Dark Souls developer has nasty shock for early players

From Software has taken a bold (and amusing) stance against Dark Souls players who grabbed the title early from embargo-flouting retailers. Whereas an Epic or a Microsoft might address leaked games with a vague threat of legal action or online penalties, the Dark Souls developer looked closer to home for the best way to mete out justice with the severity associated with its brand. Solution: pit early players against the kind of antagonists that'd scare seasoned veterans.

Here's the stats for one of the malevolent player-haters unleashed on the Dark Souls world by the vengeful creators at From: note the maxed-out abilities across the board, HP twice as high as anyone could hope to achieve after days' worth of playtime, and full stock of anything that could conceivably be used to pulverize human-controlled characters. That's the worst defeat one could ever hope for – next time don't be so damn eager. The game launches for real on Oct 4 in North America; if you get hold of a copy early, be sure and take it monster-hunting for us.

Sep 21, 2011

Source: Esuteru via Next-Gen


From Software


  • waffman11 - September 22, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    I don't see why people are getting their panties in a bunch over the punishment of early players. If someone has gotten a game early because of a pre-order, then they most likely know what day the game is supposed to come out. Most high-profile games also have a number of posters or signs about the stores that will be selling them as a major profit item, and they all have release dates on them. It's purely a judgement call for the person with the game, and if they care about the supposed consequences. The punishment, or lack thereof, then, can go either way. The only "real" problem that the industry might face would be those retailers that completely disregard street dates and start dealing the product-in any manner-more than a week in advance. It has happened with most of the CoD's in recent memory, and the advance these people get on the game is laughable, despite the connections being based completely in Mexico (a place that is surprisingly common to connect to even now).
  • ParanoidAndroid - September 22, 2011 4:49 p.m.

    But I'm still failing to see the problem of a few people getting the game early. It seems like a non-issue to me.
  • PaintedMan - September 22, 2011 1:44 p.m.

    @RoeTaKa I haven't got Demon Souls. To be honest, I'd barely heard of it before this article. Nor have I ever bought a game before it's launch date. My post wasn't even about that. It's about a developer wetting their pants and punishing gamers because they're too scared to tackle the retailers that are actually breaking the rules. @ Fetalspray. I shouldn't have said 'routine'. I should have said 'regularly'. I'm pretty sure it's not standard policy for supermarkets to break street dates. But I've seen a couple do it and have heard of several others doing it not far from where I stay (Glasgow, Scotland). To be honest, in these cases it's almost certainly down to ignorance, rather than a deliberate decision to break the rules (though a games shop not far from me HAS deliberately done it at least once), but the end result is the same. Either way, the gamer who buys a product from a shelf has done nothing wrong, despite how loudly the developers bleat about it. Oh, and there are a couple of thousand supermarkets in the UK. Have you been to every one of them every time a game comes out. No? Thought not.
  • RoeTaKa - September 22, 2011 7:51 a.m.

    I guess this is kind of void if you choose to play offline? Unless it's a patch?
  • silentflame666 - September 22, 2011 7:10 a.m.

    The early birds who found a copy of Dark Souls are most likely to be huge Demon's Souls fans: they'll probably feel extremely honored to be pulverized by these monstrosities. It's all part of the experience and grim humor that emanates from the game, after See Mr. EBAX1's comment as a reference.
  • Hobogonigal - September 22, 2011 2:35 a.m.

    Nice job. This should be done in more games, it would be pretty cool to play a game early like Deus Ex with 1HP, an inability to augment and no use of weapons. The challenge would then be to see how far you can get before it is patched back to normal!
  • Money - September 21, 2011 11:52 p.m.

    That would actually make me want to play the game early just to face that
  • angelusdlion - September 21, 2011 10:45 p.m.

    So I wonder something. why can't they just, I don't know, keep the servers from being inaccessible until the release date?
  • PizzatheHutt - September 22, 2011 1:26 a.m.

    Because this is more fun. HAHA!
  • Linktoreality - September 21, 2011 10:42 p.m.

    Haha, I'd love to see a video of someone "hunting" (i.e., getting their asses kicked by) one of these monsters.
  • ParanoidAndroid - September 21, 2011 9:31 p.m.

    But when I pre-order games they almost always arrive a day early. I'm not a pirate and didn't seek to get it earlier than anyone else; would I be punished too? Seems a little unfair to punish, possibly clueless, punters, when it's the retailers that release them early.
  • Viklandian - September 21, 2011 11:09 p.m.

    That reminds me - remember those letters that came with the pre-ordered copies of Gears of War 3? You know - 'please don't play this until midnight on the actual date of release?' It's a handy reminder, and - unless you have a serious problem - you should be able to show restraint. Of course, not everyone is so trustworthy, so we get warnings of this. I imagine that future letters will show stills from this very move, with a WARNING in nice capital letters, so everyone can read it. Any suggestions for future versions? You know - snipers permanently camped just outside spawn points, much harsher radiation and the like - all to be fixed with a day-one patch (see, there are good sides to them) and a handy switch for masochists who actually like that sort of thing (yes, all four of them).
  • ParanoidAndroid - September 22, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    A serious problem? Get over yourself. If you get the game that you've been wanting for for ages early, who in all honesty isn't going to pop it in? I got Gears Of War 3 early and played it early. There was even a cheery, welcoming message for early players. What possible harm could playing it early have done? That letter was probably just Gamestop covering their backs.
  • NullG7 - September 21, 2011 9:09 p.m.

  • Yeager1122 - September 21, 2011 8:41 p.m.

    That is awsome should have just waited like everyone else.
  • TheRandomFool - September 21, 2011 8:25 p.m.

    Sensible and effective. Everyone should follow this example.
  • Net_Bastard - September 21, 2011 7:47 p.m.

    Why the hell are they punishing people who went and BOUGHT THEIR DAMN GAME? It doesn't matter what date it was supposed to come out; they shouldn't bitch about getting some early profit.
  • LordCorwin - September 21, 2011 8:08 p.m.

    Actually they should complain, street dates are there for a reason, if a game gets leaked early to a select group of players it sets it up to be pirated that much more quickly, meaning fewer people might purchase the game at launch and the few days afterwards that it usually takes to crack them. So good for From and I applaud their problem solving solution.
  • PaintedMan - September 22, 2011 7:22 a.m.

    Sorry, but I don't buy into that at all. Supermarkets in the UK have routinely broken street dates for years and the games industry is yet to come to a screeching halt. If the developers/publishers etc have a problem with early sales they should take it up with the retailers. But wait, that would mean actually growing a pair and going up against someone who can fight back. It may even mean (gasp) losing a few sales if aforementioned retailers stop selling that developer's titles. No, better just to attack their loyal fanbase instead. Serves those people right for legally buying a game and playing it. Absolutely pathetic.

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