What’s next for FromSoftware after the release of Armored Core 6?

FromSoftware has been on a roll with consecutive successful releases over the past few years. The company’s latest installment, Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon, reaffirms the team’s reputation for high production quality and game design. Ever since the first Souls game, FromSoftware has launched groundbreaking video games that reshaped the gaming industry.

Myriad copycats have spawned, trying to capture the essence of the Japanese devs’ creative richness. Even so, only they seem to be able to bring their fans exactly what they want, thus begging the question: what’s next? Following their back-to-back GOTY awards, FromSoftware has become a gaming conglomerate, and with Armored Core 6 making strides, the company is now in everyone’s sights.

Elden Ring: Shadows of the Erdtree

Image via FromSoftware

FromSoftware is a secretive company. Unlike most gaming companies on the market today that love hyping their projects, FromSoftware takes it nice and easy and waits until they’re absolutely ready to share any information. Shadows of the Erdtreetheir upcoming expansion to Elden Ringhas a pretty ironic title, considering we know nothing about it.

Shadows of the Erdtree was announced on Feb. 28, 2023, and no new information has come out since. This is likely due to FromSoftware prioritizing the promotion and launch of Armored Core 6its mainline title for this year. The lack of information is somewhat unsurprising, as Elden Ring itself took a couple of years before giving us anything of substance. Shadows of the Erdtree is an expansion pack and should take less time to develop, though it’s unlikely we will be playing it in 2023.

Elden Ring 2

A female doll-like character with an icy hood covering their forehead. Their right eye has a blue design flowing downwards from it
Image via FromSoftware

Elden Ring‘s massive success has undoubtedly piqued the interest of FromSoftware’s owner, Kadokawa. Bandai Namco, the game’s publisher, shared its excitement with its performance and is probably just as eager to commission a sequel. However, FromSoftware and Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki isn’t known for creating sequels.

Check new:   PS5 captures 90% of the French market, surpassing Xbox Series' position

He abstained from developing Dark Souls 2focusing on Bloodborne instead. He only returned for Dark Souls 3 to complete the trilogy. Miyazaki also didn’t direct Armored Core 6 and only helped kickstart the project. His other titles, Demon’s Souls, An axeand Elden Ring, are all one-shot games, and the former two never even received an expansion pack.

Be it all as it may, pressure from corporate higher-ups may eventually result in an Elden Ring sequel. Though who will direct it is anyone’s guess.

Armored Core 6 DLC

An armored core in a hangar
Screenshot by Dot Esports

Armored Core 6 was a smaller release than Elden Ringthough publisher Bandai Namco was by no means disappointed. The long-running franchise has a loyal fanbase, and many newcomers had the opportunity to experience the series. This likely created many new players interested in seeing where the Armored Core IP may go, and we may even get a minor or major expansion to Fires of Rubicon.

The game already features multiple endings, a semi-branching storyline, fantastic background lore, and storytelling. FromSoftware could bring more to the Armored Core universe through lesser story DLC, as Dark Souls 3 had with Ashes of Ariandel. More extensive expansions seem unlikely due to the game’s humble market, though nothing is impossible, especially if Miyazaki were to get involved.

Bloodborne Remake

Promotional art for Bloodborne, featuring a character with their back turned to the camera holding two large weapons
Image via FromSoftware

Perhaps the most anticipated project in PlayStation history, Bloodborne‘s remaster/remake is the main talking point of every PlayStation event. Rumors surrounding the game have become a widespread meme, and people are slowly losing hope of it ever happening. PlayStation Now, Sony’s game streaming service, was used primarily by PC players wanting to play Bloodbornewhich is still exclusively on the PS4.

Check new:   How long does it take to complete Marvel's Spider-Man 2?

The game has received no proper update to utilize the extra power of the PS5, nor has any PC port or remake been hinted at. Still, players are highly anticipating the title, and Sony and FromSoftware are unlikely to be unaware of the situation. Sony’s recent PC ports perform exceedingly well on Steam, easily topping the top-seller charts.

Bluepoint’s remake of Demon’s Souls on the PS5 was a massive hit, further solidifying the prospect of bringing older titles to new systems. Though FromSoftware is unlikely to develop the port themselves, they will likely have a say in who does it and how, and we can only hope that they decide on doing so as soon as possible.

Online multiplayer and live-service

AC mad stomp being introduced in the arena mode
Screenshot by Dot Esports

Elden Ring‘s PvP system and arena proved intuitive and captivating for competitive and casual players alike. Battling other players, testing out various builds, or mindlessly having fun with your friends in the Lands Between is a genuinely solid concept that captured the attention of many Elden Ring fans. In the wake of the recent live service and online multiplayer craze, FromSoftware may seek to go down that route with existing or new IPs.

Armored Core 6 also has a solid PvP and multiplayer option that may attract competitive players to the franchise. FromSoftware capitalizing on such an opportunity would be wise, as it may propel one of their franchises towards a more live-service-oriented environment. Entering the huge competitive gaming market could prove lucrative for FromSoftware and its publishers. However, the company’s brand revolves around single-player games, and they’ve built up quite a reputation.

It is unknown whether the company will diverge from their traditional genre and form. Elden Ring‘s success and cashflow are likely to have brought major changes in the company, and we’re only waiting to see the results.

Check new:   Developer of Alan Wake 2 highlights major issue with Xbox Series S

Brand new IP

Of course, we can discuss sequels all day long, but with Miyazaki being who he is, a new IP is the most likely candidate. After Shadow of the Erdtree releases, the team behind the critically acclaimed director will likely move to a new project. The influence of Armored Core 6‘s game design will likely be evident in whatever new project they begin.

Hidetaka Miyazaki loves experimenting with and building on established formulas. Each of his titles retained and removed parts of his ever-evolving grand design. Though players have coined the term “soulsborne” to describe his games, they’re all unique in their own regard and represent various stages of evolution. Whatever Miyazaki spearheads next at FromSoftware will probably be a groundbreaking breath of fresh air, even if some previous aspects become evident.

FromSoftware has by now established itself as a reliable, quiet, and devoted development company that treasures player experiences more than marketing. Winning two Game of the Year awards in a row is evidence enough. With Miyazaki at the helm, there’s much indication that we’ll be seeing a title not only new in name but new in formula and design.

About the author

Andrej Barovic

Gaming since childhood, Andrej spends most of his time ranting on how games used to be. He’s been a writer for over two years, combining his love for literature and passion for video games. He’s usually around after dark, grinding his way through the latest FromSoftware release or losing his mind on Summoner’s Rift.