Publishers have fallen in love with free-to-play and microtransactions over the past few years. It seems that every franchise has a chance at inspiring a new F2P game. In a new interview, Dark Souls 2 producer Takeshi Miyazoe discussed the possibility of a free-to-play Dark Souls game being released someday.
"Not yet, and not for a while I think," Miyazoe told Edge in an interview. "It’s one of our bigger IPs right now, but it’s a new IP, so I think it’s too young to go free-to-play. And with Dark Souls I think it would be hard to monetise in that way. Pay per death? That would be terrible. From Software especially don’t want to allow players to pay for an advantage."
It should also be noted that Miyazoe first laughed and said "Yeah, right!" when asked. That makes the odds of a free Dark Souls seem even longer.
Namco Bandai has shown a clear love for free-to-play. Just this year, they announced F2P incarnations of Soul Calibur, Ridge Racer and Tekken. Those are arguably the biggest franchises that the publisher has, it's not crazy for Edge to ask whether the publisher would embark on a similar strategy with Dark Souls.
Miyazoe says that F2P wouldn't work well with Dark Souls, though, because the team doesn't believe in microtransactions. They want everyone to have the same amount of the game.
"For Dark Souls 2, we don’t even expect any additional downloadable content because we want to deliver a full game, the full experience, to fans who purchase the package from day one. We did do additional content for Dark Souls, but generally downloadable content for Dark Souls II is not really being considered. Buy the package and you’ll get the full experience, and you’ll have as much fun as anybody else. Spending a couple dollars on certain items does not help the experience. So no free-to-play yet!"
I have trouble believing that Dark Souls would work as a free-to-play game, especially if that meant paying for convenience items or boosters. The series is known for its one-size-fits-all approach. Everyone gets thrown into the game with zero information and is expecting to die, die, die until they learn the ropes. The mere suggestion of accommodating players through, say, an Easy difficulty level, makes many fans lose their shit. Dark Souls isn't the series that holds your hand. It's the series that sticks your hand in fire and tells you not to burn.
Dark Souls 2 will launch in March on the Xbox 360 and PS3. The PC version is expected "shortly after" its console counterparts.