Elden Ring creator Hidetaka Miyazaki on originating the Soulslike genre

February 21, 2024
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Hidetaka Miyazaki didn’t envision originating an entire genre. Yet such is the popularity of the Dark Souls games – right up to the more recent Elden Ring – that they’ve become collectively known in the gaming community as Soulslikes. That’s shorthand for games with calculating combat, high levels of challenge and repeated death, though this is of course reductive of the awe and grim majesty Miyazaki’s games evoke.

Soulslikes are everywhere now. From indie games utilising specific mechanics, to larger projects specifically trying to out-do FromSoftware at its own game. That’s testament to the influence of Miyazaki’s work, though he remains humble when discussing his oeuvre with me ahead of announcing the release of Shadow of the Erdtree, Elden Ring’s upcoming major expansion.

“We certainly didn’t come up with the term Souslike and we didn’t envision it as a new genre or a new term for the industry,” he tells me. “So of course when it first started cropping up… we were very surprised.

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