Hidetaka Miyazaki has talked about the difficulty in Elden Ring and feels “apologetic” but says that the hardship is “our identity.”
Elden Ring’s game director, Hidetaka Miyazaki has talked about the game’s punishing difficulty in an interview with The New Yorker (via, GameSpot). “I do feel apologetic toward anyone who feels there’s just too much to overcome in my games,” Miyazaki said, “I just want as many players as possible to experience the joy that comes from overcoming hardship.”
While he adds that the studio is “always looking to improve,” he clarified that “hardship is what gives meaning to the experience.” Miyazaki said “it’s not something we’re willing to abandon at the moment. It’s our identity.”
This is certainly disappointing news for players who were somewhat hopeful that the studio wanted to include more players. Last month, in an interview with PlayStation Blog, Miyazaki talked about accessibility, saying, “We don’t try to force difficulty or make things hard for the sake of it.” and added, “we try to design [FromSoftware Games] to make the cycle of repeatedly trying to overcome these challenges enjoyable in itself. So we hope that with Elden Ring and the new options it provides, it will be a success in that respect.”
He also clarified that “we have not intentionally tried to lower [Elden Ring’s] difficulty” and talks about the features such as summoning players, bypassing enemies, etc.
Elden Ring does have a few features that can be seen as wins for accessibility. However, most interviews from the last year and recent coverage talking about how accessible the game will be, or is, appear to be talking more about approachability.
In our feature on the game, we found it to contain some minor improvements from previous FromSoftware games, such as remapping and some design choices, but it was still incredibly challenging.