Security exploit will keep Dark Souls PC servers offline until after Elden Ring launch

Watching sand fall through your hand in Dark Souls 3
(Image credit: Bandai-Namco)

Ever since a security exploit was discovered in Dark Souls 3 which could potentially allow hackers to gain low-level access to players' computers, the PC servers for all Dark Souls games were suspended by Bandai Namco until further notice. 

At the time, the developer issued a tweet saying that servers "have been temporarily deactivated to allow the team to investigate recent reports of an issue with online services." Now, Bandai Namco has released a further statement confirming that Dark Souls servers will not go live again until some time after the launch of Elden Ring, which is also being investigated for the vulnerability. At this point, the Elden Ring release date is still set for 25 February.

Here is the full message from the Dark Souls Twitter page:

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

To be clear, there have been no reports of this exploit being used out in the wild. It was first publicised by Redditor Jonientz, who alerted Bandai Namco about the problem so the developers could address it. According to Jonientz, Bandai Namco was made aware of the vulnerability several months ago but didn't act on it until it was disseminated to some streamers and built up some publicity. There are also reports that Bandai Namco was made aware of another remote-code exploit back in 2020 but failed to act on it.

While (as far as we know) no harm was done because of this exploit, it's really not a good look for Bandai Namco to have been so slow to react to it. Given that Elden Ring is also being investigated for the same issues, it's possible that its release date could be pushed back, or that it will launch with the PvP servers offline.

So on the one hand that sucks, but of course safety comes first. On the other hand, would playing Elden Ring for a bit without the threat of invasion from belligerent players be that bad?

Robert is a freelance writer and chronic game tinkerer who spends many hours modding games then not playing them, and hiding behind doors with a shotgun in Hunt: Showdown. Wishes to spend his dying moments on Earth scrolling through his games library on a TV-friendly frontend that unifies all PC game launchers.