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Dark Souls trilogy loses multiplayer tags on Steam, prompting fears of permanent server outages

Dark Souls
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Mentions of online multiplayer or co-op functionality appears to have been removed from all three Dark Souls games on PC.

As spotted by The OuterHaven (opens in new tab), the Steam entries for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, Dark Souls Remastered, Dark Souls 2, and Dark Souls 3 now list 'Single-player' as a category, but there's no sign of the 'Online Co-op' and 'Online PvP' categorisations that they originally had.

While those categorizations are no longer in place, the games' descriptions still make reference to online functionality. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition mentions a "PvP arena & online matchmaking system," while Dark Souls 2 still offers an "updated multiplayer system" with "improved online interaction to bring forward cooperative & competitive play. The most recent chronological game in the series, Dark Souls 3, doesn't refer to any multiplayer options, but 2018's Dark Souls Remastered promises multiplayer for "up to 6 players with dedicated servers."

It's not clear why the categories have been removed from the games' listings, but it's likely to link to the Dark Souls security exploit that pulled servers for the three most recent titles offline earlier this year. Back in January, Bandai Namco said PvP servers would be "temporarily deactivated to allow the team to investigate recent reports of an issue with online services." On February 9, Bandai Namco and developer FromSoftware said that those services wouldn't return until after the launch of Elden Ring, but more than a month after that game released, there's been no word from either party.

That has some fans concerned that the multiplayer features might never be coming back. A similar fate befell the LittleBigPlanet community last autumn, leading to the PS3 servers being permanently shut down. With Bandai Namco and FromSoft's attention likely now firmly on Elden Ring, there might be little rationale for bringing them back. We've reached out to Bandai Namco for clarification on the matter.

In the meantime, keep your skills sharp with the best Elden Ring builds for either online or offline play.

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.