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; 34 years ago (1986-11-01)
Headquarters
Tokyo
,
Japan
Key people
Products
Number of employees
332 (2021[1])
ParentKadokawa Corporation
Websitefromsoftware.jp

FromSoftware, Inc. is a Japanese video game development company founded in November 1986 and a subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation. The company is best known for their Armored Core and Souls series, including the related games Bloodborne, Sekiro, and the upcoming Elden Ring, known for their high levels of difficulty.

History

FromSoftware was founded as a productivity software developer in Tokyo, Japan, on November 1, 1986. Their first video game did not come until 1994, when they released King's Field as a launch title for the PlayStation.[2] The game 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 with it. 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] The making of Armored Core solidified the company's development skills, and in July 1999, they released the multiplayer action game Frame Gride for the Sega Dreamcast.[4]

When the PlayStation 2 was launched in 2000, FromSoftware supported the system with the 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] In addition to these titles, FromSoftware published Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven, a stealth game that combines action and adventure elements.[4] 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 Kingdoms titles for the Gamecube, a competing sixth generation console.[3] IGN would note however that during this generation FromSoftware's focus would shift from RPGs to mech games due in part to the success of the Armored Core series. In 2002, FromSoftware released the mech action game Murakumo: Renegade Mech Pursuit for the Xbox before entering the mobile game market, where they released another King's Field title.[4] In 2004, they released another Xbox title, Metal Wolf Chaos. 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.[3] In 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.[4] In 2008, FromSoftware underwent a stock split before entering the Nintendo Wii market to release Tenchu: Shadow Assassins.[4]

In April 2014, Kadokawa Corporation announced its intention to purchase the company from former shareholder Transcosmos. The deal was finalized on May 21, 2014.[5] In December 2015, FromSoftware was nominated for developer of the year at The Game Awards 2015, but lost to CD Projekt Red.[6] In January 2016, FromSoftware added a new studio in Fukuoka that focuses on creating computer-generated imagery (CGI) assets for their games.[7][8]

Games

With fifteen games 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.

In 2009, FromSoftware 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.[9] 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.[10][11][12] 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.[13][14][15][16] Since release, Dark Souls and Bloodborne have been cited by many publications to be among the greatest games of all time.[17][18][19]

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.[20] Two games, the PlayStation VR exclusive Déraciné and the multiplatform Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, were announced at E3 2018.[21][22] An action role-playing game featuring the collaboration of FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki and A Song of Ice and Fire series author George R. R. Martin, titled Elden Ring, will be released in 2022.[23]

