Grimrock. Are PC gamers soft, or are they just different – or is it all simply a matter of completely coincidental timing?