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Bandai Namco has confirmed that due to essential maintenance required to fix widespread issues with the PC versions of the Dark Souls series, online services for the games will remain offline until after the release of Elden Ring.
In a statement posted to Twitter it said: “We want to thank the entire Dark Souls community and the players who have reached out to us directly to voice their concerns and offer solutions. Thanks to you, we have identified the cause and are working on fixing the issue.”
The statement continues: “We have extended the investigation to Elden Ring – our upcoming title launching on February 25th – and have made sure the necessary security measures are in place for this title on all target platforms.
“Due to the time required to set up proper testing environments, online service for the Dark Souls series on PC will not resume until after the release of Elden Ring. We will continue to do everything we can to bring back these services as soon as possible.”
Dark Souls servers have been offline for nearly three weeks, which means they will have been down for over a month by the time Elden Ring arrives.
Bandai Namco has allegedly been aware of the security flaws within its Dark Souls games for years, according to a recent VGC report.
On January 23, Bandai Namco temporarily removed PvP servers for Dark Souls: Remastered, Dark Souls 2 and Dark Souls 3, following the discovery of a severe remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability, which was said to allow abusers to take control of other players’ PCs.
As reported by VGC, one of the people behind the discovery of the vulnerability said that they had made Bandai Namco aware of the issue over a month earlier and that neither the publisher nor developer From acted upon the warning until it was made public in a last-ditch attempt to provoke action.
Another member of the Dark Souls community told VGC they made the games’ publisher aware of a second, yet to be made public RCE as far back as in 2020 and that it remains unfixed.
VGC has been told there are over 100 cheats, hacks and security vulnerabilities within Dark Souls 3, some of which are listed here. Many of these will only affect PC players but can cause a variety of issues.
It is unclear from Bandai Namco’s statement which of the exploits will be fixed with this new update.
It was previously revealed via the Elden Ring EULA that the game would use the EasyAntiCheat anti-cheat service, which works by monitoring the hardware, analysing the game binaries and scanning the hardware memory for the ‘purpose of detecting and preventing cheating’. This led seasoned Dark Souls players to speculate that the same exploits affecting the series would also apply to the upcoming game.