Fans of brutally tough adventure games rejoice: Namco Bandai has confirmed that Dark Souls II will launch by the end of the fiscal year, arriving in March 2014.
The date was spotted on an enormous banner for the game which was draped over the outer wall of the Los Angeles Convention Centre, where this year's E3 show will take place next week. The publisher later confirmed that the date was indeed accurate, but failed to offer any more details.
The sequel is said to be a little more accessible than the notoriously difficult original, though the game's co-director Yui Tanimura has suggested that it may merely make for a less wilfully obtuse experience and that the challenge won't be diminished any.
"Core to Dark Souls is a sense of achievement - overcoming death in the game," claimed Tanimura in an interview two months ago. "Learning from mistakes is one thing. Another is simply adding variations to how you can die...new ways for players to suffer."
In other words, don't expect to see the legend 'YOU DIED' any less in the latest version. The date, however, leads to more questions: arriving as it does after the launches of Xbox One and PlayStation 4, is Dark Souls II set for a cross-generational release? The presence of the banner suggests we'll find out more at E3, so look out next week for an update.