The Problem With Streaming Dark Souls 3 So Early

The Problem With Streaming Dark Souls 3 So Early

If I hide over here, the spoilers can't get me! A Japanese game like Dark Souls 3 being released a few weeks early in its native country isn't usually a big deal. But if you've looked at YouTube or Twitch, you might think Dark Souls 3 is already out in the US; there are streams of the game everywhere, and it's rubbing some fans the wrong way.

In addition to being a kick arse action series, the Souls games are puzzle boxes. One of the great thrills is opening up a new Souls game and collectively discovering what's inside. One person finds this, another person finds that. Everyone trades a tiny piece of information, as the game unravels itself. One of my favourite moments last year was texting back and forth with Kirk Hamilton, as each of us progressed through Bloodborne. It's one of the many things that makes Souls games unique, and fans worry that's being robbed by an attempt to turn up marketing for Dark Souls 3.

I was surprised when a code for the PC version of Dark Souls 3 showed up in my inbox a few days ago. It hadn't crossed my mind to even ask Bandai Namco for a review copy of the game yet; the game was a few weeks out. What surprised me even more was how relaxed the publisher's approach to coverage was going to be, allowing writers and streamers to freely publish information about (parts of) the game well before its April 12 release date.

In other words, the game is done...it's just not out yet.

If you were hungry for new Dark Souls 3 details, yesterday was a feast. If you're on a media blackout for it, was a nightmare. And if you're someone who just wants to play the game, was a terrible tease.

On paper, it makes sense. With Dark Souls 3 out in Japan, there's going to be a ton of new information coming from fans who are diving into the game, regardless of whether or not they speak the language. Rather than pretend it's not happening, Bandai Namco decided to let those in the media and selected streamers on YouTube and Twitch to start publicly playing early.

Three weeks of free advertising leading up to the release? You can see why a company might be into that, but it's rubbed some of the most passionate fans the wrong way. If the game is done, why not release it right now?

#FreeDarkSouls3 is one of the (largely unsuccessful) hashtags have have cropped up, as people try to lobby Bandai Namco to move up the release.

"Early vip access is advertising," said one user. "But 3 weeks early access of a finished game is punishment for not being vip.

"@BandaiNamcoUS This DS3 release is the worst," wrote another. "Localised Xbox versions, early copies for streamers. This is bullshit"

It's not gonna happen, though. Dark Souls 3 will be released on April 12, as Bandai Namco wants to deliver the biggest possible splash on a single day.

The Problem With Streaming Dark Souls 3 So Early

There are lots of reasons why games aren't released the moment they're finished. There are advertising, retail, and other financial considerations. Uncharted 4 was technically finished last week, but it's not coming out until May 10. Sony could, in theory, upload the game to PlayStation Network tomorrow and let us play. Where's #FreeUncharted4?

Of course, that's one place where I'm sympathetic to the Dark Souls 3 fans; thanks a region loophole, players were able to purchase Dark Souls 3 through Xbox One's Japanese store...but download and play the US version.

One of the biggest Souls fans on YouTube, EpicNameBro, is trying his best to avoiding anything about Dark Souls 3 until its release date.

If Bandai Namco made a miscalculation, it was letting people stream three weeks early. That's nearly a month in advance of the game's proper release date, and it's irritating to have something you want dangled in your face.


Comments

    This is torture! I dont think I've ever been this overwhelmed with excitement for a game that's 3 weeks away

    Goes to show that the publishers are quite confident and happy with the product they have. They seem to have stumbled onto a good formula that manages to keep satisfying its audience.

    Nearly three weeks of regional blocking assholery is not something I'm particularly sympathetic to. No matter how much better they might think sales would be next month.

    We live in a world with a near-instant, truly global media distribution network. This sort of shit is most generously described as 'archaic', but more appropriately described as 'a dick move'.

    If I had the game I would probably be done with my first play through in two weeks (non-stop, eye bleeding heaven).

