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'Elden Ring 2': Why a sequel isn't as inevitable as you think

FromSoftware has become one of the most critically-acclaimed developers in recent years, and the influence of the Dark Souls series simply can’t be overstated. FromSoftware is no stranger to success, but Elden Ring has become one of their most influential titles. In just three weeks Elden Ring sold 12 million copies, outpacing their previous best-selling game, Dark Souls 3 at 10 million lifetime sales. It begs the question, what’s next for FromSoftware, and will there be an Elden Ring 2?

The most obvious thing to get out of the way is that it’s incredibly likely Elden Ring will get some kind of DLC expansion in the future. FromSoftware released hefty expansions for all three Dark Souls games — as well as Bloodborne. (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an exception.) Because Elden Ring falls more in line with traditional Souls experiences, it seems very likely we’ll see DLC, especially considering the game has so much history and lore that remains unexplored. The question of a sequel is a different story, however.

FromSoftware is a storied developer that’s been around since the early 90s and has dozens of different titles under its belt. Since the release of Dark Souls 2, the studio has been working almost exclusively on Souls-like experiences. These have become the studio’s bread and butter, and no other developer has managed to replicate the recipe. Despite that, it’s easy to see how FromSoftware would want to branch off and try creating new experiences.

In a 2016 interview with 4Gamer, director of the Souls series Hidetaka Miyazaki said “we’re going to put the Dark Souls series on hold for a while.” Of course, we still saw the release of Sekiro and Elden Ring, but it’s clear that FromSoftware doesn’t want to be confined to only making games like them. Because of that sentiment, it’s unlikely that the studio will be in any rush to make Elden Ring 2. There’s also the possibility that Elden Ring’s publisher Bandai Namco could feel differently, and wants to see a sequel sooner rather than later. This creates a couple of different options.

FromSoftware is a developer that’s put out nothing but massive hits for years, and because of that Bandai Namco is likely more willing to let the developer do what it wants. There have been strong rumors about From working on a new Armored Core game, with a report circulating earlier this year that the studio was putting out a survey that contained screenshots, plot details, and more on the new game. All signs point to Armored Core 6 being the next game the studio puts out, but other projects will likely be in the early stages of production.

Because Bandai Namco owns the Elden Ring IP, it’s possible the studio could move forward on another game without FromSoftware, even though that seems unlikely. A more viable option seems like a different team making a sequel, or at least starting production. FromSoftware is made up of roughly 330 employees, meaning there are likely multiple teams on different projects. Elden Ring 2 could be worked on by different members of FromSoftware, much like Dark Souls 2, which was directed by Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura, instead of Miyazaki.

Elden Ring was first announced at E3 2019, meaning it took roughly three years from announcement to release. Because of the game’s success it seems inevitable there will be another game eventually, but that’s likely four years out, at the very least. Games that have comparable starting sales to Elden Ring are all parts of massive franchises with multiple entries, like Breath of the Wild’s 4 million in one month, Skyrim’s ten million in one month, and Red Dead Redemption 2’s 17 million after two weeks of release. Success in the gaming industry tends to breed sequels, so Elden Ring 2 seems a question of when, rather than if.

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