From Software might have already made games that inspired the Souls series, but history wasn't adding up to much when Demon's Souls was first in development (around 2006). Internally, it was considered a failure.
It took handing the reins to a man who had joined the studio in 2004 to save it. He was unusual in the Japanese development scene. He'd left a much better paid IT job for US company Oracle to be there, but was 29 years old and had no prior experience making games. From Software had been one of the only places that would take him.