From Software, the developers behind Demon’s Souls, its spiritual successor Dark Souls and its sequel, has been bought out by publisher Kadokawa, according to a report by Siliconera. The publisher is said to have acquired 80 percent of the developer’s stock, with the deal set to be finalized on May 21 of this year. From Software has been around since 1986, putting out well received franchises like Tenchu and Armored Core before hitting success with Demon’s Souls in 2009. The spiritual follow-up Dark Souls revamped the game by adding bonfires as checkpoints and estus flasks instead of consumable healing items. The game hit in 2011 and was a big hit as well, gaining a large following from gamers looking to be challenged in a time when many games are far more lenient on players. Dark Souls II was released in March of this year, tweaking the formula slightly, combining bits of Demon’s Souls (leveling up with an NPC at a central hub) with the first game (bonfire checkpoints, etc), and has been received well by fans and critics alike.
Kadokawa is comprised of a group of publishing companies that deal with a wide array of products, including games, films, and books. It was originally founded in 1954 as Kadokawa Shoten, was renamed as Kadokawa Holdings in 2003, and again renamed as Kadokawa Group Holdings in 2006. At that time the company was comprised of nine units, which were merged together under Kadokawa Corporation. The publisher was responsible for distributing some of Suda51’s titles, including Lollipop Chainsaw, and is beginning its own foray into developing games with the upcoming RPG Natural Doctrine.
Naotoshi Zin of From Software believes that the deal will allow for the creation of “more in-depth games”, and that the deal will overall prove beneficial for both parties.
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