    It's a big head start for people in Japan. Saddening. Probably won't affect my first play through but it feels a bit unfair. How many players will dedicate that time to learning the dodgy PVP weapons/tactics? Or dragon head glitch type stuff?

    How many will put info on a wiki or something similar? I won't touch this info with a ten foot halberd... for some reason I don't want that info available for a while, should be an organic, community effort.

    I could whinge about Dark souls 3 for a while... I want it now. It won't help, my whinging, not even cathartic but I can't help it. I wish I had an Ornstein and Smough hug pillow to comfort me. Not even the sun comforts me.

    TLDR: Why can't things be the way I want them? Wah wah.

    Last edited 25/03/16 11:34 am

      That pillow would be "boss" bro, all jagged and mishapen but comfy if you find its sweet spot or after summoning some company in bed. Praise the merch!

    Entitled babies. The delay is virtually nothing. And it's fairly simple to NOT click on links and streams of DS3.

      It's easy not to click on links and streams. It's not easy to go on Youtube/Twitter/Any Social Media Really and just not see the spoilers in Recommended videos/Twitter that are just there without you needing to click on anything. Or to avoid the people who got it early and will message you just to spoil things for you because they're dicks. It's not easy not being able to watch any of the streamers I like to watch.

      The delay is nearly a month. It's enough time for everyone else to finish the game twice over. A week would be free advertising. A month is just ridiculous.

    God damn my generation sucks, complaining about people posting information and videos that they are under no obligation to read/watch. The idiocy is astounding.

      No, for me it's more the fact that I have a long weekend here, the game is out... somewhere that's not here, and there is no reason I can't play it apart from... they'd get better sales if they waited nearly a month?

      It is actually out. I can actually play it, too, in English if I dick around with a JP account. It's a rules decision, not a fact of the thing not being ready/available.

      But it's not that important. It's not the rage of a century, it's just a really dick move. Like, I dunno... cutting in line. That's worth commenting on. Not everything that you speak out against has to be the crime of the century.

      Last edited 26/03/16 12:07 pm

        Yet, if they released it early before any reviews came out people would be up in arms about that. Don't get me wrong, I miss the days of broken Street dates like everyone else, but it's just the way it is, and if releasing in a couole of weeks actual does maximise profits, then I'm even happier to wait, becaus from software deserve as much money as possible for making some of the most amazing games in the market at the moment. If you're really feeling the itch though, grab salt and sanctuary :)

        The way you worded that actually made me feel better about all of this.

    Yep, I've been avoiding it all because that biggest part of Dark Souls is the discovery and exploration. Having someone do that for me in advance makes it pointless to play.

    Started watching a vid yesterday with someone's first impressions. Started off fine, he was showing random trash mods, how combat looks, some weapon mechanics then BAM here's boss 1, 2 and 3. Yeah, thanks man I really wanted that spoiled for me.

    God damn PITA I'm on a blackout now no matter what the vid title or description says.

      I watched about 2 minutes before feeling a shame so dirty i needed a hose down myself.

    I really don't want to be "that guy" but for a professional article this contains a lot of somewhat small grammatical errors, all of which could be avoided with some extra proofreading. Again, sorry for pointing it out, but I feel someone should so your next product can be even better.

    With regards to the content, I think it would have been great for them to release DkS3 early, but at the end of the day, we don't really know what has to go on with PR, the retail stores, etc. and all the rest of the behind the scenes business. So, I don't believe we as general consumers have the right to be getting angry just because From sent a few early copies out for publicity and review. Again, we don't know what agreements have gone on and what/how long it will take to fully push the rest of the finished product to shelves, so we shouldn't be making hasty judgements.

    We only have to wait an additional 3 weeks following the Japanese release date and really that's no time at all. I think most people are just jealous of the people who received early copies and believe themselves to be just as (if not more) privileged than everyone else, without consideration for the bigger picture, so they can't understand why they aren't able to play the game now too.

    Everyone will get the game when it comes out. It's literally just over two weeks away now. People just have to learn how to relax and have patience, something the majority of the population in recent times seems to be severely lacking.

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