Live games are raking in billions every year, and every publisher wants in on the action. But independent devs like From Software also want a slice of the earnings pie.
From Software's next game could be a big jump from games like Bloodborne, Dark Souls, and the upcoming Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Seen as the bastion for hard-as-nails survival games, FromSoft's future projects could be online-only affairs that're monetized via live service models, not unlike EA's and Activision's titles. In a recent interview with The Telegraph, FromSoft boss Hidetaka Miyazaki expressed keen interest in making a live game and actually wants to put his spin on battle royale.
"There's always the possibility [we'll make a battle royale game]. These games are definitely fun. And we're interested in the patterns they are taking. If we did it, it might be a bit different! But we're definitely interested and there's definitely that possibility in the future. We'd love to take a crack at them some day," Miyazaki told the publication.
From Software is currently working on a new Armored Core project for Sony's PlayStation 4, and it's possible the game will have some sort of optional monetized element that taps Miyazaki's vision.
Or maybe, just maybe, we'll get an online-only MMO-esque Dark Souls game at some point (think of Deep Down, or even a Dark Souls version of Monster Hunter: Online).
Miyazaki also says that all types of games are important in today's landscape, whether they be singleplayer, battle royale, or live-based MMOs. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
"We do need this diversity in the industry. Regardless of what From Software is doing, we need people making battle royale games and live services and we need people making single-player focused experiences. We feel that this diversity is what will keep everyone going."
Pivoting towards more guaranteed revenues makes sense for an indie studio like From Software. Despite having instant fame, the legendary King's Field developer must go from contract to contract to stay afloat. Having one or two primarily live-based games could fortify revenue streams and give the studio more freedom to tackle certain projects.
As games like Fallout 76 and Anthem prove, there's a danger with live games. Luckily FromSoft has experience dabbling with online multiplayer across its range of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and even Demon's Souls games. Sure these titles aren't primarily multiplayer-based, but this expertise will be used for any live games it happens to make.
I personally trust in anything From Software makes. The studio has crafted some of the most bizarre and engaging experiences available for gamers today, and their unique vision will only iterate and push any facet of gaming farther than it was before--whether it be battle royale, MMO, or simply singleplayer-only gameplay.