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Sony Regrets Not Publishing Demon's Souls In North America
Sony Regrets Not Publishing Demon's Souls In North America
March 16, 2010 | By Chris Remo

March 16, 2010 | By Chris Remo
More: Console/PC, GDC

From Software's notoriously punishing action-RPG Demon's Souls was published by Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan, but Sony's North American and European counterparts turned it down -- and now the company admits that was the wrong call.

"That was a mistake," said Yeonkyung Kim of SCE Japan Studio during a localization session held at last week's Game Developers Conference.

"It should have come out as a first-party title," he added, according to a 1UP report on the panel.

Demon's Souls wasn't just published by Sony's Japanese division; the game was co-developed by SCE Japan Studio, an internal team that created the Patapon games and also contributed co-development to Level-5's White Knight Chronicles.

Despite Sony's close relationship to the game's production, the company determined Demon's Souls was too demanding and unusual to connect with Western audiences. Atlus, known for localizing niche Japanese games in North America, acquired the publishing rights.

Likely to Sony's surprise, Demon's Souls went on to receive exceptionally positive reviews, and strong sales for a lightly-marketed game, selling more than 150,000 units in its first month alone.

Kim used Demon's Souls as an example of how the process of making localization decisions has yet to be perfected. Despite Sony's 15 years of experience publishing video games worldwide, the company still has more to learn.

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Joshua Kahelin
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Hindsight is 20/20.

If you asked me after playing it, I'd say Demon's Souls was gift wrapped for the North American audience hungry for that core gaming experience.

Mark Cooke
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Game of the year, 2009.

Alex Covic
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A) To admit a mistake: good start.

B) It's not too late, or is it?

C) This is another example how 20th Century distribution models kill your profits? Downloadable games can reach everyone who wants it? (I am not trying to start the old retail debate again - just showing an example)

Tiago Costa
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Mistake #2: Yet still no publishing plans for ol'Europa here...

(even if they cant publish it due to Atlus rights, they could lend a hand to them)...

Its a shame that most publishers believe that gamers want their games easy, some do, others don't, I guess Demons Souls show that lots of gamers still like hard games.

Fiore Iantosca
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Sony are idiots. One mistake after another this generation.

Further proof they are completely out of touch with gamers.

Gareth Clarke
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I was going to mention the Europe thing. I'm a bit disappointed there's still no word but on the other hand it's not hard to import a North American version, which is what I might well do as soon as I'm done with Stalker.

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Woud really like to see Microsoft publish a game like this... Makes me weep for a PS3 just for this game. Heard it was a masterpiece.

Chuan Lim
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Scrawled in blood on the floor of an anonymous boardroom:


-- Chuan