Elden Ring finally unveiled its DLC earlier this year, but according to prominent leaker Lance McDonald, the plan was to launch two separate DLC packs with a season pass. Somewhere along the way, these ideas got merged into Shadow of the Erdtree.
"Elden ring was meant to launch with a season pass for 2 DLCs by the way," McDonald said in his Discord server. "It was all 100% planned... No idea when it was cancelled exactly, it just never happened and then the colosseums just randomly showed up for free. And they were missing tons of content".
Lance likens it to Bloodborne, which similarly had two DLC packs planned before merging them into The Old Hunters. Sony Japan's producer for Bloodborne Masaaki Yamagiwa stated at the time, "We were originally planning on doing two sets of DLC. It was decided that with one set, we'd be able to do more with it, and have more volume for players to play with." They added that they had "no plans for any more DLC", so it could be that history is repeating itself with Elden Ring and all planned expansions are being rolled into one paid pack before the team moves onto its next big game.
Between Bloodborne and Elden Ring, FromSoftware launched Dark Souls 3 which had two DLC packs. These weren't merged, but billed as separate experiences, one taking us to a Painted World and the other to The Ringed City. Here, we finally uncovered what happened to the Furtive Pygmy and saw the impacts of Gwyn's cruel rule first-hand.
While sold separately, both DLC packs tied into each other and told one cohesive story. If you only played Ashes of Ariandel or The Ringed City, you'd likely spend time scrambling to pick up the pieces you missed.
We won't know for certain if Elden Ring initially had two DLC packs planned or if Shadow of the Erdtree will be the last major update until FromSoftware itself says. We still don't have a release date, either. In the meantime, we can look forward to its next game, Armored Core 6, which is launching on August 25. After it releases, FromSoft claims that it wants to launch new games more often, so maybe we won't have to wait long to continue the story of Elden Ring in a sequel, or perhaps return to Yharnam or face some other world of ungodly monstrosities that we've never set foot in.
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