Elden Ring director talks about the game’s difficulty and studio identity

Ben Bayliss2 minute read

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.”

Watch ELDEN RING – Rise, Tarnished | Official Launch Trailer on YouTube

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.

Elden Ring is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X.

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Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at: ben@caniplaythat.com

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