Elden Ring is, bar-none, FromSoftware and Bandai Namco’s most successful game to date. It peaked at a million concurrent players and the game has sold 13.4 million copies to date. With concurrent Co-op launching later this month and planned expansions, the game will likely experience the longevity of a GaaS. The core progression loop is designed for long-term commitment, with multiple NG+ tiers to work through.
Prior to the launch of Elden Ring, Bandai Namco shut down all the PC servers for the Souls series, pending an investigation into, and fix of, an RCE exploit. On February 9th, it was announced that the servers would return after Elden Ring’s launch. But as of today, exactly four months after the shutdown, the servers are still inaccessible and PC players have no access to the online multiplayer component of the Souls games.
The underlying exploit could have (theoretically) allowed a hacker to run code on the local PCs of players in the game. With the Souls games still having a sizeable audience, it’s understandable that FromSoftware felt the need to break the glass and shut down the servers temporarily to protect their playbase but the continued absence of online Souls multiplayer on PC hurts, nevertheless.
Dark Souls 3 is a relatively new game, and even the oldest, Dark Souls, is not ancient enough to believe that FromSoftware is considering abandoning the online components entirely. Yet the lack of communication and continued blackout seems to imply that developer-focus is spent elsewhere, and it’s not difficult to figure out the culprit.
There is no announced timetable for the return of the PC servers for the Souls games, leaving many fans languishing. As development within FromSoftware pivots harder to Elden Ring, the hope of a quick resumption of service is growing dimmer. Fans fear that the servers may remain offline permanently.