Dark Souls III is set to arrive in early 2016 and, according to director Hidetaka Miyazaki, this could very well be the last game in the series.
The Souls series should have never been a success. The first game in the series, Demon's Souls, was developed by a studio that mostly had a niche following, had a small initial launch and boasted gameplay that was extremely punishing. There were no guns to be seen and there was a minimum amount of multiplayer content. Add to that that Demon's Souls launched as a PlayStation 3 exclusive and, all told, you're looking at what should have been a very narrow audience for the game.
But just like the game demands of its players, Demon's Souls defied the odds, persevered and has since evolved into one of the most beloved franchises in modern gaming. The Dark Souls series followed, as well as the more recent PlayStation 4 exclusive and extremely similar Bloodborne.
With Dark Souls III set to launch on March 24 of next year, millions of players are currently eager for the punishment to continue. We've seen the game on display at E3 and thought it looked to boast all of the trappings that makes the Souls series so wonderful, boosted by more varied combat that seems to pull from Bloodborne.
Rather than keep this death-train running into the foreseeable future, however, it sounds like Miyazaki would prefer to wrap things up while everyone is still in love with all things Souls. He said as much in a recent interview with Gamespot, explaining that there comes a time when a story is told and a series has reached its natural conclusion. For Dark Souls, the upcoming third installation might mark just such an occasion.
I don't think it'd be the right choice to continue indefinitely creating Souls and Bloodborne games. I'm considering Dark Souls III to be the big closure on the series. That's not limited to me, but FromSoftware and myself together want to aggressively make new things in the future...I belive that FromSoftware has to create new things. There will be new types of games coming from us, and Dark Souls III is an important marker in the evolution of FromSoftware.
That, to me, is fantastic news. We live in an era where creating big games is risky business, so it makes a lot of sense for a developer to run a successful series until the wheels fall off. Dark Souls hasn't reached that point yet, but I certainly don't want to see the day where it does finally overstay its welcome. We might still see another Bloodborne game in the coming years but, with three Souls games on the books and this third installment looking to wrap up the ongoing story, now would be a good time to bow out gracefully and still on top.