One of the more surprising sleeper hits from the last few years was Demon’s Souls. The From Software-developed RPG proved that word of mouth is still the most effective form of advertising, as its punishing difficulty and decidedly hardcore sensibilities made the game a media darling, which in turn led to big sales and big financial gains for Atlus USA.
All of this is great news unless you happen to be Sony, who was the Japanese publisher but decided against publishing the game in the west. Apparently Sony thinks that was a pretty bad call too, as during a GDC panel discussing localizations, Sony representative Yeonkyung Kim called passing the buck to Atlus “a mistake” and said the RPG “should have come out as a first-party title.”
Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve, but after playing the game, I could see how someone at Sony probably thought it wasn’t going to be the success it turned out to be.