Grim, forboding, and relentlessly challenging, the Dark Souls series seems a world away from Ico’s gentle, introspective, and minimalist world. However, if it weren’t for the latter, the former might not exist, says Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki.
In a retrospective in Famitsu celebrating the 20th anniversary of PS2 classic Ico (as spotted by VGC), Miyazaki said that it was a friend’s recommendation to play the game shortly after graduating from university, leading him to his career in video games.
“It was a beautiful, untold experience and story that I had never imagined, and I’m very sorry to my friend, but I was quietly moved and silent,” Miyazaki told Famitsu. “And that’s when I left the company I was working for at the time and started working for FromSoftware.”
At FromSoftware, Miyazaki would helm Demon’s Souls, which in turn led to the Dark Souls trilogy. He also directed Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, both of which continue or evolve the gameplay mechanics established in the Souls games.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say it was the game that changed my life, and I’m proud that it was Ico and it was Mr [Fumito] Ueda’s game,” Miyazaki added.
The creator also offered his congratulations on Ico’s 20th anniversary and said, “I’m looking forward to your new games […] The mythology that runs through your games, including Ico, has always been a goal of mine.”
While Ueda’s next game remains unannounced, other than that Epic Games will be funding its development, Miyazaki’s next effort will be 2022’s Elden Ring, which translates Soulslike play to an open-world setting.
Ico’s 20th anniversary was also celebrated by genDESIGN – the studio set up by director Fumito Ueda after he left Sony – with a look back at some of the game’s earliest development stages. A video showed early concept designs for main characters Ico and Yorda, along with test animation, early CG scenes, and a version of the game running on PS1 hardware.
Elsewhere, Nintendo has lost a court appeal in Norway, which means it must provide customers with a way to cancel digital pre-orders, while upcoming free-to-play arena battler Star Wars: Hunters has revealed its first look at gameplay.