Originally Posted by SpoonFULL
Not necessarily true. Dark Souls was punishing and difficult, but its design was mind blowing and character customisation and rewards were even better. Not to mention exploration with excellent replay value. Thus it is very popular even on consoles.
So bottom line, as long as the difficult game is designed and made well then it will have following. Making a difficult game that is poorly designed and calling it hardcore or old-school to justify poor popularity is not an excuse for a bad game.