Demon's Souls turned out to be one of the most impressive PlayStation 3 exclusives of the generation. So why did Sony pass on the prospect of publishing it in North America?
Well, in short, because when they first saw it and played it, it was "crap." That's a direct quote from Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida is speaking to Game Informer . But when the interviewer said he felt one of Sony's biggest mistakes was not publishing Demon's Souls in NA and Europe, Yoshida replied- "Absolutely! Tell me about it! 100% agree!"
He then went on to talk about the differences in Japanese and Western game development. For instance, in Japan, he says game design is "made horizontally where all assets are made in parallel, so it's difficult to figure out what the final state of the game is going to be." This is in contrast to the Western style, which is "typically a vertical slice;" i.e., one can see what the end result will be like in the early goings. As for Atlus' RPG:
"For my personal experience with Demon’s Souls, when it was close to final I spent close to two hours playing it and after two hours I was still standing at the beginning at the game. I said, 'This is crap. This is an unbelievably bad game.' So I put it aside."
Yoshida went on to say they "definitely dropped the ball from a publishing standpoint" because they weren't "able to see the value of the product." But it's all a learning process and sometimes, it's tough to know what game might end up winning the hearts of consumers and critics. As for the Demon's Souls IP, Yoshida said they don't sell their IPs and now that they love From Software's stuff, the future is wide open.
So what's next? "Evil Souls?" "Devil's Souls?"