Sony initially thought Demon's Souls was 'crap'

Platform holder admits it made a mistake not publishing the game worldwide

Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has admitted Sony "definitely dropped the ball" by not publishing From Software's PS3 exclusive Demon's Souls outside of Japan.

In a candid interview with Game Informer the Sony exec agreed that passing on Demon's Souls was one of Sony's biggest errors in software publishing this generation.

He went on to explain the rationale behind the decision, offering a breakdown of the 'horizontal' development system in Japan, which he says resulted in the game being misjudged.


"The game development in Japan typically is made horizontally where all assets are made in parallel, so it's difficult to figure out what the final state of the game is going to be," he said.

"The western style game development is typically a vertical slice. So in the very early process, the team tried to create a small piece of the experience that resembles the final product. What happened with Demon's Souls was until very late in the game's development, we were not able to play the game through."

According to Yoshida, Sony sampled the game at a time when it was technically unstable, and his own negative experiences coloured the decision making process.

"There were framerate issues and the network was not up and running. We underestimated the quality of the game and to be honest, the media in Japan did the same.

"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."

Although Sony Computer Entertainment published Demon's Souls in Japan, Atlus and Namco Bandai picked up the publishing rights for North America and Europe.

Yoshida ended by saying he hopes to avoid making similar errors of judgement in the future and, interestingly, reaffirmed that Sony is in possession of the Demon's Souls IP.

"Game development is a tough process. We start and stop many games. Some get made to the finish, but we have to make decisions. I hope we won't make the same mistake again. I should have been more stubborn talking to marketing people here in North America and Europe.

"We never sell our IPs. Well, I should never say never, but it's not our business. Our business is to grow our IP and we love Demon's Souls. From Software is a very important business partner, so we'll see."

Rumours have suggested From Software is now working on DLC for Dark Souls, the spiritual successor to Demon's Souls.