Sony Just Bought A Chunk Of FromSoftware
FromSoftware has just found itself a pair of maidens, as the Elden Ring developer has just sold shares to Sony and Tencent. Away from recent rumours (that we're debunked) about Elden Ring coming to Xbox Game Pass, it's looking like the developer's future is more likely tied to the PlayStation.
From the Souls games to Bloodborne, and now Elden Ring, FromSoftware has an acclaimed legacy. Few have a whole genre of video game named after their work. However, as the popularity of the Souls-like grows into other titles like Respawn's Jedi games and Sony Santa Monica's God of War, FromSoftware is still the undisputed overlord.
What Does The FromSoftware Sale Mean?
According to a release from parent company Kadokawa Corp (via Reuters), Tencent and Sony now own 16.25% and 14.09% respectively of FromSoftware. This still leaves Kadokawa with a majority share of 69.66%. The deal is supposed to generate a whopping 36.4 billion yen ($263 million/£226 million) and propel FromSoftware further into the mainstream.
In Japan, it's FromSoftware itself that's known for publishing its games. Outside of its own territory, it's typically over to someone else. The Dark Souls games and Elden Ring were published by Bandai Namco, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice fell under Activision, while Bloodborne was done by Sony itself.
Elden Ring was the biggest non-FIFA or Call of Duty game to launch in the United Kingdom since Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018. Even though Souls-like games are still considered niche by some, Elden Ring is on track to be 2022's biggest game. Earlier this year, there were whispers of Sony acquiring FromSoft, and while it's not quite a full buyout like Microsoft with Activision Blizzard, it's still huge news.
Will FromSoftware Have A PlayStation Future?
The investment is the latest move from the Chinese-owned Tencent into the Japanese market. "The investment shows that Tencent is still active in expanding their footprint outside China in big ways," said Kantan Games' Serkan Toto. Toto also described FromSoftware as a "commercial and creative powerhouse," which is clear to see from the record-breaking success of its games.
FromSoftware has a long history with Sony, and you might remember both Bloodborne and Bluepoint Games' Demon's Souls remake were PS exclusives. Addressing the elephant in the room and whether we'll have a FromSoft future on PlayStation, Toto said this is unlikely to be the case. Others aren't quite so sure there won't be a PlayStation-exclusive partnership on the way. Either way, it's likely the inevitable Elden Ring 2 would have preferential treatment for Sony Ponies before Xbots get their hands on it.