Demon’s Souls Servers Die a Painful Death May 31st [Update]

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Atlus USA has been working hard to maintain the North American Demon’s Souls online servers since the game launched in 2009, already staving off shutdowns a couple times over the past year or so. But, sadly, the time for Demon’s Souls‘ innovative online component to die is finally at hand.

After two and a half years of bringing brave Boletarians together in an online role-playing community experience like no other (except for its successor Dark Souls, of course), the Demon’s Souls servers will shut down when the final second ticks off the clock on May 31st. After that, you’re on your own, lost in a harsh world with no one to help you.

Between now and the shutdown, Atlus will be giving its Demon’s Souls Faithful the opportunity to experience two more World Tendency events. On May 1st and then on May 16th, polls will be held and fan votes will determine whether the World Tendency is black or white.

So, if you still have some adventuring left to do or have yet to take on the Demon’s Souls challenge, now’s the time to do so before it’s too late.

[Updated – April 13, 2012] Atlus has released this lengthy farewell message to the Demon’s Souls online functionality in today’s official press release follow-up to yesterday’s email newsletter announcement:

“On October 6, 2009, North American gamers’ expectations of what an online roleplaying experience could be were forever changed,” commented Tim Pivnicny, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ATLUS. “With Demon’s Souls, gamers received a title of breathtaking scope and vision, a project built on experimental cooperative and competitive multiplayer concepts, offering users both direct and indirect methods of communication and interaction. Elements of every connected player’s single player world carried into the worlds of others, sometimes as nothing more than an echo or afterimage, and other times in the form of an alliance or invasion. With countless hazards to memorize and plan for spread across each of the game’s sprawling dozen–plus worlds, the ability for players to leave hints–or, potentially, deceptions-and to view the final moments of other adventurers’ lives, created an unprecedented form of RPG crowd-sourcing that remains revolutionary to this day.

When subtle interactions were insufficient assistance, players could call across dimensions for assistance, pulling the weakened spirit forms of other adventurers–unable to communicate using conventional voice chat in order to preserve the game’s intense atmosphere–into their worlds to help them defeat the game’s unforgettable boss monsters. Other less altruistic spirit form users could invade the world of living adventurers and try to revive themselves by quite literally stealing that life from another. All of these online elements, all of the ways in which gamers would interact with each other, served to enhance and complement the core game and were designed so as to neither diminish nor distract from the experience and thrill of simply playing the game.

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, particularly the title’s memorable Deluxe Edition, which served as the only avenue through which to purchase the game’s official strategy guide. 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. Thank you to the unparalleled passion and support of the Demon’s Souls community throughout these last two and a half years. The online adventure may end soon, but the memory of it-just like that of every boss strategy, every level floor plan, and hidden secret-lives on in the gamers for whom the game was so special. Long live Boletaria!”

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