Despite only announcing one title, FromSoftware went to E3 2018 with many surprises up its sleeves. For one, the Dark Souls studio revealed Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Surprisingly, the reveal took place on the Xbox stage. Another facet of the announcement that raised eyebrows is the game’s publisher—Activision. Why FromSoftware chose not to re-team with Sony (Demon Souls and Bloodborne publisher) or Bandai Namco (Dark Souls publisher) continues to astound. There’s a reason behind the decision and FromSoftware is finally making the rest of us privy to it.
Recently, FromSoftware Community Manager Yasuhiro Kitao spoke to Gameindustry.biz about the matter. Apparently, a desire to publish outside of Asian territories led to the studio’s choice of publisher. Kitao told the publication,
So initially when we had this project proposal we took it to a number of companies. We don’t have the clout to publish outside of Asia and Japan, and so Activision was one of the companies we approached and one of the companies who said they would like to talk.
And they absolutely loved the idea; they loved the project right from the start. They really respected our vision, and also along the way they were able to provide user testing and feedback that we simple can’t handle so it was really beneficial.
Regardless of the rationale behind the decision, fans of FromSoftware have shared concerns about what the partnership means for Sekiro. Activision’s reputation as a not so consumer-friendly publisher is primarily disquieting. However, FromSoftware has been adamant about reassuring people.
Activision’s Marketing Director, Michelle Fonseca also chimed in on the topic.
We’re obviously providing [FromSoftware] with a number of resources. Whether its financial or just the infrastructure that we have.
We know how to take big games to market. We know how to publish and market these games in the Western market, and in the eastern side… so using these resources helps to get the game in as many hands as possible and that’s what we’re here to do for these guys.
At the very least, fans can rest assured that microtransactions won’t be an issue. But no matter what comes of this odd union between Activision and FromSoftware, the partnership is a boon for both. There’s no telling what these two companies simultaneously stepping out of their comfort zones could mean, going forward.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice launches on the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One on March 22, 2019.