Sekiro Dubi, a FromSoft dataminer who's previously investigated Elden Ring's cut quests and coliseums, has recently shared data (opens in new tab) from the game's files that implies planned DLC. This information seems to have been buried in Elden Ring for longer than the datamined evidence of potential DLC areas uncovered by Lance McDonald and Zullie the Witch we reported on previously (opens in new tab).
Sekiro Dubi's theory revolves around numbers assigned to the loot that bosses drop when they're killed. In the screenshot shared with their original post, you can observe a sequence of major bosses' names, not all tied to remembrances, with ID numbers of 9100-9135, while after 9180, you've got item drops related to minor bosses like Loretta's Greatbow or the Marais Executioner's Sword.
Sekiro Dubi notes that 30 codes, 9140-9169, are unused, and argues that they are reserved for DLC bosses. Although Sekiro Dubi made these posts on Halloween, after Elden Ring's 1.07 update, it seems that these boss IDs have been reserved in this way since release, as opposed to the blank map IDs uncovered by Lance and Zullie, which were added in the 1.07 update.
Sekiro Dubi cautions (opens in new tab) that the 30 reserved slots do not guarantee how many bosses might appear in a potential DLC. "It's not a hard cap, they can literally add similar flags like these wherever they please," The dataminer stated. "They just reserved 30 flag IDs for DLC boss stuff, they could also add bosses that don't require those flags."
It's hard to make a definitive conclusion from this evidence, other than that it's further support that some kind of expansion or DLC is coming eventually. At this point in the life cycle of every previous Soulsborne game besides Sekiro, FromSoft had launched some form of DLC content like Dark Souls 3's Ashes of Ariandel or Bloodborne's The Old Hunters.
These events initialize flags & loot for killing bosses. They reserved the slots from 9140 to 9169 for DLC. As you can see there's even unused boss flags for stuff that was probably cut, like 9102 a boss in Stormveil, or 9124 https://t.co/iedwIH0xq4 pic.twitter.com/jYrq5lqCM5November 1, 2022
The difficulties of pandemic development, as well as Elden Ring's no doubt exhausting development cycle, have seemingly extended this timeline, though I wouldn't expect to wait as long as we have for Cyberpunk 2077's Phantom Liberty (opens in new tab). I'm forever an optimist, and I'm hopeful we'll receive some word on an expansion to Elden Ring soon. Until then, it's back to the tea leaves of event flag ID numbers.