FromSoftware. Everybody's favorite Dark Souls developer. After Elden Ring, many are wondering about a possible Elden Ring 2 or maybe even a Dark Souls 4, while others sit quietly in the corner and dream about a world where Bloodborne's playable at 60FPS. However, some folks wonder if FromSoftware is working on exclusive games, be they for Microsoft or Sony, and various rumors out there support both ideas.
So, in this article, we're here to tell you everything you need to know about whether or not FromSoftware is working on an Xbox/PlayStation exclusive.
FromSoftware and PlayStation: Is An Exclusive Coming?
This is actually reasonably likely.
Why? Well, first up, there are a few rumors suggesting directly that FromSoftware is working on an exclusive game for PS5 (though some argue there's a chance it could be for PSVR 2) where Sony will own the IP and FromSoftware will develop the game.
Beyond that, though, there isn't much in the way of leaked details about what this game could be outside of that it's not supposed to be a Bloodborne 2, a Demon's Souls 2, or really any kind of follow-up to an existing franchise and rather a totally new IP. Other rumors suggest that this game will be more like Souls than Sekiro, but there isn't really any info out there about specifics.
However, there's also a lot of reason to think FromSoftware is working on a PlayStation exclusive outside of the rumors saying that, well, because FromSoftware has been making PlayStation exclusives for over a decade with Demon's Souls in 2009 and Bloodborne in 2015. Both of those games were exclusive to Sony's PlayStation and were new IPs, too.
Essentially, once a console generation since the PS3 FromSoftware tends to release a PlayStation-exclusive game, and considering Demon's Souls kicked off the Dark Souls franchise and Bloodborne is a beloved cult classic to this day, there's a lot of reason to be excited about whatever PlayStation exclusive FromSoftware has got cooking behind-the-scenes.
Of course, though, this is all speculation at the moment. While rumors suggest it's happening and it would only make sense given Sony and FromSoftware's history, no especially good evidence has been found or official confirmation has been given about any of it, so we'll have to wait and see.
FromSoftware and Microsoft: Is An Exclusive Coming?
This is where it gets interesting.
So, FromSoftware hasn't done Microsoft/Xbox exclusive games in the same way it's done exclusives for Sony, so in a sense, a Microsoft-exclusive FromSoftware project would be quite unusual. Though, if you look at it in the sense of 'FromSoftware makes exclusive games, so why not an Xbox exclusive for once' then it might sound a little less strange.
Nonetheless, there are some rumors about this. Reportedly, FromSoftware is working with Microsoft on an exclusive sci-fi RPG, but outside of this report from 2021, there really isn't anything else out there talking about this possibility, much like the rather scant evidence there currently is for FromSoftware to be working on a PS5 exclusive.
Though, it's certainly not impossible, and Microsoft has, in recent years, been very aggressive with its tendency towards buying different studios and trying to beef up its library of games exclusive to Xbox and PC, so Microsoft trying to secure an exclusive game from one of the most popular studios in the world, FromSoftware, wouldn't necessarily feel too out of place.
FromSoftware has been continually growing as a studio, and the brand usually has a couple of projects going at any one time, so it may well be the case that the studio is working on exclusive games for both Sony and Microsoft in the background as well as, perhaps, Elden Ring DLC and the finishing touches for the latest installment of the Armoured Core franchise.
Only time will tell.
Why Would FromSoftware Make Exclusives?
Naturally, if you spend the years of time it takes to make a game only to sell it on a particular platform, especially when you're one of the most popular studios in the world, you're likely to sell fewer copies than you would if the game was multiplatform.
However, there's no doubt that any agreement reached between FromSoftware and Microsoft or Sony would certainly involve a substantial amount of money going into FromSoftware's bank account, as a FromSoftware exclusive is the type of thing that many folks would outright consider buying a console to play.
Focusing on one platform, also, gives the studio some extra bandwidth to focus on making a game as beautiful and deep and rich as possible, considering they won't have to worry about porting the game to various platforms and making sure it works well on every platform.
Of course, though, that's not to say that exclusive FromSoftware games are necessarily 'better' than the company's multiplatform games. Ultimately, the value in creating exclusive games for FromSoftware is the money the studio would get upfront from Microsoft or Sony while Microsoft and Sony would get to enjoy having an extremely popular game exclusive to their platforms.
