Hidetaka Miyazaki, creator of the Souls series, is considering an Easy Mode for his creation. While no one would ever call Dark Souls an easy game, adding a mode that at least allows for that seems a bit strange. During an interview, Miyazaki had interesting points to make regarding this possibility.
I personally want my games to be described as satisfying rather than difficult. As a matter of fact, I am aiming at giving players sense of accomplishment in the use of difficulty.
Having said that, however, it is true that Dark Souls is rather difficult and a number of people may hesitate to play. This fact is really sad to me and I am thinking about whether I should prepare another difficulty that everyone can complete or carefully send all gamers the messages behind our difficult games.
Miyazaki raises two points here. First, he wishes to bring satisfaction from overcoming the game’s difficulty. As someone who has Dark Souls‘ Platinum Trophy, I can attest to the satisfaction of having overcome the game’s trials multiple times (having a trophy like that is nothing to scoff at).
Second, Miyazaki is considering an easier difficulty so that everyone can enjoy his game. While elitism is never fun for anyone, opening up the gates for all is off-putting. Part of Dark Souls‘ fun is its challenge and its demand for you to overcome a steep learning curve. Of course, I can’t see the game ever losing its hardcore tendencies and difficulty level, so an Easy Mode as just an option wouldn’t hurt too badly. I just don’t want to see the difficulty fade and have the Souls series become just another RPG.
Assuming it’s implemented well, an Easy Mode wouldn’t kill what makes Dark Souls great. All it would really lead to is a berating of gamers who choose to ignore the game’s true intention. As long as it doesn’t lose what really makes it stand out (that would be controller-snapping difficulty, everyone), Dark Souls will survive with an Easy Mode.