Elden Ring creator Hidetaka Miyazaki sat down for a chat with IGN recently, in the build-up to today's much-anticipated announcement of an expansion to our 2022 game of the year. In the short conversation, Miyazaki spoke about working on Elden Ring, whether the game's success would influence FromSoft's future projects, and the kind of games he looks to for inspiration. And guess what? Turns out Miyazaki's been paying special attention to Escape from Tarkov recently.
When he was asked what trends, ideas, or tech he finds inspiring, Miyazaki said that he's been keeping an eye on how other developers have been "updating multiplayer network functionality and the game design" in ways that change how "the players are involved in the gameplay", and even how "players are used as one of the resources for the gameplay". In particular, he's been watching Tarkov, where he's been observing changes as both "a creator and fan of the game".
It makes sense that Miyazaki would be paying keen attention to how other games are implementing multiplayer features: The Souls series' multiplayer has been a lynchpin of its experience ever since Demon's Souls on the PS3. I'm curious as to what it is about Tarkov in particular that's caught the creator's eye, though.
Is he tempted by the notion of an area that you could only feasibly get through in a whole squad of players? Or perhaps he fancies making the penalties for dying to an enemy invader even more severe than they already are? The quote about "using players as a resource for the game"—apart from sounding a bit dystopian—makes me think of games like EVE Online, where players have a huge amount of leverage in determining fundamental aspects of the game world, which in turn makes me think about the original Demon's Souls' world tendency system, where players' actions could make a zone harder or easier for everyone.
Perhaps we'll learn the answer when Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree expansion releases, although we don't yet know when that will be. We do know that, whatever Miyazaki works on next, he apparently won't be influenced by Elden Ring's phenomenal success. The director told IGN that the game's popularity won't "affect what we are going to create next," and that FromSoft will "keep creating the game that we want to create, and that's our policy". So, gritty Russian FPS it is, then. Sign me up.