Hidetaka Miyazaki explains how Elden Ring’s “joy” comes from crushing difficulty

Daniel Appleford
Hidetaka Miyazaki and Elden Ring

FromSoftware President & Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki says that lowering the difficulty of Elden Ring would ruin the game as it was meant to be.

Elden Ring, a game that has dominated gaming discussions for the past two years, stands out with its unique approach to difficulty. Unlike its roleplaying game counterparts, such as Baldur’s Gate 3, Elden Ring is renowned for its unyielding and unforgiving gameplay.

In an interview with The Guardian, Miyazaki spoke about the game’s difficulty and its importance to Elden Ring’s overall success.

“If we really wanted the whole world to play the game, we could just crank the difficulty down more and more. But that wasn’t the right approach,” said Miyazaki.

“Had we taken that approach, I don’t think the game would have done what it did, because the sense of achievement that players gain from overcoming these hurdles is such a fundamental part of the experience. Turning down difficulty would strip the game of that joy – which, in my eyes, would break the game itself.”

The conversation surrounding the game’s difficulty has been put on a pedestal with the release of the Elden Ring DLC Shadow Of The Erdtree on June 20.

The DLC can only be accessed by reaching a certain point in the base game, which is a challenging task for players to overcome.

Despite the difficulty of Elden Ring, its popularity in gaming remains the same. With the release of Shadow Of The Erdtree, big-name streamers like Kai Cenat and Jynxzi have tried to overcome the game at any cost, even if it means hundreds of deaths and restarts.

Kai Cenat’s triumph in Elden Ring was even praised by the developers, who sent him a life-sized Malenia statue after he spent over 24 hours attempting to beat her during his livestream of the game.

Jynxzi, on the other hand, gave up on his projected week-long stream of the game due to its difficulty.