Dark Souls fans were met with disappointment over the weekend, after a rumored Nintendo Switch remaster of the first game in the series failed to materialize. But that rumor spread despite any credible sourcing or evidence to support it — born from a fellow fan’s single, deleted tweet, Dark Souls on Switch has become the latest example of a very public, very false promise.
In late November, writer for fan site Nintendo Switch Network Marcus Sellars tweeted about an upcoming Bandai Namco Entertainment event.
“Bandai Namco will be hosting an event on December the 15th,” he wrote. “5 unannounced games will be shown off during the event. Nintendo will have a big presence at the event.”
It’s easy to see why this tweet on its own would grab attention: a big Japanese publisher, game reveals and Nintendo combined to make one perfect pitch. But Sellars doesn’t work for Bandai Namco, nor did he offer any reason why he should be considered an authority on this kind of information.
But when he followed the press event tweet with another about Dark Souls, inertia kicked in and did the rest of the work for him.
“One of the games being announced will be a Dark Souls One Remaster,” Sellars wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
It didn’t matter that there wasn’t an attribution for this information, which Sellars told Polygon came from a source close to Bandai Namco. It also didn’t matter that the tweet only stayed up for about 20 minutes before he pulled it, after he said that another of his sources said the publisher nixed plans to show Dark Souls at the December event. Screenshots already had made their way to the rest of Twitter, as well as Reddit and similar forums. (ResetEra shut down threads about the tweet, however.)
If what this says is true, I too have a reason to buy a switch.— Plague Jester Sky (@PlagueJesterSky) December 8, 2017
DARK SOULS REMASTER pic.twitter.com/XjEr0XBdM2
It all sounds fishy. Sellars lacks the kind of name recognition or following of writers known for starting big game rumors on social media, like Kotaku UK’s Laura Kate Dale or Unseen64’s Liam Robertson — who followed up Sellars’ tweet with his own investigation into the Dark Souls on Switch rumor. But even though it didn’t come from someone reputed for “scoops,” fans ruminated for days on a Switch port of Dark Souls.
Dec. 15 came and went; Dark Souls for Switch was not announced. This isn’t surprising. But the Dark Souls franchise’s Twitter remains pelted with replies demanding where that Switch version is, despite Bandai Namco Entertainment never teasing one. Thinly sourced it may have been, the rumor had legs.
When Bandai Namco Entertainment debuted a Nintendo Switch version of Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 to press during the anticipated event, fans expressed disappointment. A closed-doors showing had evolved into a public spectacle, out of the publisher’s control and on the backs of a thinly sourced tweet.
Sellars’ rumor — and those like it, which began circulating as early as last year — likely succeeded thanks to a perfect confluence of factors: People want more Dark Souls, or really anything by FromSoftware; remember how that tiny Game Awards teaser blew up? People want as many big, mainstream, mature-rated franchises on Nintendo’s portable console as possible. And people want to believe that they’ll get what they want.
Sellars insists to Polygon that Dark Souls will come to Switch by “winter 2018 latest,” according to his anonymous sources. But maybe the details no longer matter to those for whom the seed has already been planted.