Credits: FromSoftware/TIME Magazine

Hidetaka Miyazaki named one of Time’s 100 most influential people of 2023

Hidetaka Miyazaki, the president of FromSoftware and the director of games such as Dark Souls, Bloodborne and Elden Ring, has been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2023, for innovation. He is only the second video game developer to have ever been featured on the Time list, after Shigeru Miyamoto was honoured in 2007 at the peak of the Wii’s popularity. The list compiles noteworthy figures from all walks of life who excel in a particular field and/or contribute to making the world a better place, and who were most responsible for shaping the year as a result.

FromSoftware, under Miyazaki’s leadership, has become one of the premiere developers in the games industry, establishing the idea of ‘Soulslike’ as both a marker of difficulty and a descriptor for a specific combination of weighted combat and exploration. He joined the company in 2005, and then served as director on the developer’s premium titles from 2006 onwards. Under his watch, the studio has seen success with Demon’s Soul, Dark Soul I, Dark Souls III and Bloodborne.

It was the runaway success of Elden Ring that led to his nomination on the Time list.

Elden Ring has sold over 20 million units since it was released in February 2022, winning multiple Game of the Year awards in the process, and it has consolidated a gaming style refined by Miyazaki which has spawned hundreds of imitators. Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann, who wrote a note about Miyazaki on Time’s official site, said: “The first time I played one of Hidetaka Miyazaki’s games, I was miserable. I kept dying on the first enemy over and over again. But when I slowed down my approach, paying attention to the details, it all of a sudden clicked.

“I managed to defeat the enemy and advance further into the game. I earned my progress and felt a sort of rush! And as I moved forward in the game, I was much more deliberate, careful in how I explored this world. And in return the world rewarded me with tension, beauty, and surprises.”

“That’s why Elden Ring – his massively popular 2022 hit – is a great ambassador for video games and the unique feelings they can effect in the player, feelings that a passive medium like TV can never re-create. Miyazaki’s games make the player feel accomplished and smart – and it’s all thanks to his and his team’s uncompromising approach. He refuses to overexplain the mechanics or the lore, but rather puts his trust in the player to figure it out on their own.”

Other entries on the 2023 list include President Joe Biden, author Neil Gaiman, footballer Lionel Messi and the tech giant Elon Musk.


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