The leak for the first Elden Ring DLC may just be a fake designed to tempt eager FromSoftware fans.
Just a day after reports of a mysterious ransomware attack targeting video game publishing giant Bandai Namco, images have circulated of Bandai Namco’s publishing schedule for 2023. The biggest leak of all is potentially the first Elden Ring DLC. Barbarians of the Badlands sounds like an exciting trip to Hoarah Loux’s old stomping grounds, but there’s reason to suspect it’s entirely fabricated. Here’s how we know.
The leak began circulating just a day after an alleged hack targeting video game publishing giant Bandai Namco. According to hacking news sources, a group called ALPHV accessed Bandai Namco’s internal documents and are threatening to release them to the public unless certain demands are met.
One particular image is a photo of several Bandai Namco projects supposedly slated for release in 2023. The leak shows Elden Ring DLC, Tekken 8, Little Nightmares 3, several Dragon Ball projects, and other games. Elden Ring’s portion of the leak included a DLC called Barbarians of the Badlands, which hints at a new and highly anticipated region of the game. However, any strength-build players looking forward to acquiring new clubs and spiked helmet may want to temper their expectations.
The Barbarians of the Badlands DLC leak for Elden Ring is simultaneously way too soon and way too late, making it most likely fake.
The biggest red flag for this leak is the time between the hack and the new release of information. The goal of ransomware hackers is not to spoil upcoming game releases. It’s to make money from the company that considers the information sensitive. By immediately releasing information, the hackers would seriously harm their potential payday.
The second problem is the release date. The leaked image claims quarter three of 2023, which would mean an 18-month development cycle for Elden Ring DLC. For reference, the first Dark Souls 3 DLC Ashes of Ariandel came out only eight months after the game launched. Even Ringed City released before the game’s first anniversary. Elden Ring is a huge and beautiful game, but it’s DLC production cycle may not be twice as long as Dark Souls.
So while it’s possible that Barbarians of the Badlands is indeed the new DLC for Elden Ring, the biggest signs are pointing to this being a fake. For now, at least.