Monday, April 16, 2012

Demon's Souls to be taken off PS3 servers

Just this week ATLUS announced that Demon Souls (the game that catapulted their name from just "the guys who published Persona" to a full fledged, awesome game publisher) will be closing it's PS3 online doors.

Created by From Software, the prequel to Dark Souls, Demon's Souls is a game that denied classical genre classification. A brilliant game that had aspects of RPG character creation, strategy game planning, action game reflexes, and old school gaming difficulty.  I mean, really old school.  The game is so difficult I had to stop myself from throwing my controller on numerous occasions.  One thing that really kept me going though, were the interactions I got from fellow players.

Nothing felt cooler than non-verbally celebrating a tough battle together.
The game was excellent at making the player feel alone.  Very alone.  You had to survive on wits, instinct, and a little smart planning if you wanted to keep playing.  But, if you so chose, there were little messages written on the ground from players who had been there before you, and you could also see visions of the last breaths and actions of others before their inevitable deaths.  These slight interactions with others not only showed you that others were playing and having the same difficulties you were, but also showed you that others were dying all around you.  Occasionally you could be visited by other players (some to help you, some to hunt you down), but these were only brief non-chatting interactions. In the end, when you have to remember where all the traps were and how to take down that monstrous boss, you were alone.

Well, players of the game should really start getting used to that feeling. Since being released in October of 2009 the game's PS3 online servers will go offline for good on May 31st, at midnight.   This does not kill the game, and you can still enjoy it.  Just not to it's fullest extent. The game will get punishingly hard for those who need the help from the messages on the ground and ghost glimpses, but I'm sure that you will be able to find solace from those on the internet.

So why did this have to happen?
Well, ATLUS is not a giant publisher akin to the likes of Activision or EA.  Hosting a server that houses hundreds of thousands of daily interactions is not cheap.  The answer is simply this:  They ran out of money to host it. Coming directly from the press release: 
"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."
With a sequel that they are focusing on, Dark Souls, and other game desires, they couldn't keep it open any longer.  There are petitions open and demands for a kickstarter to be, ahem, started, but I doubt that these will work.
In December of 2010 the admins of ATLUS' forums were talking about how overjoyed they were that they could afford an extension of the life of their servers for the game, a mere year after the game was released. 
So can someone else help out?  I doubt that other publishers will be willing to fund the bill for one of their competitors.  Maybe someone that directly benefited from the game's release?  Maybe Sony, the home of the exclusive title? Well, after the recent news that Sony has revised their loss projections to make out for a $6.4 billion dollar loss, I really don't think that they can foot that bill either.
'Sorry Demon's Souls fans, we're kinda in a hole here too!'
So what can you as a player do?  Enjoy the product to it's fullest while you can, and continue to show support for ATLUS to make them a bigger company.  It was their creative genius that brought us the game, lets show them that we love them for it.  Buy their other games new, be active on their game's forums, and support them.  
You have till midnight on May 31st to get your slaying on, get to it!
"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..."
 -ATLUS Development Team (taken from official press release)

And when you get back, Like our Facebook page and subscribe to the site!


  1. Good Article. Personally these games were fun for me. Not my favorite, but I bought Dark Souls, and have enjoyed my time with it and will perhaps go back to finish it some day.

  2. Yeah I had similar thoughts with it. I had every intention to put more time into this actually this summer, but it looks like I'll have to pick up Dark Souls instead. From the practice I had with it though, Dark Souls was substantially harder for me for some reason.

  3. I personally like this game a lot. Also the game play is have a very long story.