Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has admitted the firm missed a grand opportunity to publish FromSoftware’s Demon’s Souls in Europe and the US.
Speaking with Game Informer, Yoshida agreed with the magazine “100%” when it suggested to him Sony made a mistake but skipping over the game.
“In short, that’s what happens to any game, especially games made in Japan since the majority of them aren’t relevant to markets outside of Japan,” Yoshida explained. “There are always processes between product development and marketing in US and Europe. 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 game development is typically a vertical slice. So in the very early process, the team tried 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.”
However, Yoshida admitted his first impression of the game was negative, due to still being at the beginning of the game after two-hours playing the finished product.
“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,” he admitted. “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 [stepped in], 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.
“I hope we won’t make the same mistake again. I should have been more stubborn talking to marketing people here in North America and Europe.”