A few negative comments usually follow when someone mentions Activision in an internet message board. After all, the company is one of the largest in the gaming industry and boasts franchises such as Call of Duty and Destiny. There will, no doubt, be a few criticisms thrown in for good measure.
In contrast, From Software — makers of the Souls games and Bloodborne — tends to be revered. That’s probably why some gamers were surprised at the thought of the two companies teaming up to release Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. If you haven’t seen how gorgeous the game looks, check out one of its previous trailers.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — From Software… to Activision
We learned the reasoning behind it all from an interview conducted by our friends at GamesIndustry.biz. Activision producer Robert Conkey mentioned:
“When From Software knocks on your door and says ‘hey, we wanna make a game,’ you have only one answer right?”
Meanwhile, Yasuhiro Kitao, a From Software community manager also chimed in. Kitao cited that the company did try to reach out to other publishers beforehand. He also candidly admitted that the company didn’t “have the clout” to publish outside of Asia and Japan. That’s the reality of the situation, no matter how many brilliant games they’ve released in the past.
Kitao also added that Activision “loved the idea” that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice presented, as well as the following:
“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.”
Kitao also cited Tenchu as the main inspiration for the game. When they partnered with Activision, however, they began to develop Sekiro further on. Speaking to Games Industry, Kitao said that “it really evolved into its own thing.”
So yes, this is one of those rare moments when two vastly different companies are working together to create what can be a very memorable experience. We do think it would be a stretch to suddenly imagine that From Software’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice would suddenly have tons of microtransactions and paywalls. These explanations should assuage the — ahem — “fears” of gamers for a while.