Why did Sony hold back from publishing Demon's Souls in NA?
Demon's Souls has gone on to become a beloved PlayStation 3 game. It's incredibly tough, and its challenge harks back to classic NES games that tortured gamers who rushed in without thinking. It's hard, it's intimidating, and it's absolutely wonderful.
Sony, however, didn't always think so. In an interview with GameInformer, Sony Senior VP Shuhei Yoshida explained that he originally thought the game was "crap." Early on during the game's development there were framerate issues and other bugs, and Sony never got much of a chance to check out a more advanced build. Ultimately, the company didn't think Demon's Souls would succeed in North America, so it handed it over to Namco Bandai to publish.
"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," recalled Yoshida. "I said, 'This is crap. This is an unbelievably bad game.' So I put it aside. Luckily, third-party publishers, Atlus in North America and Namco in Europe [stepped in], and it really became a great hit outside of Japan."
Yoshida explained that by not having faith in its own product, Sony really "dropped the ball." I'd have to say I agree, because Demon's Souls is considered by many to be one of the best PlayStation 3 exclusives released in the last few years. Sure, it's freakin' hard as heck, but it's so awesome, too!