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Sony admits "dropping the ball" with Demon's Souls

Yoshida thought it was "unbelievably bad" at first.

Sony has admitted it made a big mistake deciding not to publish cult RPG hit Demon's Souls in the US and Europe.

When GameInformer suggested it was among the platform holder's biggest mis-steps this generation, Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida replied, "Absolutely! Tell me about it! 100% agree!"

Yoshida went on to explain that it had completely misjudged the quality of the game, blaming a lack off opportunity to properly try the game out during development.

"All things considered, it's part of the issue of making games in Japan. The game development in Japan typically is made horizontally where all assets are made in parallel, so it's difficult to figure out what the final state of the game is going to be.

"The western style of game development is typically a vertical slice. So in the very early process the team tries to create a small piece of the experience that resembles the final product.

"What happened with Demon's Souls was until very late in the game's development, we were not able to play the game through. There were framerate issues and the network was not up and running. We underestimated the quality of the game and to be honest, the media in Japan did the same."

He added that his own first impression of the game was extremely negative.

"For my personal experience with Demon's Souls, when it was close to final I spent close to two hours playing it and after two hours I was still standing at the beginning at the game. I said, 'This is crap. This is an unbelievably bad game.' So I put it aside.

"Luckily third party publishers, Atlus in North America and Namco in Europe, [saw its potential] and it really became a great hit outside of Japan.

"We definitely dropped the ball from a publishing standpoint, including studio management side. We were not able to see the value of the product we were making."

The fiendishly hard FromSoftware-developed title picked up a glowing 9/10 from Eurogamer when it launched on PS3 in 2009.

"It's stoic, uncompromising, difficult to get to know, but also deep, intriguingly disturbed and perversely rewarding. You can learn to love Demon's Souls like few other games in the world. But only if you're prepared to give yourself over to it," read Keza MacDonald's Demon's Souls review.

Its spiritual sequel, last year's equally unforgiving Dark Souls, was published in Europe by Namco Bandai on both PS3 and Xbox 360.

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About the Author
Fred Dutton avatar

Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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