From Software’s original masoschism sim Demon’s Souls is going offline on 28 February 2018, publisher Atlus has confirmed, removing much of the game’s unique features, including its idiosyncratic messaging system and opportunistic murders.

“The game will remain fully playable, but online functionality such as in-game messaging, player death locations, and World Tendency features will stop working,” the publisher explains.

“It’s with mixed emotions we say goodbye to the service. Countless players have enjoyed Demon’s Souls and the functionality it introduced to players when such things were rarer. If you’ve played the game then you understand the feeling of dying multiple times in the span of 10 minutes or dealing with a boss fight so difficult that it took you a week just to figure out the best way to attack. The unforgiving nature of the game has provided countless enjoyable moments of frustration and anger, but also the elation felt from beating something so challenging. This difficulty and grit helped pave the way for even more punishing games such as its spiritual successor Dark Souls, the 2017 hit Nioh, and the landmark PS4 title, Bloodborne.”

First launched in 2009 on PS3, Demon’s Souls introduced a lot of innovative stuff to the RPG genre, but is probably most often remembered for its uncompromising difficulty – something which the Dark Souls series has since maintained. Although the game is fundamentally a single-player experience, it also supports limited interactions with other people in some situations. When a player dies in their own game, for example, a spooky spectral vision of their last moments appears in others’ games, potentially serving as a warning of impending doom. Although in a game that’s mostly about impending doom, I dunno how much that even matters.