'I absolutely suck at video games': Hidetaka Miyazaki discusses how he prepped for Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

Hidetaka Miyazaki, president of Fromsoftware.
(Image credit: Fromsoft)

It's safe to say that Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree was one of the most anticipated games for 2024, with long time souls fans having waited a couple of years since the base game's release, and new players desperately trying to speedrun to Mohg so they'd be ready to dive straight in. But it seems like we weren't the only ones prepping, as director Hidetaka Miyazaki also had a prerelease routine that he's kindly shared. 

"In preparation for Shadow of the Erdtree, I played through the main story of Elden Ring," Miyazaki says in an interview with The Guardian. "I want to preface this by saying I absolutely suck at video games, so my approach or play style was to use everything I have at my disposal, all the assistance, every scrap of aid that the game offers, and also all the knowledge that I have as the architect of the game … the freedom and open-world nature of Elden Ring perhaps lowered the barrier to entry, and I might be the one who’s benefiting the most from that, as a player, more than anyone else."

Some players may look down on others who use summons or other items that can give you a helping hand against enemies. I've never felt any shame, after all, I'm trying to take down gods and demi-gods—shout out to my Mimic Tear for always being by my side. 

And while the vast majority of players don't really care how anyone else approaches Elden Ring or its DLC, it really is nice to hear that Miyazaki has a similar approach. It's pretty vindicating, actually. 

But apparently, Miyazaki won't spend too much time with a new game: "After the release, I tend to not want to touch it because I know I’m going to either find things that I left on the table or issues that will bug me. And once I become a player, I’m powerless to do anything significant to change it. So once a game is out in the wild, I tend to not play." 

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree gameplay showing stats, moveset, and location of the Starr Lined Sword, my favorite new weapon in the DLC

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

There haven't been too many issues with Shadow of the Erdtree so far, apart from a micro-stutter (which wasn't always that micro) that plagued a few systems. Otherwise, all the patches that FromSoftware has released so far have addressed the few graphics issues, as well as slightly buffing the player to try and accommodate the difficulty spike.

Despite continuing to pound players into the dirt with its difficulty level, the anticipation for Shadow of the Erdtree was clearly not misplaced. Reaching a peak of over 700,000 concurrent players on Steam after the DLC release, which was just 200,000 shy of its all-time record set on Elden Ring's release back in 2022, saying it's been successful is a bit of an understatement. But while success is certainly welcome at FromSoftware, Miyazaki also discusses where there's room to fail.

"Budgets, scale, scope, everything has grown to a point where room for failure isn’t tolerated as much as I think it was in the past,” Miyazaki says. “FromSoftware has its own way of hedging risks, so to speak, in that most of our projects have a partner who is financing the project … From a business management perspective, we’re not betting everything on any one single project. At the same time, you have to find the right project to allow for failure: whether it’s smaller in scope or scale, or it’s a small module within something bigger, there needs to be room for that."


Erdtree map fragments: Uncover the Land of Shadow
Scadutree fragments: How to level up in Erdtree
Erdtree bosses: A full hit list for the DLC
Leda quest: Track the Erdtree main quest
Sir Ansbach quest: Help the former servant of Mohg
Hornsent quest: Complete the quest for vengeance

Elie Gould
News Writer

Elie is a news writer with an unhealthy love of horror games—even though their greatest fear is being chased. When they're not screaming or hiding, there's a good chance you'll find them testing their metal in metroidvanias or just admiring their Pokemon TCG collection. Elie has previously worked at TechRadar Gaming as a staff writer and studied at JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs about Smash Bros. or any indie game that crossed their path.