Sony agrees that they missed an opportunity to publish a great game. In an interview with Game Informer, Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida discussed his regret in passing up Demon’s Souls.
“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,” said Yoshida.
Due to ongoing technical issues, Demon’s Souls wasn’t reviewed by Sony executives until late in the development process. When Yoshida got his hands on it, he didn’t even finish the first level.
“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.”
It would soon become apparent just how big an oversight that was. Publishers Atlus and Namco stepped in and Demon’s Souls went on to become one of the highest rated PlayStation 3 titles. The IP is still owned by Sony, so they may think twice when Demon’s Souls 2 comes up for review.
Sony’s reaction, though regrettable in hindsight, is exactly how I would expect a new player to receive Demon’s Souls. Without any preparation, that first playthrough is going to be rough. However, anyone who perseveres quickly learns that the experience is one of the most rewarding in gaming history. Call it masochistic if you like, but you just can’t beat the rush of slaying a massive demon after hundreds of failed attempts.
If you still haven’t checked out Demon’s Souls or its spiritual successor, I can’t recommend them enough. If Sony’s on board to keep the franchise alive, I welcome the punishment with open arms.