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
IndustryVideo game industry
FoundedNovember 1, 1986; 32 years ago (1986-11-01)
HeadquartersTokyo, Japan
Key people
Products
Number of employees
283 (2017[1])
ParentKadokawa Corporation
Websitefromsoftware.jp/ww/

FromSoftware, Inc. is a Japanese video game development company founded in November 1986. The company is known primarily outside Japan for being the developers of the Armored Core and Souls series, as well as Bloodborne.

History[edit]

FromSoftware was founded on November 1, 1986, and developed productivity software for the first several years of their existence. They released their first video game, titled King's Field, as a launch title for the PlayStation in 1994.[2] The initial King's Field did not see a release in North America, although a 1995 sequel would later be released in North America bearing the same title, which was released as King's Field II in Japan. After releasing a third title in that series, FromSoftware moved on to release Echo Night as well as Shadow Tower in 1998. IGN would later note that the latter was "effectively a King's Field follow-up" as it shared many of the gameplay conventions of its brethren. Also during this time FromSoftware would release Armored Core, the first in a mech game series which would go on to spawn many sequels.[3]

When the PlayStation 2 was launched in 2000, FromSoftware supported the system with two RPGs Eternal Ring, which like the King's Field series is a first person RPG, and Evergrace, a more conventional action RPG viewed from a third person perspective.[3] The company also released a pair of sequels to their PlayStation 1 offerings with King's Field IV and Shadow Tower Abyss.[3] FromSoftware also released the Lost Kingdom titles for the Gamecube, a competing sixth generation console.[3] IGN would note however that during this generation FromSoftware's focus would shift from RPG's to mech games due in part to the success of the Armored Core series. In addition to Armored Core titles, FromSoftware would also release Frame Gride for the Dreamcast as well as a pair of Xbox games Murakumo: Armored Mech Pursuit and Metal Wolf Chaos. In addition to original mecha games FromSoftware would also produce a series of licensed games based on the various anime properties under the banner Another Century's Episode.[3]

In April 2014, Kadokawa Corporation announced its intention to purchase the company from former shareholder Transcosmos. The deal was finalized on May 21, 2014.[4] FromSoftware expanded into a new studio in Fukuoka in October 2015, which began operations in January 2016.[5] The studio focuses on creating computer-generated imagery (CGI) assets for the games made by the Tokyo studio.[6]

In December 2015, FromSoftware was nominated for developer of the year at The Game Awards 2015, but lost to CD Projekt Red.[7]

Games[edit]

FromSoftware have developed for a wide range of platforms, including the Dreamcast, Nintendo DS, GameCube, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, and various mobile devices.

With fifteen titles developed, the Armored Core series is the studio's longest running franchise. The most recent title, Armored Core: Verdict Day, was released worldwide in September 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Earlier, less notable outside Japan, titles include the Enchanted Arms, King's Field, Chromehounds, Otogi, and Tenchu series, all of which have been met with mostly favorable reviews.

In 2009, they released Demon's Souls for the PlayStation 3, which brought them international exposure. Its spiritual successor, Dark Souls, was released in 2011. In March 2014, Dark Souls II, was released, while Dark Souls III was released in 2016.[8] A title inspired by the Souls series, Bloodborne, was released in March 2015. The Souls series, along with Bloodborne, received widespread critical acclaim, as well as strong sales domestically and internationally.[9][10][11] They have also received a number of awards, primarily those for the role-playing genre, including multiple "RPG of the Year" and Game of the Year awards.[12][13][14][15] Since release, Dark Souls and Bloodborne have been cited by many publications to be among the greatest games of all time.[16][17][18]

In April 2016, FromSoftware revealed that they were working on a new intellectual property, as well as stating their intent to return to the Armored Core series.[19] Two games, the PlayStation VR exclusive Déraciné and the multiplatform Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, were announced at E3 2018.[20][21]

