If the datamine is legit, Elden Ring DLC could be Game of the Year material on its own

Elden Ring
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring datamine suggests potential DLC leaves space for 30 new bosses. For Elden Ring fans, that's the sort of headline that stops you in your tracks. The sort of headline that perks you up faster than a shot of Wondrous Physick. The sort of headline players have been longing for for some time, reminding us that, in just 12 words, we've got unfinished business in the Lands Between. I recently hit the 250-hour mark with FromSoftware's critically-acclaimed action role-player, and while I reckon I've just about uncovered as much of the map as I possibly can (although I suspect that are still some nooks and crannies that remain uncharted in my save file), I am positively ecstatic at the thought of having new land to explore and new bosses to battle.     

Whether or not we end up with as many as 30 bosses remains to be seen, but if the most recent datamine of the game's 1.07 update is anything to go by, the long-awaited and much anticipated first slice of Elden Ring DLC could be Game of the Year material unto itself.

Elden Ring DLC when?

Elden Ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Backed by George R.R. Martin and pushing the boundaries of the genre popularized by Dark Souls further than ever before, Elden Ring landed with such a splash earlier this year that its place among Game of the Year lists across the board now feels inevitable. The game's widespread acclaim and abiding popularity, combined with the post-launch model followed by the developer's previous games has also now made the prospect of Elden Ring DLC feel like a sure thing – with the only real uncertainty being a matter of when not if

Looking at FromSoftware's back catalog, there were six months between Dark Souls 3's worldwide release and its first expansion, Ashes of Ariandel. Dark Souls 2 rolled out Crown of the Sunken King just three months after its base game's launch; while Bloodborne's The Old Hunters arrived eight months after its source. The first Dark Souls, released in October 2011 on PS3 and Xbox 360 (September in Japan), waited 10 months for its Artorias of the Abyss DLC, which was rolled into the game's Prepare To Die Edition PC port in August the following year. The Activision-published Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the only FromSoftware game since Dark Souls not to receive any added content beyond official updates, making the Sengoku-period action RPG the outlier among an otherwise busy bunch. 

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"The thought of Elden Ring turning up the dial on the likes of Malenia, Malekith, and Starscourge Radahn is positively terrifying, and yet is something I, and I'm sure many other Elden Ring fans out there, would love to see."

As uncovered by intrepid dataminers across social media (opens in new tab), though, it seems Elden Ring will deliver on the DLC front as expected. Better still, if the datamine is accurate, we can expect: new hair options in the game's character creation suite; new weapon categories; something in the way of new legacy dungeons, divine towers and that cut Colosseum map; as many as 16 new NPCs, each labeled in the data as "Someone Yet Unseen"; and, as noted above, up to 30 new bosses. As outlined in this Reddit post (opens in new tab), the latter remains ambiguous for now because the mention of 30 itself refers to 'boss flags', said to be held "for DLC purposes". To this end, there's a section in the game's code that leaves space for 30 flags, making this, according to the dataminers, the maximum number of bosses the DLC can support, not necessarily the number the final product will contain. 

But even if that number is halved, or even divided by three, the first portion of Elden Ring DLC sounds pretty incredible. In comparison, Dark Souls' Artorias of the Abyss DLC included five bosses. Bloodborne's The Old Hunters brought the same; whereas Dark Souls 3's DLC was split into two – with Ashes of Ariandel including just two end-of-zone adversaries, while The Ringed City had five. No matter the exact number, I'll take whatever Elden Ring has up its sleeve at this point – not least because Soulslike DLC has a tendency to up the ante and deliver some of the series' most memorable showdowns. Seemingly driven by a desire to go bigger and more brutal than their base games, these expansions are responsible for our epic altercations with the likes of Manus and Black Dragon Kalameet; Ludwig and the Orphan of Kos; Sister Fried and Darkeater Midir and Slave Knight Gael, and the list goes on. The thought of Elden Ring turning up the dial on the likes of Malenia, Malekith, and Starscourge Radahn is positively terrifying, and yet is something I, and I'm sure many other Elden Ring fans out there, would love to see. 

Earlier this year, I wrote an Elden Ring DLC wishlist within which I pined for new locations, new bosses, cut content areas, and more dedicated PvP arenas among other things. From what we can glean from this most recent datamine, it seems like I'm getting much of what I asked for. But, in all honesty, wishlists of this nature are driven by abstract desire and longingness – the very fact that we're now discussing tangible things that could feature in an Elden Ring DLC, even if that's only in code form at present, is way more exciting than one writer hypothesizing on what they'd like to see based on educated guesses and speculation. If FromSoftware can deliver on the contents of this datamine, we could be looking at something with as much potential as Elden Ring had in the first place pre-release. For me, it's Game of the Year fodder for the Game of the Year. And I, for one, cannot wait. 

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Joe Donnelly
Features Editor, GamesRadar+

Joe is a Features Editor at GamesRadar+. With over five years of experience working in specialist print and online journalism, Joe has written for a number of gaming, sport and entertainment publications including PC Gamer, Edge, Play and FourFourTwo. He is well-versed in all things Grand Theft Auto and spends much of his spare time swapping real-world Glasgow for GTA Online’s Los Santos. Joe is also a mental health advocate and has written a book about video games, mental health and their complex intersections. He is a regular expert contributor on both subjects for BBC radio. Many moons ago, he was a fully-qualified plumber which basically makes him Super Mario.