FromSoftware's next release is Armoured Core VI: Fires of Rubicon. While this mech game will reportedly take some lessons learned from the Soulsborne franchise, we're not getting one of the RPGs that made FromSoftware a household gaming name for some time. This gives us a question then of what the famed developer should do next.
The first answer to that question seems pretty clear. FromSoftware should almost definitely will capitalise on the immense success of Elden Ring with DLC. Considering all of the Soulsborne games besides Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice have had additional content, it's more a matter of when we're getting Elden Ring DLC rather than if.
With Armoured Core VI and Elden Ring DLC likely filling out FromSoftware's immediate calendar, then, we can look to the future to speculate a bit on what the developer should do next with its most popular series in the Soulsborne franchise. It seems there are a few main paths that FromSoftware could go down, but fans have been asking for a couple of options for some time now.
A potential option for how the roster of FromSoftware RPGs could expand is a new IP. While, as will be discussed, there are plenty of fans who would be disappointed to not see a sequel to their favourite game, FromSoftware does have somewhat of an aversion to sequels, as shown by Miyazaki's disappearance during the development of Dark Souls II. This could mean that rather than delving deeper into an already explored universe, we'll instead see another RPG with very similar themes, but an entirely different setting. Considering the success of Elden Ring, another IP could very well be a solid move for FromSoftware.
Out of the games that could get sequels, though, there are two clear candidates. Dark Souls has been wrapped up as a trilogy, so it seems highly unlikely we'd be getting another game in that franchise. Elden Ring is also too recent, and while it is the most successful title FromSoftware has released, it is so massive that work on a sequel will take years before we see anything on it. So then, we're left with two options: Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Before the dumpster fire starts, I am aware Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is not technically acknowledged as a Soulsborne game, but from one glance at the game it's clear to see it exists in a very similar vein to the RPGs FromSoftware has made before, just with more action focused gameplay and a rhythm game as its core mechanic. After we've just seen the sprawling, open RPG that Elden Ring is, perhaps it would be best to focus on a game with a tighter focus like a sequel to Sekiro.
A sequel to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice could act as a breath of fresh air. The parry mechanics and stealth gameplay is tighter than anything we've seen from FromSoftware, giving you the feeling each time you stepped up against a boss you were in the cinematic duel at the end of a samurai movie. Also, in more than one of Sekiro's endings there is space for the story to continue, which means there's plenty of opportunity to expand if FromSoftware wants to maintain the character of Wolf, or there's also the chance to completely ditch that character and go in a different direction. While some FromSoftware worlds are bigger than Sekiro's, the combat of the 2019 title is something that shouldn't be left to just one game, as it is the most difficult but also the fairest system in the Soulsborne series, as due to the rhythmic style of a fight, if you fail to keep up that's always on the player's failure to anticipate and react to their enemy.
While Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has a lot of potential for a sequel, it's not the game that has fans going rabid over Twitter every time Sony even hints at showing a grimy Victorian street. Bloodborne is still regarded as the best game FromSoftware has placed into its Soulsborne series, and for good reason. The horrifying and intriguing worldbuilding, the fast and punishing combat, and the excellent enemies you face all blend to create a gaming experience that fans are not even close to forgetting nearly eight years after release.
With each year that passes, fans cling to the hope of a Bloodborne remaster or a sequel, and so if FromSoftware is looking for another Soulsborne game to create, it'll certainly find some easy hype in announcing another Bloodborne game. As fans create Game Boy style demakes of Bloodborne, and even kart racing spin-off games centred around the RPG, it's clear that many want to see more Lovecraftian, Victorian horror. Whether we'll see any more official Bloodborne content from FromSoftware remains to be seen, but the demand will always be there.
Which sequel would you prefer? Or do you want to see FromSoftware go in another direction entirely?