Nine months after being offline, FromSoftware has restored online and PvP features for Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin on PC, but has also decided that they will not be reviving Dark Souls: Prepare to Die. You might have been ready for this news, but the original PC release of Dark Souls is now dead as an online game.
We have determined that we will not be able to support online services for the PC version of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, which was released in 2012, due to an aging system.
We apologize for the long wait and ask for your understanding on this matter.
– Dark Souls (@DarkSoulsGame) October 25, 2022
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There’s an added wrinkle to this announcement, as only the DirectX 11 version of Dark Souls 2 is being restored today, and the DirectX 9 version is still locked out of online multiplayer for now. Dark Souls Remastered is also still offline with work continuing on that game.
The Dark Souls 3 servers were brought back online in August, went offline for a bit in September, and then came back up again a week later.
The entire Dark Souls trilogy was taken offline on PC in early 2022 following the widespread discovery of a critical Remote Code Execution (RCE) exploit in the games. RCE exploits are a huge problem for Bandai Namco and FromSoftware to deal with because they allow hackers to run arbitrary code that has free reign over a computer. This can be used to mess up and corrupt the game from some save, but that is mitigated when it could also install malware to capture login details, brick computers, install bitcoin miners and more.
There was some low-level awareness of this from before 2022, but once it became mainstream in the run up to the launch of Elden Ring, FromSoftware was forced to act and take the older games offline. They were able to implement a fix for Elden Ring before launch – this game using an iterated version of FromSoftware’s online code – but Dark Souls was a longer-term project.
Much of this is simply down to the age of the game. Dark Souls 3 was released in 2016 with the final expansion coming out in 2017. After that point, the game engine continues to evolve, the SDKs and development tools change, server infrastructure differs, and there are new systems for a developer to work with. Going back to legacy code bases can cause countless problems when trying to marry that with newer components, and that’s before considering the servers. Of course, it’s also just the time and resources it needs compared to FromSoftware, who can see how much or how few people still play, and they will definitely show Dark Souls Remastered as a more current version of the game that they. will continue to support.
Source: From Software
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