Bloodborne is finally out on PlayStation 4 (check out our review in progress), and it has earned a very warm reception with critics. This has some fans of the Dark Souls games on PC wondering when they’ll get a chance to play it.
A petition on the website Change.org has more than 13,000 signatures from people asking developer From Software to port Bloodborne to PC. They may have found some hope yesterday when online retailer Amazon posted a listing for Bloodborne: Nightmare Edition for Windows on its website. But it’s likely that PC fans are getting their hopes up for nothing as the studio has previously said that the game is a PS4 exclusive.
“Hope you’ll consider buying a PlayStation 4,” Sony Computer Entertainment marketing manager Yasuhiro Kitao said to a fan on Twitter in February. “Bloodborne will not be release on PC.”
Now, Kitao works for Sony, so it’s possible that he doesn’t know From Software’s future plans for Bloodborne. But — outside a speculative Amazon listing — no evidence counters Kitao’s claims. And after the success of Dark Souls, Sony Computer Entertainment approached From Software about working together on something new. That eventually turned into Bloodborne. Sony published it. It made a co-development deal with From Software.
More importantly, From Software doesn’t own the Bloodborne name. Sony Computer Entertainment claimed the trademark for the term “Bloodborne,” according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. That means it doesn’t matter what From Software wants to do with the game, it’ll have to get permission from Sony to do it.
“I’m not sure why this is a story,” Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told GamesBeat. “I cannot remember any first-party Sony or Nintendo exclusives that ever became PC games. Microsoft allows its games to go to PC sometimes, because they are the Windows company.”
Very few Sony Computer Entertainment-published games have made the jump to PC. A few of the Pixeljunk games, which Sony originally published and studio Q-Games developed, eventually came to PC. But Sony never owned any stake in the Pixeljunk name.
Now, while this situation isn’t like God of War, where Sony owns the franchise and the developer that makes it (From Software is an independent studio), it also isn’t like Titanfall and developer Respawn Entertainment’s situation with Electronic Arts. Respawn was working on the game and went to EA about publishing. In this case, Sony approached From Software. It likely did that specifically because it wanted a big, exclusive PS4 game that can hold up its release schedule.
We don’t know the details of Sony’s agreement with From Software, but the fact that Sony owns the Bloodborne trademark means it definitely won’t come to Xbox One. And it’s unlikely it’ll ever come to PC.