Sony’s Yoshida: “I thought Demon’s Souls was terrible”
Head admits not publishing the game outside of Japan was a massive mistake
Sony Worldwide Studios head Shuhei Yoshida has said that not publishing Demon’s Souls in the US and Europe was a massive mistake.
Yoshida explains the mistake as a lack of opportunity to properly test the game, and thus incorrectly thinking the game was, well, terrible.
“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.”
Yoshida recalls his own first experience of the game, saying that at the time, he thought it was “an unbelievably bad game”.
“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.”