In typical From Software fashion, Elden Ring DLC Shadow of the Erdtree remains shrouded in mystery. Like the dense, opaque lore of Dark Souls, we have hints, suggestions, and dots that seem like they may somehow fit together, but we’re still waiting on a firm reveal. Nevertheless, more details on Shadow of the Erdtree – and maybe, just maybe, a launch date – could be coming soon, as From Software makes some telling updates to the RPG on Steam that include, in close proximity, the words “DLC” and “release.” On the surface, it’s incredibly tantalizing. But all might not be as it seems.
The Elden Ring DLC release date is coming, as From Software has long confirmed that its sweeping, fantasy RPG will get a sizable expansion in the – hopefully – near future. The Dark Souls and Sekiro developer is keeping its cards close to its chest, with details about Shadow of the Erdtree still basically entirely unknown. Nevertheless, this is a developer with a considerable pedigree, so whenever the Elden Ring DLC arrives, you can bet it will be worth the wait. And now, based on new Steam updates, there’s the slightest hope that the wait might be shorter than we initially imagined…
On Friday February 2, a variety of new file depots were added to the Elden Ring Steam backend. Each of the updates include mention of “DLC” and the depots themselves have some very promising names, including “dev_debug,” “dev_release,” “qa_debug,” and “qa_release.” There is also a depot named “pd-10” which, interpreted with some optimism, may refer to a ‘playable demo.’
On the surface, this all seems extremely promising. If the DLC is moving through the debug and QA phases, it suggests that it could be going through final or near-final polishing before release. Or, if we take a slight step back, it could also mean there is a fresh build of Shadow of the Erdtree that is perhaps being refined so it can be used to capture footage for a new trailer – slightly less exciting than a full launch, but still something.
Drill a little further into the data however, and you might want to moderate your expectations. Mentions of ‘DLC’ appear in the Elden Ring file depots at least as early as May 2023. In that instance, ‘DLC’ is also mentioned in depots named “dev_release,” “qa_debug,” and “qa_release.”
There are also a variety of other “pd” updates throughout Elden Ring’s recent Steam update history, as well as references to “playtests.” What this perhaps signals is that Shadow of the Erdtree is going through several QA, debugging, and playtest periods, and February 2 updates merely represent the most recent of these.
Nevertheless, it’s a sign that From Software is still working away on the Elden Ring DLC. And maybe this latest round of testing could be the last one before a new reveal, or more. We’ll have to wait and see.