Dark Souls 3′s Commercial Success Validates The Lack Of Easy Mode
Dark Souls 3′s strong sales has surely put to bed the idea that its difficulty is a problem. One of the core arguments about adding a easy mode was that the inclusion would increase sales. While that may have some truth to it, kudos should be paid towards From Software for sticking to their proven formula.
From Software has saw their franchise make history for publisher Bandai Namco. Dark Souls 3 has became their most successful launch day game to date, all while recording a personal best for the franchise. Dark Souls 1 & 2 failed to reach number one in the charts after their respective release. The third, and possible final, entry jumped straight in at number one. The 61% increase on Dark Souls 2′s initial sales is yet another feather in the cap.
It’s odd how the debate for adding a easy mode has since been followed by the game enjoying huge success. The challenge on offer has long generated discussion. Some see the resulting culture around the Souls games as elitist and smug ,known for muttering the manta ‘get gud’. It may be true, but is that really a bad thing?
This idea that the Souls games are not inclusive due to the challenge is crumbling. Large increases in sales surely suggest people are more willing to adapt. Fair amounts of marketing, along with the rise of streaming culture, would have played its part. On the whole, Dark Souls has become more than the cult hit it started off as. It’s a major title bringing in more and more people.
Bloodborne’s position as a PS4 exclusive was the first sign of just how popular the Souls games had become. Heavy marketing, along with Sony fronting it as a major title, allowed Bloodborne to reach out to the masses. Sony went on to express how surprised they the game sold -
”“We had expectations to do well. We looked at the Souls series as a frame of reference, and we thought we could do better than that. We did—and then some. Relative to some of our sister territories, we were being quite ambitious, but even that proved to be conservative.” ”
The release date was also a major factor, allowing Bloodborne to make a nice nest in a slow period for games. With more people awakened to the joys of From Software style games, Dark Souls 3 was set up for success. From Software have stayed away from the trend of watering down games in the name of sales. For the most part, from Demon Souls to Dark Souls 3, the core principles have remained largely the same.
Easy mode or not, the brand power Dark Souls now has means From Software can do what they wish. Preserving the very identity of the series was always key. Seeing the success of Dark Souls 3 validates From Software’s refusal to water down the product. It’s is admirable, even if it it doesn’t suit everyone