Is FromSoftware Making Exclusive Games Good News?
If you've got the platform the exclusive comes to, well, then sure. Another FromSoftware game is always a good thing. However, in general, FromSoftware games going exclusive, while great for a platform, isn't really that great for consumers, for actual gamers.
Bloodborne is a perfect example. It's arguably FromSoftware's most beloved game that was a critical hit, a commercial success, and a game that's even formed a dedicated cult following many years after its release, but unfortunately, if you've never owned a PS4 or PS5, you'll never have had a chance to try out Bloodborne.
What's more is that particularly with FromSoftware, creating exclusives creates problems. FromSoftware has never been a studio at the cutting edge in terms of tech, be it performance or graphical fidelity, and usually makes games that run reasonably well and, in terms of graphics, look about as detailed as you'd expect games of whichever generation to look.
However, FromSoftware games do have a tendency to have performance issues, like framerate drops and stuttering. Bloodborne is especially guilty of this, offering up an unstable 30FPS that has frame-pacing problems which add up to the game never feeling especially smooth when playing.
But if Bloodborne was multiplatform, modders on PC, for example, would have likely solved these problems by now. If it was available on Xbox, well, there's a good chance that Microsoft's FPS Boost tech would enable gamers to play Bloodborne at 60FPS by now, too. Unfortunately, as a PlayStation exclusive, these problems have never been addressed.
So, in that sense, FromSoftware games that routinely turn into gaming classics getting locked to a particular platform certainly have some downsides outside of the traditional idea that exclusives aren't especially good for gamers because fewer gamers will have access to that game than would otherwise.
Though, there is definitely some truth to the idea that these problems of the past with FromSoftware exclusive might not be problems anymore. Considering how powerful Series X and PS5 really are, well, there's good reason to think that any exclusive game would be able to tap into that power and offer up, at least, 60FPS performance, while if a game was Microsoft exclusive it would almost certainly come to PC as well as Xbox, opening up modding.
On the other hand, though, Elden Ring, FromSoftware's latest game, had tons of performance issues and technical problems spread across the generations and platforms, most especially on PC, so there's not necessarily a guarantee that a FromSoftware game will perform all that well, at release, on a technical level regardless of what platforms it comes out on.
Will We Ever See Sequels to Bloodborne or Demon's Souls?
Bloodborne and Demon's Souls are both PlayStation-exclusive FromSoftware games that each have their own dedicated communities, most especially Bloodborne. Accordingly, many gamers want to see these games get sequels, but is that ever going to happen?
The short answer is no, but the longer answer is maybe.
So, FromSoftware isn't a studio that makes a lot of sequels, preferring to tread new ground and work on new and exciting projects. And if the company was to make a sequel to either of these games, they'd have to be PlayStation exclusives since owns the IP for both.
And if Sony's going to make a deal with FromSoftware to produce another exclusive, which as described above isn't too unlikely, well, the chances are that Sony will want to get the most out of that deal and get FromSoftware to create a totally new masterpiece that may well encourage more people to buy PlayStations than by following up games they've already played.
Usually, in media, sequels are more reliably successful than new IP, but that equation changes a bit with FromSoftware. This is a studio that's been making fresh IP for well over a decade (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro, and Elden Ring), and considering each game FromSoftware puts out fills its own niche, it would make some sense to prefer a new experience from the developer rather than have them retread older ideas from the perspective of a platform-holder that will likely only get one exclusive in a generation.
Put simply, all of the above is to say that we're probably not getting sequels to Demon's Souls or Bloodborne, at least not anytime soon and not from FromSoftware. There is a chance that Sony, since they own the IP for those games, outsources the development of a sequel to a different studio, but that's an admittedly unlikely thing to happen.
FromSoftware is an iconic developer with a very unique style, so filling FromSoftware's shoes would no doubt prove challenging. Though, there are certainly many talented, world-class studios under the Sony first-party umbrella, so if a particular studio one day comes to Sony with a vision for a Bloodborne 2, for example, there may be a chance.
Once again, only time will tell, but we wouldn't bet on it.