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Exit: From Software

The Elephant in the Room

February 14th, 2013 by Holy at

This is a reluctant valentine for me. It’s time to clear the air. I want to begin by saying that I could be From Software’s biggest fan. I am not Japanese. I am a US American. I am not a fan that obsesses over minutia. I just genuinely love the things I love. And nothing has had a greater impact than “From” for me.

So it is natural I wholeheartedly embrace Sword of Moonlight. I trained my entire life for something like this. And it is fitting I found what I was looking for all of this time among those things that I treasure most. I ask what could be any cooler than a chance to make your own game? Not just any game. A game with a major league licensed IP attached to it. The original 3D game. One that by all rights as far as you are concerned is the king of video game IPs!

No company would give away its very successful IP right? Well From Software did just that. It is an admirable humanitarian gesture isn’t it. The people behind Sword of Moonlight must have come to realize it could never be a money maker. Sure so-called “game makers” looked like a viable genre back then. But Sword of Moonlight was something else. It is PC software. You don’t need it to distribute your newly minted PC games. And by the way. What you do with them is up to you. As long as you stick to original and or King’s Field IP you’re golden (although companies holding King’s Field licenses abroad may beg to differ.)

From Software sold Sword of Moonlight on store shelves in Japan. If you are in Japan you can still buy remaining prints directly by mail. Mainly as a collectors item. Because the software itself was never viable in the first place. I know. This is the gut wrenching part by the way. The game-program-half on its own boasts on the order of 100 to 200 software bugs. A number of which are as serious as a heart attack. Japanese customers who invested time to make a game, or even a dream come true, deserved — and still deserve — better. Needless to say From Software never addressed these bugs. A few were patched early on. But many hard to miss bugs remained.

By all rights retail software made unusable by bugs is nothing short of scandalous. But the writing was on the wall. Of course. From Software should be duty bound to correct every defect as fast as customers can discover them. Sword of Moonlight is not a mere game. If only it were Sony would have held it to a higher standard — but none of this should matter now as long as there is, and always will be, Sword of Moonlight.

From Software trusted us. Regular people with King’s Field. By failing to deliver on its side of its bargain. I submit (in no official terms) that From Software defaulted to a two-sided contract. We are both participants. From Software made the gesture, and how I see it, it is now our time and place to seal the deal. Yes it is awesome. But don’t forget it is bigger than that even. It is King’s Field. Its legacy, brand, and future.

We have reached a turning point. Thanks to open source software and Internet technologies and infrastructure we can make games with Sword of Moonlight that are free of defects and live up to standards of professionalism that we as players have every right to expect and — make no mistake — demand. No game maker must ever ever risk reputation to that that is beyond control. And nobody but nobody better compel us to take that risk.

Specifically these assurances refer to version of the extension library. There are lingering shortcomings around the much pockmarked stock artwork accompanying Sword of Moonlight. Some of it is pictured above. But there are fixes to be found online and there is going to be a campaign to methodically remaster each and every file just as soon as a new round of open source editing tools begins nearing completion later this year. There are also long running issues around performance being taken care of. And wouldn’t it be nice to have at least one one stop site for everything Sword of Moonlight?

In other words. Now is the perfect opportunity to take another look at Sword of Moonlight. You have just enough time to get a head start and be ahead of the pack when Sword of Moonlight sees its rightful place on the world’s stage…

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