List of games developed by FromSoftware[22]
Title System Original release JP NA EU AUS
King's Field PlayStation December 16, 1994 Yes No No No
King's Field II July 21, 1995 Yes Yes Yes Yes
King's Field III June 21, 1996 Yes Yes No No
Armored Core July 10, 1997 Yes Yes Yes No
Armored Core: Project Phantasma December 4, 1997 Yes Yes No No
Shadow Tower June 25, 1998 Yes Yes No No
Echo Night August 13, 1998 Yes Yes No No
Armored Core: Master of Arena February 4, 1999 Yes Yes No No
Spriggan: Lunar Verse June 16, 1999 Yes No No No
Frame Gride Dreamcast July 15, 1999 Yes No No No
Echo Night 2: The Lord of Nightmares PlayStation August 5, 1999 Yes No No No
Eternal Ring PlayStation 2 March 4, 2000 Yes Yes Yes No
Evergrace April 27, 2000 Yes Yes Yes No
Armored Core 2 August 3, 2000 Yes Yes Yes No
The Adventures of Cookie & Cream December 7, 2000 Yes Yes Yes No
Armored Core 2: Another Age April 12, 2001 Yes Yes Yes No
Forever Kingdom June 21, 2001 Yes Yes No No
King's Field IV October 4, 2001 Yes Yes Yes No
Armored Core 3 April 1, 2002 Yes Yes Yes No
Lost Kingdoms GameCube April 25, 2002 Yes Yes Yes No
Otogi: Myth of Demons Xbox December 12, 2002 Yes Yes Yes No
Armored Core: Silent Line PlayStation 2 January 23, 2003 Yes Yes Yes No
Murakumo: Renegade Mech Pursuit Xbox July 25, 2002 Yes Yes No No
Thousand Land March 20, 2003 Yes No No No
Lost Kingdoms II GameCube May 23, 2003 Yes Yes Yes No
Shadow Tower Abyss PlayStation 2 October 23, 2003 Yes No No No
Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors Xbox December 25, 2003 Yes Yes Yes No
Nebula: Echo Night PlayStation 2 January 22, 2004 Yes Yes Yes No
Armored Core: Nexus March 18, 2004 Yes Yes Yes No
Kuon April 1, 2004 Yes Yes Yes No
Armored Core: Nine Breaker October 28, 2004 Yes Yes Yes No
Armored Core: Formula Front PlayStation Portable December 12, 2004 Yes Yes Yes No
Metal Wolf Chaos Xbox December 22, 2004 Yes No No No
Yoshitsune Eiyūden: The Story of Hero Yoshitsune PlayStation 2 January 13, 2005 Yes No No No
Another Century's Episode January 27, 2005 Yes No No No
Yoshitsune Eiyuuden Shura: The Story of Hero Yoshitsune Shura May 27, 2005 Yes No No No
Armored Core: Last Raven August 4, 2005 Yes Yes Yes No
Enchanted Arms PlayStation 3 January 12, 2006 Yes Yes Yes No
Xbox 360
Another Century's Episode 2 PlayStation 2 March 30, 2006 Yes No No No
Chromehounds Xbox 360 June 29, 2006 Yes Yes Yes Yes
King's Field: Additional I PlayStation Portable July 20, 2006 Yes No No No
King's Field: Additional II August 24, 2006 Yes No No No
Armored Core 4 PlayStation 3 December 21, 2006 Yes Yes Yes No
Xbox 360
Nanpure VOW Nintendo DS April 26, 2007 Yes No No No
Iraroji VOW May 24, 2007 Yes No No No
Another Century's Episode 3: The Final PlayStation 2 September 6, 2007 Yes No No No
Armored Core: For Answer PlayStation 3 March 19, 2008 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Xbox 360
Shadow Assault: Tenchu Xbox 360 October 8, 2008 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Inugamike no Ichizoku Nintendo DS January 22, 2009 Yes No No No
Ninja Blade Xbox 360 January 29, 2009 Yes Yes Yes No
Microsoft Windows
Demon's Souls PlayStation 3 February 5, 2009 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yatsu Hakamura Nintendo DS April 23, 2009 Yes No No No
Another Century's Episode: R PlayStation 3 August 19, 2010 Yes No No No
Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village PlayStation Portable August 26, 2010 Yes No No No
Another Century's Episode Portable January 13, 2011 Yes No No No
Dark Souls PlayStation 3 September 22, 2011 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Xbox 360
Microsoft Windows August 23, 2012
Nintendo Switch October 19, 2018
Armored Core V PlayStation 3 January 26, 2012 Yes Yes Yes No
Xbox 360
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn PlayStation 3 March 8, 2012 Yes No No No
Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Xbox 360 June 21, 2012 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Armored Core: Verdict Day PlayStation 3 September 26, 2013 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Xbox 360
Dark Souls II PlayStation 3 March 13, 2014 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Xbox 360
Microsoft Windows
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin PlayStation 3 February 5, 2015 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Xbox 360
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Microsoft Windows
Bloodborne PlayStation 4 March 24, 2015 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village DX Nintendo 3DS September 10, 2015 Yes No No No
Dark Souls III PlayStation 4 March 24, 2016 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Xbox One
Microsoft Windows April 12, 2016
Déraciné PlayStation 4 (PlayStation VR) November 6, 2018 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Microsoft Windows March 22, 2019 Yes Yes Yes Yes
PlayStation 4
Xbox One

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Company". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  2. ^ Ciolek, Todd (March 16, 2015). "The History of From Software". ign.com. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e Ciolek, Todd. "The History of From Software". IGN. p. 1. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  4. ^ "From Software acquired by Japanese publisher Kadokawa Corporation". Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  5. ^ "From Software to open new studio in Fukuoka". Gematsu. September 12, 2015.
  6. ^ "FromSoftware to Establish New Studio in Fukuoka in October 2015". FromSoftware. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  7. ^ "Nominees | The Game Awards 2015". The Game Awards. Ola Balola. November 12, 2015. Archived from the original on November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  8. ^ "Dark Souls 3 confirmed, coming early 2016". Polygon. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  9. ^ Ben Dutka (February 12, 2009). "Demon's Souls Caps Impressive First Week of Sales in Japan". PSX Extreme. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
  10. ^ May 8, 2014, Financial Highlights for the Fiscal Year Ended March 2014, NAMCO BANDAI Holdings Inc.
  11. ^ May 7, 2014, Dark Souls II Ships 1.2 Million In U.S. And Europe, Siliconera
  12. ^ den Ouden, Adriaan. "RPG of the Year". RPGamer. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  13. ^ Marchello, Sam. "Best Graphics". RPGamer. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  14. ^ Staples, Ken. "Best PS3". RPGamer. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  15. ^ "Community Choice Game of the Year". Game Revolution. December 23, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  16. ^ Polygon Staff (November 27, 2017). "The 500 Best Video Games of All Time". Polygon.com. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  17. ^ "The Top 300 Games of All Time". Game Informer (300). April 2018.
  18. ^ "Edge Presents: The 100 Greatest Video Games of All Time". Edge. August 2017.
  19. ^ Hillier, Brenna (April 27, 2016). "Dark Souls 3 director already working on a new IP". VG247. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  20. ^ McWhertor, Michael. "FromSoftware's Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice coming from Activision". Polygon. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  21. ^ Statt, Nick. "Dark Souls creator From Software is making a VR game called Déraciné". The Verge. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  22. ^ "Products". fromsoftware.jp. Retrieved 8 May 2018.

External links[edit]