FromSoftware

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FromSoftware, Inc.
Native name
株式会社フロム・ソフトウェア
Kabushiki gaisha furomu sofutowea
Type
IndustryVideo games
FoundedNovember 1, 1986; 36 years ago (1986-11-01)
FounderNaotoshi Zin
Headquarters
Tokyo
,
Japan
Key people
Products
Number of employees
349[1] (2022)
Parent
Websitewww.fromsoftware.jp/ww/

FromSoftware, Inc. is a Japanese video game development and publishing company based in Tokyo. Founded by Naotoshi Zin in November 1986, the company developed business software before releasing their first video game, King's Field, for the PlayStation in 1994. Its success shifted FromSoftware to focus fully on video games, with them producing two more King's Field games before creating the mecha combat series Armored Core (1997), one of their flagship franchises. By the 2000s, the company's lineup also included the Echo Night, Shadow Tower, Lost Kingdoms, Otogi, and Another Century's Episode series.

FromSoftware would achieve breakout success in the 2010s, spurred by Demon's Souls (2009) and Dark Souls (2011), the latter being the first entry in a trilogy whose success led to the creation of a subgenre of action role-playing games known as Soulslikes. These include Dark Souls II (2014), Bloodborne (2015), Dark Souls III (2016), Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (2019), and Elden Ring (2022), which have all received several awards and are often listed among the greatest video games of all time.

Hidetaka Miyazaki, creator of the Dark Souls series, has served as FromSoftware's representative director and president since 2014, with Zin remaining as an advisor. Despite his executive role, Miyazaki continues to direct the majority of the company's games. The company is owned primarily by Kadokawa Corporation with minority stakes by Sixjoy Hong Kong, a subsidiary of Tencent, and Sony Interactive Entertainment. FromSoftware usually self-publishes in Japan and partners with larger companies to publish internationally, including Agetec, Sony, and Bandai Namco Entertainment.

History[edit]

Hidetaka Miyazaki, company president

FromSoftware was founded in Tokyo by Naotoshi Zin on November 1, 1986, as a software developer of business applications.[2] The company released its first game, King's Field, for the PlayStation in 1994. Despite its commercial success in Japan, the game was not released in North America, although King's Field II was released in both regions the following year.[3] After releasing King's Field III, FromSoftware went on to release the horror game Echo Night and the 1998 role-playing game Shadow Tower. In 1997, FromSoftware released Armored Core, the first release in their flagship Armored Core series of mecha combat games.[4]

With the launch of the PlayStation 2 in 2000, FromSoftware released the role-playing games Eternal Ring and Evergrace.[4] In 2003, FromSoftware published Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven, a stealth game that combines action and adventure elements.[5] The company also released King's Field IV and Shadow Tower Abyss, in addition to the Lost Kingdoms series for the GameCube.[4] The company also made a few games exclusive to the Xbox around this time, such as Murakumo: Renegade Mech Pursuit, Otogi: Myth of Demons, Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors, Metal Wolf Chaos, and Chromehounds In 2005, FromSoftware would start to produce a series of licensed games based on the various anime properties under the banner Another Century's Episode.[4] The same year, the company hosted the video game industry's first internship that let students experience game development through a game creation kit, Adventure Player, for the PlayStation Portable.[5]

FromSoftware underwent a stock split in 2008 before achieving breakout success in the 2010s,[5] spurred by the release of Demon's Souls (2009) and Dark Souls (2011), the latter being the first entry in a trilogy whose success led to the creation of a subgenre of action role-playing games known as Soulslikes.[6] These include Dark Souls II (2014),[7] Bloodborne (2015),[8][9] Dark Souls III,[10] Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (2019),[11][12] and Elden Ring (2022),[13][14][15] which have all received several awards and are often listed among the greatest video games of all time.[16][17][18][19]

