Namco Bandai announces that the ‘big’ reveal it was touting to Dark Souls fans earlier this week is nothing more than a clothing line filled with themed baseball caps and t-shirts.
Earlier this week, Dark Souls fans were encouraged to watch out for some ‘big news’ in a tease orchestrated by Bandai Namco. Expectations rose quickly among fans — but the now-revealed surprise might be something of a disappointment for anyone that really go their hopes up.
Today, there’s word that the announcement relates to a new range of Dark Souls clothing for European audiences. The reveal was reported on by Gamespot earlier today, although there’s little information at present as to whether the merchandise will be available to fans in North America.
Admittedly, it’s fair to say that the t-shirts and hats included in the line are of higher quality than most video game merchandise. Simple but effective designs highlight key elements of the series, and all the items are sure to go down well among hardcore fans.
The clothing makes full use of iconography like the Estus Flash and the game’s fiendish mimic chests. Fan favourite faction the Warriors of Sunlight are also represented via some ‘praise the sun’ designs, and there’s a fun nod to the game’s difficulty with some designs centred around a rolling death counter.
Of course, there will no doubt be some fans that feel shortchanged by this ‘big’ announcement. Once again, a seemingly well-intentioned tease by a publisher has been blow out of proportion in a relatively small amount of time, and that’s only going to lead to disappointment.
Theories were running rampant ahead of Bandai Namco setting the record straight. Some speculated that Dark Souls 3 was going to be released early to make up for criticism of its staggered release. Others suggested that there might be plans to release Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne on non-Sony platforms.
No matter the quality of the designs, a range of t-shirts and hats was never going to live up to those heady expectations. This is the drawback of the hype-reliant nature of the video game industry — it’s difficult to determine the difference between a tease and an indication that something genuinely monumental is on the horizon.
Beyond anything else, it’s yet another misstep in the increasingly botched launch of Dark Souls 3. Bandai Namco should have been enjoying an easy victory lap as the sleeper hit series comes to a close, but instead the company’s work as publisher has consistently undercut a game that’s by all accounts a very strong experience.