From president, and Lord Gwyn incarnate Hidetaka Miyazaki has clarified what was meant by mention of Dark Souls 3 being the "final episode" of the series. It won't be the last in the series, he said in a roundtable E3 interview, but it will mark a "turning point", with future games potentially embracing settings other than the medieval era. (Of course, Bloodborne already did this, but it's not clear if From consider it part of the same series.)
Eurogamer were there to hear Miyazaki's comments:
"First of all, this is not the final product for the Dark Souls series. However, I believe it's the turning point for the Dark Souls series. First of all, Dark Souls has a really unique worldview. It's not a good idea, continuously releasing titles for this series because of that factor. And this will probably be the turning point of From Software as a whole - it's the last project we started working on before I became president. It's basically From Software, they started working on this project when it was an older generation. So it's a turning point. It'll be a turning point, but it's not final."
When asked where Dark Souls or future Souls games could be heading in the future, Miyazaki said the following:
"From Software is well known not only for the fantasy game, but they've been creating the sci-fi mech game Armored Core and also some Japanese-style games, like the ninja games. So I may introduce a new direction in those genres or themes that From Software has worked on in the past in new, future titles. However, there are so many things that I want to work on, and I'm actually not communicating anything at this moment, so don't call me a liar if they don't happen!"
After so many fantasy RPGs, it makes sense for From to turn their attentions back to their neglected Armored Core series, or even to something like Tenchu. He didn't explicitly tease the possibility of Armored Souls, or of Even Darker Souls: Stealth Assassins, but those would obviously be very exciting things.
Miyazaki also revealed that he has a co-director for Dark Souls 3: Isamu Okano, who directed Kinect mech game Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor. He'll be handling the day to day duties, Eurogamer say, while Miyazaki will be responsible for DS3's world-building.
If you were wondering when the game started development, or how many staff it shares with Bloodborne, Miyazaki has you covered there too:
"The development timeframe of Bloodborne and Dark Souls overlapped by a year. But none of the team swapped over - just me. Some visual designers have also worked on both titles, though. That's an exception."