Elden Ring’s launch success is fueled by loyal FromSoftware fans

I went in Elden Ring a clumsy but serious rookie. I have cleared the castle of Stormveil after much death and despair; so I set off on an adventure and quickly found myself at the top of a tower, next to a chest. Someone who got here before me was helpful leaving a message: treasure ahead!

I open the chest, get sucked through a portal, and wake up in a nightmare region of the game, full of suffering. It was the moment that something excites me; I suddenly felt like I was in on the FromSoftware experience.

Elden Ring is one of the biggest titles of the year, with over 12 million copies sold as of March 2022. The game has proven to be both a commercial and critical success, and while the publisher FromSoftware’s development has removed some of the harshest aspects of previous titles, it’s still very familiar to longtime fans of the studio. FromSoft has tinkered with many of the same design mechanics and principles over the years, and the scale of Elden RingIts success is largely due to the fanbase that the Japanese developer has cultivated through previous releases. And it is this community that not only helps me attract Elden Ringbut also fueled my interest in playing FromSoft’s past games and delving into their lore.

Character class

Image: FromSoftware via Polygon

FromSoftware is perhaps best known for the Dark Souls series of games. the soul of the devil, a 2009 release, would later be remade as a PlayStation 5 launch title in 2020, which was a smash hit. The Dark Souls trilogy will be released in the 2010s, alongside Victorian gothic horror Bloodborne in 2015 (hence the term “Soulsborne” used by many fans, incidentally to refer to the developer’s category). FromSoft also released Sengoku period adventure Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice in 2019, starting with familiar elements like persistent, troublesome Patches.

Dark Souls also influenced game design more broadly, with “Soulslike” becoming a shorthand to define certain game mechanics and characteristics. There are Soulslike games that look nothing like FromSoftware’s epic, gruesome settings. But the creators of games like Dress skillfully learned from FromSoftware and interpreted the developer’s mechanics through their own lens.

I’m the type of player who likes to dig deep into lore, uncovering little secrets about the world and its characters. At first, I missed a lot of this in Elden Ring, until I started noticing the words flavors on the item description. Much of the world is devoted to debate, spread over trivia and unreliable storytellers. It is easy to open to explore and interpret; There is no codex in the game full of world building trees or dialogue with full technical information about the world.

Elden Ring - Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon, poses. She wears an elaborate robe, a high hat, and wields a large staff. The full moon loomed menacingly behind her, creating a reflection in the water behind Rennala.

Image: FromSoftware / Bandai Namco

Many of FromSoft’s games share similar gameplay cores: There are battles that are extremely difficult, until the player puzzles out specific attack patterns and enemy movement styles. But it was the characters and the way the world was built that really drew me in, and got me interested in the entire FromSoft classic. Enemies are often incredibly tragic, whether they are cheerful, sun-loving warriors who ultimately succumb to madness and frenzy or desperate monster hunters who met by chance and fell into indescribable horror.

There is a limited amount of information about the game world, given in confusing dialogue and item descriptions. FromSoftware games follow internal consistency to its design and logic, even as developers experiment with larger aspects.

This consistency and scope has helped build one of the most passionate fan bases in the game. For many years, this was almost an epidemic; there is a nagging stereotype of the “git gud” gamer who would dismiss any criticism or concerns about the game Soulsborne with an adage: Just get better at video games. This conversation continues – and we’ll likely see debates over whether FromSoftware games should have easy modes until the universe dies from heat – but it’s slowly fading away. over time to enable a more accessible, welcoming fan experience.

Guide to Elden Ring: Respec with Larval Tears

Image: FromSoftware / Bandai Namco via Polygon

Peep Elden Ring subreddit, and you’ll see players share the repeated trials and tribulations of battling Starscourge Radahn, or share gifs of their gruesome, comical deaths at the hands of birds or the cliffs look suspicious. For every person who claimed using summons or shields wasn’t the “real” way to play the game, dozens more praised wild strategies – like intense spells, health or phoenix builds. Cool good – they used to survive.

Elden Ring was the first FromSoftware game I ever played, and that’s partly because I was intrigued by the deep sense of identity that FromSoftware fans have. I’ve watched friends go through cycles of frustration and anger, sluggish perception, and vengeful triumph over boss battles. I’ve seen people share the beautiful artwork of FromSoft characters or share their lore theories on social media. I also understand the communities built around these franchises.

FromSoftware games are collaborative and largely based on communication with other players, whether that’s through in-game messaging or gathering around creators explaining lore and sharing theories of the game. surname. There is a shared vocabulary and understanding among the fans of the developer and they work together to understand the world of FromSoft crafts. And there are local legends that inspire fan creations too, like Let Me Solo Her, a player who simply exists to be summoned into the world of a lucky ally to single-handedly. beat the game’s toughest boss – even if she’s overheard and heal an absurd amount of damage.

Malenia wearing a helmet in a screenshot from Elden Ring

Image: FromSoftware / Bandai Namco

Elden Ring Fans have also created a lot of fascinating projects around the lore and setting of the game. The developers created Elden Ring trailers and Game Boy adaptations. Players joke about the game’s difficulty and set their own challenges by playing the game on a Fisher Price controller or running the legendary nine-minute pace. Of course, there’s also a surprisingly large amount of fan art.

While the scale is surprising, adept observers can see the game’s popularity coming from afar. Even before Elden Ring launched for the public to enjoy, FromSoft fans held a vigil after each game convention, where Elden Ring Not featured or previewed. For a while, they went completely wild and created their own legends, including bosses like the “Glaive Master Hodir”. And when an additional trailer was finally released in 2021, providing more details on Elden RingAccording to legend, fans immediately assembled a beloved character: the humble Pot Boy.

Elden Ring had a similar hold for me. After Elden Ring, I was hooked; I never had a “be nice” idea, but I absolutely love to explore games like Bloodbornepick up the game and gobble it up for yourself – along with delving into fan-generated resources like Redgrave’s novel “The Hunt for Paleblood,” a 90-page dissection of Bloodbornethemes, enemies and their characters, or check out videos of enemy models to get a full feel for their designs.

Elden Ring opened the door to many fans, who might have been intrigued by the glimpses of this community they encountered here and there, but were intimidated by the “well done” line. and the reputation that the game has for extremely difficult bosses. But FromSoftware fans have been championing the game for years, sharing the best on social media and hyping subsequent releases. It should be noted that Elden RingTheir success owes much to their concerted efforts, jokes, and analysis. I was very much looking forward to the potential DLC adding more puzzles for fans to mull over, but I imagine I’ll also go through the new game, doing a winning round around Lands Between.

https://www.polygon.com/23064311/elden-ring-success-fromsoftware-fans Elden Ring’s launch success is fueled by loyal FromSoftware fans

Zack Zwiezen

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