After the initial reveal of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, we quickly learned it would lack online multiplayer – a first for the developer’s major titles since Demon’s Souls. As part of our visit to the studio for our cover story, we asked them to elaborate on why that was the case.
Past From games have had an idiosyncratic take on online multiplayer. Players could leave each other notes throughout the world, warning each other of dangerous surprises or goading them into hazards. One player could summon another to help them with a difficult section, but risk being invaded and attacked by another.
From Software isn’t necessarily abandoning that part of its legacy, but it is taking a bit of a detour for now. “Of course, we at From, we love those online elements,” says Yasuhiro Kitao, manager of marketing and communications at From. “We love to create our own characters just as much as everyone else. We hope players are looking forward to something in the future where we might go back to that, but for now, Sekiro is very much its own thing.”
Not having an online component has its upsides, however. For one, players who’ve longed for an honest-to-goodness pause button (who first got a taste with the Switch version of Dark Souls) finally have that option. It also means players don’t have to worry about being invaded during tense encounters. And without co-op, bosses can be designed with a single player in mind.
Finally, it frees From up to let loose their creativity when creating Sekiro’s map. “When creating these playspaces, we don’t have to take into consideration how players will operate with one another in these maps, or how they may exploit the playspace by cooperating or something like this,” Kitao says. “So it allows us, again, to hone in on the player experience, and really capitalize on that lack of restriction that comes with creating a multiplayer-based game, and let our imagination run wild in these places.”
For more on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, check out our breakdown on how its progression works, or head over to our hub to see all of our coverage throughout the month.