In April 2014, Kadokawa Corporation announced its intention to purchase the company from former shareholder Transcosmos.[20] Following other restructuring, Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki would be promoted to company president the following month and later given the title of representative director.[21] In January 2016, FromSoftware established a studio in Fukuoka that focuses on creating computer-generated imagery (CGI) assets for their games.[22][23] In August 2022, Sixjoy Hong Kong (a subsidiary of Tencent) and Sony Interactive Entertainment respectively acquired 16.25% and 14.09% of FromSoftware, leaving 69.66% to Kadokawa.[24]

A report published by GamesIndustry.biz in November 2022 alleged that FromSoftware paid their employees at sub-standard industry rates.[25]

Games[edit]

List of games developed by FromSoftware[26]
Year Title System International publisher
1994 King's Field PlayStation N/A
1995 King's Field II PlayStation
1996 King's Field III PlayStation ASCII Entertainment
1997 Armored Core PlayStation Sony Computer Entertainment
Armored Core: Project Phantasma PlayStation ASCII Entertainment
1998 Shadow Tower PlayStation Agetec
Echo Night PlayStation Agetec
1999 Armored Core: Master of Arena PlayStation Agetec
Spriggan: Lunar Verse PlayStation N/A
Frame Gride Dreamcast N/A
Echo Night 2: The Lord of Nightmares PlayStation N/A
2000 Eternal Ring PlayStation 2
Evergrace PlayStation 2
  • NA: Agetec
  • EU: Ubisoft
Armored Core 2 PlayStation 2
  • NA: Agetec
  • EU: Ubisoft
The Adventures of Cookie & Cream PlayStation 2
2001 Armored Core 2: Another Age PlayStation 2
Forever Kingdom PlayStation 2 Agetec
King's Field IV PlayStation 2
  • NA: Agetec
  • EU: Metro3D
2002 Armored Core 3 PlayStation 2
  • NA: Agetec
  • EU: Metro3D
Lost Kingdoms GameCube Activision
Murakumo: Renegade Mech Pursuit Xbox Ubisoft
Otogi: Myth of Demons Xbox Sega
2003 Silent Line: Armored Core PlayStation 2 Agetec
Thousand Land Xbox N/A
Lost Kingdoms II GameCube Activision
Shadow Tower Abyss PlayStation 2 N/A
Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors Xbox Sega
2004 Echo Night: Beyond PlayStation 2
  • NA: Agetec
  • EU: Indie Games Productions
Armored Core: Nexus PlayStation 2 Agetec
Kuon PlayStation 2
  • NA: Agetec
  • EU: Indie Games Productions
Armored Core: Nine Breaker PlayStation 2
Armored Core: Formula Front PlayStation Portable
  • NA: Agetec
  • EU: 505 Games
Metal Wolf Chaos Xbox, PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One Devolver Digital
2005 Yoshitsune Eiyūden PlayStation 2 N/A
Another Century's Episode PlayStation 2 Banpresto
Armored Core: Last Raven PlayStation 2
  • NA: Agetec
  • EU: 505 Games
2006 Enchanted Arms Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 Ubisoft
Another Century's Episode 2 PlayStation 2 Banpresto
Chromehounds Xbox 360 Sega
King's Field: Additional I PlayStation Portable N/A
King's Field: Additional II PlayStation Portable N/A
Armored Core 4 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • NA: Sega
  • EU: 505 Games
2007 Nanpure VOW Nintendo DS N/A
Iraroji VOW Nintendo DS N/A
Another Century's Episode 3: The Final PlayStation 2 Banpresto
2008 Armored Core: For Answer PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Ubisoft
Shadow Assault: Tenchu Xbox 360 N/A
2009 Inugamike no Ichizoku Nintendo DS N/A
Ninja Blade Xbox 360, Windows Microsoft Game Studios
Demon's Souls PlayStation 3
Yatsu Hakamura Nintendo DS N/A
2010 Another Century's Episode: R PlayStation 3 Banpresto
Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village PlayStation Portable Capcom
2011 Another Century's Episode Portable Namco Bandai Games
Dark Souls PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows Namco Bandai Games
2012 Armored Core V PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Namco Bandai Games
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn PlayStation 3 Namco Bandai Games
Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Xbox 360 Capcom
2013 Armored Core: Verdict Day PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Namco Bandai Games
2014 Dark Souls II PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows Bandai Namco Games
2015 Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One Bandai Namco Games
Bloodborne PlayStation 4 Sony Computer Entertainment
Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village DX Nintendo 3DS Capcom
2016 Dark Souls III PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows Bandai Namco Entertainment
2018 Dark Souls: Remastered PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch Bandai Namco Entertainment
Déraciné PlayStation 4 (PlayStation VR) Sony Interactive Entertainment
2019 Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, Stadia Activision
2022 Elden Ring PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S Bandai Namco Entertainment
2023 Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S Bandai Namco Entertainment

