Ashes of Ariandel, the first of two planned expansions for Dark Souls III, will signal the penultimate entry into the beloved RPG franchise, according to From Software President Hidetaka Miyazaki. There’s also some new gameplay footage from the upcoming expansion to pour over, inviting you to take your first steps into the bitter-cold world of Ariandel.
A founding father of the series from the outset, Miyazaki has mulled over the future of Dark Souls countless times in the past, but after returning to the IP soon after his work on Bloodborne, it would seem that Dark Souls III is very much being considered as a swan song before From Software begins aligning resources to work on a new property altogether.
“It’s time to move away from the Dark Souls franchise. As president of From Software, I’m not completely denying the possibility of bringing back the franchise in the future. There could be someone else in my company who wants to work on new installments. But we believe that the series will end after the two DLC.”
Rather than all-new installments, it appears that we’re more likely to see “HD remakes” of past entries in the franchise – Demon’s Souls, potentially? – coming out of From Software. But if you’re a big fan of the old-school game design found in Souls, don’t fret; even if it weaves its way into the fabric of a new IP, Miyazaki confirmed that the format won’t be shelved altogether.
“I’m not saying I won’t work on a Dark Souls-like game or a dark fantasy game. We’d like to carry over some of the good things from the franchise to new products. As new technology is introduced, we would like to take what we learned from Dark Souls and use it in future IP.”
Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel has been earmarked for launch on October 25 for PlayStation 4, PC and Xbox One. Running for $14.99, those who pick up the Season Pass ($24.99) can look forward to scooping up the second – and seemingly final – DLC pack early next year.