Today is a sad day for fans of Atlus' critically-acclaimed PS3-exclusive game, Demon's Souls. Hot off the heels of my Dark Souls review, the announcement that Dark Souls will be ported to the PC, and new rumors that DLC is in the works for Dark Souls, Atlust just announced that the Demon's Souls servers will be shut-down at 11:59 PST on May 31st, 2012.
We knew it had to happen sooner or later, and the shut down was already delayed at least once (it was originally scheduled to happen shortly after the release of Dark Souls). It just seems like this is way too early. The game is only two-and-a-half years old!
It's also really too bad that FromSoftware and Atlus don't seem to have any plans to update the game to support some sort of P2P, direct IP/TCP, or proxy-server multiplayer set-up. I know it would defeat the idea behind the online components, but something would be better than nothing. Letting the fans connect to each other directly, or to set up their own servers would be nice, but I'm not even sure if it's technically possible given the structure of the PlayStation Network.
This is a really unfortunate foreshadowing of the future of gaming in general. With so many games nowadays having some kind of online multiplayer or other functionality, many of these games have a very finite lifespan. I don't think anybody would really miss any of the old Call of Duty games being shut down because a new one gets released every 6 or 12 months. But for more unique games like Demon's Souls, it's a very sad thought to know that a beloved game could suddenly be turned off.
At least I was able to beat the game well before the online functionality was disabled.
At least Demon's Souls single-player mode will remain functional. The game wasn't completely dependent on it's online components. But without these components, the game is going to be considerably harder and less enjoyable.
PC port of Dark Souls also announced, will include bonus content
In addition to the bad news about Demon's Souls, I also learned that the Dark Souls PC port will include additional content:
Hopefully, this content finds its way on the PS3/Xbox 360 versions. It would be really disheartening to know that Namco/Bandai would screw over the loyal fans who bought the game on or near release by not giving us access to new content.
UPDATE (June 1, 2012): Atlus extends server operation indefinitely
Just found out that Atlus has extended the operation of the Demon's Souls servers "indefinitely!