List of games developed by FromSoftware[24]
Title System Initial release
King's Field PlayStation December 16, 1994
King's Field II July 21, 1995
King's Field III June 21, 1996
Armored Core July 10, 1997
Armored Core: Project Phantasma December 4, 1997
Shadow Tower June 25, 1998
Echo Night August 13, 1998
Armored Core: Master of Arena February 4, 1999
Spriggan: Lunar Verse June 16, 1999
Frame Gride Dreamcast July 15, 1999
Echo Night 2: The Lord of Nightmares PlayStation August 5, 1999
Eternal Ring PlayStation 2 March 4, 2000
Evergrace April 27, 2000
Armored Core 2 August 3, 2000
The Adventures of Cookie & Cream December 7, 2000
Armored Core 2: Another Age April 12, 2001
Forever Kingdom June 21, 2001
King's Field IV October 4, 2001
Armored Core 3 April 1, 2002
Lost Kingdoms GameCube April 25, 2002
Otogi: Myth of Demons Xbox December 12, 2002
Armored Core: Silent Line PlayStation 2 January 23, 2003
Murakumo: Renegade Mech Pursuit Xbox July 25, 2002
Thousand Land March 20, 2003
Lost Kingdoms II GameCube May 23, 2003
Shadow Tower Abyss PlayStation 2 October 23, 2003
Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors Xbox December 25, 2003
Nebula: Echo Night PlayStation 2 January 22, 2004
Armored Core: Nexus March 18, 2004
Kuon April 1, 2004
Armored Core: Nine Breaker October 28, 2004
Armored Core: Formula Front PlayStation Portable December 12, 2004
Metal Wolf Chaos Xbox December 22, 2004
Yoshitsune Eiyūden PlayStation 2 January 13, 2005
Another Century's Episode January 27, 2005
Armored Core: Last Raven August 4, 2005
Enchanted Arms PlayStation 3 January 12, 2006
Xbox 360
Another Century's Episode 2 PlayStation 2 March 30, 2006
Chromehounds Xbox 360 June 29, 2006
King's Field: Additional I PlayStation Portable July 20, 2006
King's Field: Additional II August 24, 2006
Armored Core 4 PlayStation 3 December 21, 2006
Xbox 360
Nanpure VOW Nintendo DS April 26, 2007
Iraroji VOW May 24, 2007
Another Century's Episode 3: The Final PlayStation 2 September 6, 2007
Armored Core: For Answer PlayStation 3 March 19, 2008
Xbox 360
Shadow Assault: Tenchu Xbox 360 October 8, 2008
Inugamike no Ichizoku Nintendo DS January 22, 2009
Ninja Blade Xbox 360 January 29, 2009
Microsoft Windows
Demon's Souls PlayStation 3 February 5, 2009
Yatsu Hakamura Nintendo DS April 23, 2009
Another Century's Episode: R PlayStation 3 August 19, 2010
Monster Hunter Diary PlayStation Portable August 26, 2010
Another Century's Episode Portable January 13, 2011
Dark Souls PlayStation 3 September 22, 2011
Xbox 360
Microsoft Windows August 23, 2012
PlayStation 4 May 24, 2018
Xbox One
Nintendo Switch October 19, 2018
Armored Core V PlayStation 3 January 26, 2012
Xbox 360
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn PlayStation 3 March 8, 2012
Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Xbox 360 June 21, 2012
Armored Core: Verdict Day PlayStation 3 September 26, 2013
Xbox 360
Dark Souls II PlayStation 3 March 13, 2014
Xbox 360
Microsoft Windows
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin PlayStation 3 February 5, 2015
Xbox 360
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Microsoft Windows
Bloodborne PlayStation 4 March 24, 2015
Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village DX Nintendo 3DS September 10, 2015
Dark Souls III PlayStation 4 March 24, 2016
Xbox One
Microsoft Windows April 12, 2016
Déraciné PlayStation 4 (PlayStation VR) November 6, 2018
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Microsoft Windows March 22, 2019
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Stadia October 28, 2020
Elden Ring Microsoft Windows January 21, 2022
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 5
Xbox One
Xbox Series X/S

References

  1. ^ a b c "About". Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  2. ^ Ciolek, Todd (March 16, 2015). "The History of From Software". ign.com. Archived from the original on March 18, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e Ciolek, Todd. "The History of From Software". IGN. p. 1. Archived from the original on March 18, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e "History | FromSoftware". www.fromsoftware.jp. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  5. ^ "From Software acquired by Japanese publisher Kadokawa Corporation". Archived from the original on April 29, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "From Software to open new studio in Fukuoka". Gematsu. September 12, 2015. Archived from the original on September 16, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  8. ^ "FromSoftware to Establish New Studio in Fukuoka in October 2015". FromSoftware. Archived from the original on June 1, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  9. ^ "Dark Souls 3 confirmed, coming early 2016". Polygon. June 15, 2015. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  10. ^ Ben Dutka (February 12, 2009). "Demon's Souls Caps Impressive First Week of Sales in Japan". PSX Extreme. Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
  11. ^ May 8, 2014, Financial Highlights for the Fiscal Year Ended March 2014 Archived May 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, NAMCO BANDAI Holdings Inc.
  12. ^ May 7, 2014, Dark Souls II Ships 1.2 Million In U.S. And Europe Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, Siliconera
  13. ^ den Ouden, Adriaan. "RPG of the Year". RPGamer. Archived from the original on April 1, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  14. ^ Marchello, Sam. "Best Graphics". RPGamer. Archived from the original on April 10, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  15. ^ Staples, Ken. "Best PS3". RPGamer. Archived from the original on April 6, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  16. ^ "Community Choice Game of the Year". Game Revolution. December 23, 2011. Archived from the original on April 2, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  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. ^ "The Top 300 Games of All Time". Game Informer. No. 300. April 2018.
  19. ^ "Edge Presents: The 100 Greatest Video Games of All Time". Edge. August 2017.
  20. ^ Hillier, Brenna (April 27, 2016). "Dark Souls 3 director already working on a new IP". VG247. Archived from the original on April 28, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  21. ^ McWhertor, Michael (June 10, 2018). "FromSoftware's Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice coming from Activision". Polygon. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  22. ^ Statt, Nick (June 12, 2018). "Dark Souls creator From Software is making a VR game called Déraciné". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  23. ^ McWhertor, Michael (June 9, 2019). "Elden Ring, a game from George R.R. Martin and FromSoftware, has been revealed". Polygon. Archived from the original on June 10, 2019. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  24. ^ "Products". fromsoftware.jp. Archived from the original on May 9, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2018.