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About". Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  2. ^ "角川ゲームスとフロム・ソフトウェア「MEDIA BRIEFING 2014 AUTUMN」を開催". GAME Watch. Archived from the original on June 6, 2021. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  3. ^ Ciolek, Todd (March 16, 2015). "The History of From Software". ign.com. Archived from the original on March 18, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Ciolek, Todd (March 16, 2015). "The History of From Software". IGN. p. 1. Archived from the original on March 18, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "History | FromSoftware". www.fromsoftware.jp. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  6. ^ Wildgoose, David (March 7, 2022). "Painfully Difficult: From Software's 30+ Year Journey From PS1 to Elden Ring". IGN. Retrieved March 8, 2022.
  7. ^ Nunneley-Jackson, Stephany. "Dark Souls 2 wins Game of the Year at Golden Joystick Awards". VG247. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  8. ^ "Eurogamer's Game of the Year 2015". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  9. ^ "Edge Presents: The 100 Greatest Video Games of All Time". Edge. August 2017.
  10. ^ "Overwatch and Dark Souls 3 win big at this year's Golden Joystick Awards". PC Gamer. November 18, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  11. ^ Makuch, Eddie (December 13, 2019). "The Game Awards 2019 Winners: Sekiro Takes Game Of The Year". GameSpot. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  12. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (December 17, 2019). "Game Of The Year 2019 – Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice". GameSpot. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  13. ^ "Elden Ring takes top honors at the Japan Game Awards". Japan Times. September 15, 2022.
  14. ^ Loveridge, Sam (November 22, 2022). "Here are all the Golden Joystick Awards 2022 winners". GamesRadar+. Retrieved November 24, 2022.
  15. ^ Plant, Logan (December 8, 2022). "The Game Awards 2022 Winners: The Full List". IGN. Archived from the original on December 9, 2022. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  16. ^ Kain, Erik (November 22, 2013). "'Dark Souls' Inspired The Design Of Sony's PlayStation 4". Forbes. Archived from the original on October 5, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  17. ^ Polygon Staff (November 27, 2017). "The 500 Best Video Games of All Time". Polygon.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  18. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (May 14, 2019). "The Most Influential Games Of The 21st Century: Dark Souls". GameSpot. Archived from the original on May 14, 2019. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  19. ^ Donnelly, Joe. "Why Dark Souls has been crowned the best video game of all time". GamesRadar+. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  20. ^ "From Software acquired by Japanese publisher Kadokawa Corporation". Archived from the original on April 29, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  21. ^ Duwell, Ron (May 23, 2014). "Dark Souls' Hidetaka Miyazaki Promoted to President of From Software". Techno Buffalo. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  22. ^ "From Software to open new studio in Fukuoka". Gematsu. September 12, 2015. Archived from the original on September 16, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  23. ^ "FromSoftware to Establish New Studio in Fukuoka in October 2015". FromSoftware. Archived from the original on June 1, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  24. ^ "Tencent and Sony Interactive Entertainment collectively acquire 30.34 percent of FromSoftware". Gematsu. August 31, 2022. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  25. ^ "How much does From Software crunch?". GamesIndustry.biz. November 29, 2022. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  26. ^ "Products". fromsoftware.jp. Archived from the original on May 9, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2018.

External links[edit]