Today I have some sad news to share with you. Come the end of May, the servers for the popular and punishing PS3 exclusive Demon’s Souls will be taken offline. After seeing the message “You Died” flash up on screen so many times, this could be perhaps the saddest death of all.
After numerous extensions to the time limit, with the game’s popularity helping to keep the moderators at bay, ATLUS has confirmed that the North American servers will go offline on the 31st May. In light of this ATLUS will be hosting to separate world tendency events before the plug is pulled. One from May 1st until May 15th, while the second event will be from May 16th until May 31st. Whether they’ll be black or white depends on fan voting. It’s a nice way to encourage fans to get on before they have to say goodbye.
While this is only affecting the North American servers, one has to wonder when the European servers will be pulled. Having just announced the Dark Souls: Prepare To Die edition for PC, it is clear to see where ATLUS plans to focus its efforts. Eurogamer have asked publisher Namco Bandai where this leaves the European servers, rest assured we’ll be keeping an eye out.
While the single player will remain unaffected, Demon’s Souls multiplayer was woven so expertly into the experience that it’ll be missed. There was always a great feeling of comradarie as you teamed up with a few other knights to take down a particularly tough demon, and the thrill of being hunted through a level by another player is still second to none.
Finally I’ll leave you with a statement sent to Game Informer from Tim Pivnicny, VP of sales and marketing at ATLUS,
On October 6, 2009, North American gamers’ expectations of what an online roleplaying experience could be were forever changed. With Demon’s Souls, gamers received a title of breathtaking scope and vision, a project built on experimental cooperative and competitive multiplayer concepts, offering users both direct and indirect methods of communication and interaction. Elements of every connected player’s single player world carried into the worlds of others, sometimes as nothing more than an echo or afterimage, and other times in the form of an alliance or invasion. With countless hazards to memorize and plan for spread across each of the game’s sprawling dozen-plus worlds, the ability for players to leave hints—or, potentially, deceptions—and to view the final moments of other adventurers’ lives, created an unprecedented form of RPG crowd-sourcing that remains revolutionary to this day.
When subtle interactions were insufficient assistance, players could call across dimensions for assistance, pulling the weakened spirit forms of other adventurers—unable to communicate using conventional voice chat in order to preserve the game’s intense atmosphere—into their worlds to help them defeat the game’s unforgettable boss monsters. Other less altruistic spirit form users could invade the world of living adventurers and try to revive themselves by quite literally stealing that life from another. All of these online elements, all of the ways in which gamers would interact with each other, served to enhance and complement the core game and were designed so as to neither diminish nor distract from the experience and thrill of simply playing the game.
It has been a tremendous honor and privilege for all of our staff at ATLUS to have been involved with so innovative and groundbreaking an interactive entertainment experience. We poured our heart and soul into every facet of our involvement with Demon’s Souls, particularly the title’s memorable Deluxe Edition, which served as the only avenue through which to purchase the game’s official strategy guide. It was also of the utmost importance for us to sustain the game’s online experience as long as possible, even beyond the point at which sales could help to offset the expense. Regrettably, the online servers cannot be sustained forever and now the end draws near.
Thank you to the unparalleled passion and support of the Demon’s Souls community throughout these last two and a half years. The online adventure may end soon, but the memory of it—just like that of every boss strategy, every level floor plan, and hidden secret—lives on in the gamers for whom the game was so special.
Long live Boletaria!
Feel free to share some of your favourite Demon’s Souls moments and memories below!