Getting one’s hands on a video game prior to its official street date has become something of a game in itself. First there’s the hunt of course, finding the store willing to risk distributor relationships by selling the product early. However, our increasingly web-connected world offers the makers of game their own opportunities to strike out at players who manage to snatch an early peek. From Software is doing just that, in a commendably playful way, to those who have already gotten their hands on the October 4 release Dark Souls, the follow-up to the 2009 PlayStation 3 sleeper hit, Demon’s Souls.
The developer is apparently making use of the game’s multiplayer feature to drop high-level Black Phantom enemies into these pre-release online sessions, turning the already notoriously punishing action-RPG into an impossible mission. This only seems to be happening in Japan for now, where early copies of the game are more common thanks to its September 22 release date. The news in fact comes from Japanese blog Esuteru (via Edge), which shows a daunting set of stats in a screen cap of the invading Black Phantom’s character page. It’s all in Japanese, but there are a lot of 99s on that stat sheet.