FromSoftware says Elden Ring’s popular Seamless Co-op mod is ‘definitely not something we actively oppose,’ and may even ‘consider ideas like that with our future games’

The week before I traveled to Tokyo to play Shadow of the Erdtree for PC Gamer’s next cover story, I knew I needed to brush up on my Elden Ring skills. Instead of tackling the game solo again I decided to recruit a friend and try out the Seamless Co-op mod, which turned out to be a blast—I recommend it to anyone going back to Elden Ring after their first playthrough.

Co-op has always been my favorite way to experience FromSoftware‘s games, and in some ways Elden Ring makes it easier than Dark Souls to summon friends to take on bosses and dungeons together. But it also has some frustrating limitations, like not being able to ride Torrent in the open world. So when I interviewed FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki for the cover story, I brought up how Seamless Co-op makes it possible to play the entire game in a single uninterrupted multiplayer session, and asked what he thinks about that way of experiencing the game.

“It’s definitely not something we actively oppose or want to downplay, wanting to go through the whole game together,” Miyazaki said. “In terms of where we were with Elden Ring, it was simply a case of wanting that more loose, casual style—drop in, defeat a boss, drop out. It doesn’t put any technical restrictions on the player, it just sort of lets them complete this focus and then move on, so to speak.”

Elden Ring did make that aspect of the co-op experience quite a bit friendlier than it was in prior FromSoft games; in Dark Souls, for example, you had to use a consumable item to be able to summon another player for help, a limitation Elden Ring greatly eased up on with its crafting system. It also introduced the concept of “summoning pools” to concentrate players’ summon signs, making it easier to quickly find someone to assist in a tough battle. 

Those are nice changes for players who only occasionally want to dabble in co-op, but for me that’s quite a different experience than going on an entire journey with a friend, which I’ve done for the entire Dark Souls trilogy (and now a good chunk of Elden Ring). So I was pleasantly surprised by what Miyazaki said next:

“That’s not to say we won’t consider other ways like you and your friend played, from beginning to end, total co-op—that’s not to say we won’t consider ideas like that with our future games.”

It’s hardly a promise, of course; Miyazaki didn’t spill any secrets about what FromSoftware’s going to make next. But the studio has trended towards making co-op in its games more and more accessible over time, and it must have noticed that the Seamless Co-op mod is by far the most popular on the Elden Ring Nexusmods page, with 3.6 million downloads to its name (the next most popular has just ⅓ as many, at 1.2 million). Even for a studio known for following its own vision, that’s got to count for something.