Hidetaka Miyazaki is on the 2023 TIME 100 List - and he’s more than deserving

Hidetaka Miyazaki is on the 2023 TIME 100 List - and he’s more than deserving
Images: FromSoftware

Written by 

Joseph Kime


18th Apr 2023 09:39

The TIME 100 Most Influential People list comes around with its fair share of surprises every year. It doesn't seem to have much hold over the movement of pop culture, but it still serves as a great reflection of the people doing the most good in the world right now - even though there have been some pretty big flubs over the years (we're looking at you, Elon, you big weirdo).

TIME might not always get it right, but there's little doubt that those included in the list are offered some pretty high regard - and a new alumnus of the list offers a return to respect for video game directors on a wider scale. And it couldn't be more deserving.

Hidetaka Miyazaki is in the TIME 100

Hidetaka Miyazaki is on the 2023 TIME 100 List - and he’s more than deserving
Click to enlarge

As this year's TIME 100 was released, we scrolled through the list to find familiar faces and expected articles, with Pedro Pascal, Salman Rushdie and Mr Beast all making appearances, but most surprising to see in such illustrious company was Hidetaka Miyazaki, game director of Elden Ring and president of FromSoftware. He has become the second game developer to ever appear on the list, joining only the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto, who debuted on the list in 2007.

This is naturally, a massive deal - for any developer to transcend the curtain of creation that game development offers and join the mainstream should be celebrated in the first place, but to join the upper echelon of people expected to be the absolute trailblazers of the human race is an entirely different beast altogether. And while there are many other creators that have deserved this title (Miyazaki's TIME biographer and creator of The Last of Us Neil Druckmann, for one), the induction of the FromSoftware head is truly historic - not just for what Elden Ring strives to be, but for video games at large.

FromSoftware deserves this accolade

Hidetaka Miyazaki is on the 2023 TIME 100 List - and he’s more than deserving
Click to enlarge

When it comes to industry impact since 2007, there are few that have made a splash quite like Miyazaki. Evolving from the cult status of Demons Souls and Dark Souls, to the slice-and-dice style amalgam of Sekiro, now to the giant that is Elden Ring, it's not just games being pioneered by FromSoftware under Miyazaki - it's entire genres.

Many feared that the SoulsBorne structure wouldn't be able to break the mainstream, but it turns out that an open world that doesn't take away from the crushing, satisfying-to-topple difficulty that the studio has made into a trademark.

The uniqueness of each player's experience in a FromSoftware game proves just how versatile video games can be, which is ultimately why he's appeared on the list, what with the last dev on the list having a hand in the popularity of video games in the first place.

Even though they've been around since, there was one final hurdle to topple - the public perception of video games as a hobby.

We know now that video games aren't just for kids, of course, but the idea that an entire adventure is placed in the hands of a player is something we haven't seen on this scale before, and the iconic RPG has now proven even the most high-concept fantasy can break the spell of condescension.

The punishing reputation of FromSoftware has made it to the mainstream against all odds, and that's thanks to Miyazaki's confidence in his team, stylings and ethos.

Miyazaki has changed video games forever

Hidetaka Miyazaki is on the 2023 TIME 100 List - and he’s more than deserving
Click to enlarge

Even disconnected from the love that Elden Ring has received, for a director like Miyazaki to be regarded in such a way has been long deserved. If Miyamoto's induction to the list in 2007 was a marker of the importance of video games as an art form, Miyazaki's addition is a marker that the forms in which that artistic notion of video games can take are practically endless. Designed for adults or not, they're more than worth the attention of the mainstream, now more than ever.

Under Miyazaki, FromSoftware is finally on the public radar, and with TIME's accolade, it's clear that the sky is the limit not just for the company, but the entire industry. And whether you like a SoulsBorne or not, that much we can surely agree on.

Joseph Kime
About the author
Joseph Kime
Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.
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