Dark Souls[b] is an action role-playing video game developed by FromSoftware and published by Namco Bandai Games for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows. A spiritual successor to FromSoftware's Demon's Souls, it is the second installment in the Souls series of games. Dark Souls began development under the working title of Project Dark. The game was self-published and released in Japan in September 2011, and worldwide by Namco Bandai Games the following month.
In August 2012, the "Prepare to Die" edition of Dark Souls was released for PC, featuring additional content previously unavailable to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 users. In October 2012, the additional content from the PC version was released as downloadable content for consoles under the title Artorias of the Abyss. Dark Souls takes place in the fictional kingdom of Lordran. Players assume the role of a cursed undead character who begins a pilgrimage out of the Undead Asylum to discover the fate of the Undead.
Dark Souls received critical acclaim upon its release, and is considered to be one of the best video games ever made, with critics praising its combat depth, intricate world design, and deeply rooted lore. However, the game's difficulty received mixed reviews. While some praised the challenge it provides, others criticized it for being unnecessarily unforgiving. The PC version of the game was less well-received, with criticism aimed at numerous technical issues, bugs and crashes. In April 2013, FromSoftware announced Dark Souls had sold 2.37 million copies. The PC version was the second most played Games for Windows Live title in 2012 based on unique users. The game spawned two sequels, Dark Souls II and III, released in 2014 and 2016 respectively.