BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment’s Dark Souls franchise has etched itself as a central action-adventure role-playing experience in the gaming industry. It incorporates a large community of hardcore RPG enthusiasts even to this day. The first title in the series came out more than a decennium ago. The controller-shattering gameplay and skill-demanding combat mechanics ended up leaving a realistic blueprint for other RPG games to follow. Dark Souls carved the path for titles like Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and the recent successor to the Souls-like genre, Elden Ring.
Dark Souls has undoubtedly contended with the most notable games in its genre. It won Ultimate Game of All Time at last year’s Joystick Awards, exceeding world-renowned titles like Minecraft and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The multiplayer features are a substantial part of these titles and partially the reason for their global success. However, it has not been easy for Dark Souls recently. In January, servers for the PC editions of Dark Souls games went into the dark (pun intended) after unearthing a severe security vulnerability in Dark Souls 3.
Recently, the multiplayer tags were removed from the games on Steam concerning the risk, but they have not returned thus far. BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment cited the service suspension as momentary but later updated the hiatus in February. The publisher noted that online services for Dark Souls games on PC would not be restored until sometime after Elden Ring was released. It has been more than a month after Elden Ring acclaimed the throne of Souls-like genre. However, the servers are still shelved away without any updates to the community.
Naturally, players have shown deep concern over the situation. There are possibilities that the servers may never be switched back on again. It appears like the return of the franchise’s multiplayer features could take a lot longer than expected, perhaps not even returning at all. It’s feasible that the company yanked the tags to evade confusion or accusations of false advertising on the Steam product page. However, the extreme length of time indicates that the security issues that emerged prior to this year are considerably more fierce and problematic to resolve than anticipated.
Nevertheless, the descriptions for the Dark Souls franchise still mention multiplayer elements, such as a “PvP arena & online matchmaking system” in Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, for instance, and an “improved online interaction” for “cooperative and competitive play” in Dark Souls 2. Furthermore, Dark Souls Remastered states multiplayer for “up to 6 players with dedicated servers.” So, there is still hope for multiplayer to return to the franchise soon, and it should suffice to curb the uneasiness of players.