During a recent keynote address at an industry event, Hidetaka Miyazaki (Dark Souls, Sekiro) and Fumito Ueda (Shadow of the Colossus) spoke about how they tend to prefer emphasizing gameplay over story. However, Miyazaki mentioned that he has an interest in making a game where the story and storytelling are the focus.
Actually, he went so far as to reference Red Dead Redemption 2 when trying to explain the kind of game that he is talking about. As enticing as that is, the most relevant piece of information came shortly after Miyazaki namedropped Rockstar’s open-world hit. It seems that Miyazaki feels that he needs to do a better job of communicating the story of his games to his team who he implied often don’t fully understand the narrative of the titles they work on.
What’s fascinating about that is few people do fully understand the plots in games like Dark Souls and Sekiro. Indeed, part of the appeal of these games (for some) comes from using what little information is made available to them to figure out the plot of these titles. In the case of games like Bloodborne, that plot turns out to be one of the best of its era (even if it is undeniably strange and confusing).
Would Miyazaki really stray from that style and create either an open-world or linear experience that outlines the story more clearly for the player? It’s possible, but the bigger takeaway here is that he might just work to make the plot of his games a little more clear to those who don’t hunt down every item in the game and bother to translate their cryptic descriptions.
Besides, Miyazaki still has too much love for the style of storytelling he has utilized thus far. He refers to gameplay as the soul of the experience and that story ultimately revolves around the gameplay. He also describes developing a game as “playing with clay” and watching it all come together as you mold it.
So while the idea of Miyazaki making a Yakuza-like game is fascinating, we’re guessing that he’s just going to change the mold slightly rather than break it.