From Software's Souls series has garnered critical acclaim and a fervent fan following.Now the franchise has a spiritual successor in Bloodborne.
MCV throws some light on the best merchandise for the games
When Demon's Souls launched on PS3 in Japan in 2009, no one expected it to be a smash hit. Especially as the game – created by acclaimed studio From Software – quickly became renowned for its tough difficulty.
Our approach in 2009 was fairly conservative given the niche concept of the game,” admits Sony product marketing manager Joe Palmer.
But Demon's Souls helped to establish a big demand for these kinds of games.”
After proving a success in Japan, the title made its way to the West on the back of passionate campaigning from the community.
In 2011, it received a spiritual sequel – Dark Souls – that expanded the series onto Xbox 360 and PC, as well as returning to PS3. Like its predecessor, it was critically acclaimed, and sold more than 2.4m units worldwide.
This was followed by a full sequel, 2011's Dark Souls II. The title was backed by a 1 million UK marketing campaign, which resulted in pre-orders rising by 50 per cent in comparison to the first game.
This year, Dark Souls II makes its return, debuting on PS4 and Xbox One in the form of remastered edition Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (it's also coming to PC).
However, it's not the only game From Software is bringing to players looking for a challenge; this month also marks the release of Bloodborne, a spiritual successor to the Souls franchise which, like Demon's Souls, is only coming to PlayStation.
Scholar of the First Sin and Bloodborne are launching within weeks of each other, providing a perfect opportunity to fill shelves with related products.
Bloodborne provides a great chance for us to tap into a highly engaged audience,” says Palmer.
Dark Souls proved that gamers want more of a challenge, and we are fully embracing this in our approach to Bloodborne.”
Bloodborne Collector's Edition Strategy Guide
Written by the team behind the Dark Souls II guide, this hardcover book features behind-the-scenes details from Bloodborne's creators and an interview with game director Hidetaka Miyazaki. The guide has a lore index to help players understand the title's world, as well as a vast array of artwork from the game. Sections include a training manual to familiarise players with the controls; maps of Bloodborne's environments; information on in-game monsters, equipment and characters; and details on the Chalice Dungeons multiplayer mode.
Manufacturer: Future Press
Distributor: CBL Distribution
Contact: 0121 608 3950
Dark Souls: Design Works
Design Works showcases the gothic artwork and design of Dark Souls' world in full colour across 128 pages. Including key visuals, concept art and rough sketches, as well as character, weapon and monster designs, the hardcover title also has a number of exclusive interviews, including discussions with game director Hidetaka Miyazaki and several of the game's artists. The book itself is finished in a deluxe treatment, with a pearlised silver dust jacket and shimmering ultra high-gloss black and silver detailing.
Manufacturer: UDON Entertainment
Distributor: Diamond Book Distributors UK
Warrior of Sunlight Hoodie
Inspired by Dark Souls' photophilic fan-favourite character Solaire of Astora, this top features the knight's iconic sun emblem.
Manufacturer: Insert Coin
Distributor: Insert Coin
Contact: 01702 521 850
Dark Souls II Collector'sEdition Guide
This guide will help players find their way through Dark Souls II – perfect for those about to boot up re-release Scholar of the First Sin.
Manufacturer: Future Press
Distributor: Gardners Books
Contact: 01323 521 777
Stylised with key art from From Software's latest title, this mug is the perfect vessel for blood... We mean tea.
Manufacturer: GB Eye
Distributor: GB Eye
Bloodborne Night Street T-Shirt
Players can proudly display the terrifying streets of Bloodborne setting Yharnam with this shirt.
Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment
Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK
Camp Lordran T-Shirt