The Making of Dark Souls III
GAMES

The Making of Dark Souls III

2013- 2016

Dark Souls III is the fifth game of the Souls series. It is considered the most polished and most complete Dark Souls game in the series, in terms of weapons, armors, and items. It also contains the most memorable and best boss fights in the franchise.

Dark Souls III serves as a turning point for the Souls games. It marks the end of the Dark Souls series and the beginning of new games and franchises that will continue carrying the torch of Miyazaki's creative genius.

Discover how Dark Souls III was created and the development story behind Hidetaka Miyazaki's fourth masterpiece.

Overview

Development Start: Jun 10, 2013
Official Reveal: Jun 15, 2015
Gameplay Reveal: Aug 4, 2015
Release Date: Apr 12, 2016

Background of Dark Souls III

Even before the release of Dark Souls II, FromSoftware wanted to create the next game in the series. Development for Dark Souls III started in the middle of 2013, while Bloodborne was actively being developed. As expected, Miyazaki was not the director during the early stages of Dark Souls III development.

To summarize, three Souls games were being developed simultaneously, with Miyazaki focusing only on Bloodborne.

  • Dark Souls II, in development from 2011 to 2014
  • Bloodborne, in development from 2012 to 2015
  • Dark Souls III, in development from 2013 to 2016

This reflects the assumption of FromSoftware that what Miyazaki achieved for the first two Souls games can be easily replicated. Of course, this is proven wrong, as both Dark Souls II and Dark Souls III development struggled.

Miyazaki: Dark Souls III started development when FromSoftware was working on the Dark Souls 2 DLCs. Initially, I was not part of the project. I only joined at the middle of the prototype phase. That was the milestone where I started taking the lead.

Honestly, when the team was working on the prototype, overall development was not in good shape. We were already at the very late stage of Bloodborne development, and I had settled on a lot of the ideas for what I wanted to include in Dark Souls III.

The Finale of the Dark Souls Series

Dark Souls III marks the end of the series. This is a decision that Miyazaki supports. In several interviews, he expressed his intent to explore new ideas for new titles outside this IP.

Miyazaki: I would state that it is a grand finale in the Dark Souls series. It can be considered as the huge finale of "Linking the Flame" since the original Dark Souls. We can also say that it is the stage where we begin on a new title that is not a part of the Dark Souls saga.

Turning Point for FromSoftware

While Dark Souls III was in active development, Miyazaki was promoted as company president. And one of his first decisions as a president is to end the Dark Souls series. If he were not a president during that time, he would not be able to do this.

Miyazaki: Dark Souls is my life's work. Everything that I came up with for Dark Souls III is based on my personal choices. However, this game is also actually the turning point for the franchise. The previous FromSoftware management launched this series before I was appointed president. In this context, Dark Souls III is the turning point for the series.

As the new president of FromSoftware, I am planning to initiate several new projects. I can't really share exactly what they are. These could be something like sci-fi, but you would have to stay tuned for more info about this in the future.

Knowll Insight: We can say that both Sekiro and Elden Ring are the results of these opportunities that opened to Miyazaki because of his new position.

Looking into the timeline, observe what followed after his promotion.

2014 - Miyazaki becomes FromSoftware president
2015 - Miyazaki works as the director of Sekiro
2017 - Miyazaki collaborates with George R.R. Martin
2017 - Miyazaki works as the director of Elden Ring

Parallel Development of Bloodborne DLC and Dark Souls III

While working as a company president, Miyazaki was also simultaneously directing two games - Bloodborne and Dark Souls III. He assured the fans that he could do it and that it has always been like this since the days of Demon's Souls.

Miyazaki: The core message is, I think I can do it. I believe that I can do both Dark Souls 3 and the Bloodborne DLC. The main reason is that this isn't the first time I had to work on two projects simultaneously. While doing Demon's Souls, I was also working on Armored Core: For Answer. Even for the first Dark Souls, I worked as both the producer and director.

In the case of Bloodborne, even though I was the lead game director, we have another director-level who contributed. This applies as well for Dark Souls 3.

Knowll Insight: Miyazaki guaranteed that he would always give the best quality for games that he directs.

Miyazaki: As long as I am listed as a game director on the end credits, there is a certain level of quality that the game must meet. I guarantee that the game quality will reach that.