Sony Corporation has formed a “capital alliance” with Kadokawa Corporation, the Japanese media conglomerate that owns FromSoftware, the developer behind Dark Souls and Bloodborne, and mobile company CyberAgent, which owns developer CyGames. The alliance will give Sony and CyberAgent a 1.93% stake in Kadokawa.
The agreement was reached to facilitate the “creation, development, and acquisition” of new IP, as well as to “maximize the value of the abundant IP that [Kadokawa] already owns.” Kadokawa, which acquired FromSoftware in May 2014, says it partnered with Sony due to its “global expansion power of animation and consumer games.”
The deal does not obligate FromSoftware to make its titles exclusive to PlayStation, however more than half of the developer’s games are available only on the platform. Best known for the Armored Core and Souls series, as well as Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, FromSoftware released Dark Souls, an action RPG in 2011. The game is considered a spiritual successor to the studio’s Demon’s Souls.
Dark Souls, regarded as one of the best video games of all time by a number of critics, has been cited as an inspiration for Destiny, Titan Souls, Enter the Gungeon, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and God of War, as well as Netflix’s Stranger Things, among others. A remastered version of the game, titled Dark Souls: Remastered, was released for PS4, Xbox One, and Windows in May 2018, and for the Nintendo Switch on October 19, 2018.
FromSoftware is currently developing Elden Ring, a dark fantasy action RPG from Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki and Game of Thrones writer George R. R. Martin that will be released for Microsoft Windows, PS4, and Xbox One. Announced at E3 2019, Elden Ring began development in early 2017 following the release of The Ringed City, DLC for Dark Souls III, the latest installment in the Souls franchise. As with Miyazaki’s Souls games, Elden Ring will allow players to create custom characters rather than playing as a set protagonist.
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