While Lies of P emerged as the critics’ (and many players’) favorite new soulslike of 2023, there was still a lot of love for Hexworks’ Lords of the Fallen. Well, there’s a strong chance that its success is going to be rewarded, as a new trademark from publisher CI Games for ‘Death of the Fallen’ suggests that plans may be in place to give the PS5 and Xbox soulslike a deserved sequel.
Unashamedly a spiritual successor to Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Lords of the Fallen impressed fans of the genre with excellent boss fights, great combat, and a novel dual-world mechanic that would let you switch seamlessly between the Axiom and Umbral realms of this massive open world game. The Loadout was slightly underwhelmed in our Lords of the Fallen review, after it had shown huge potential in the various hands-on and hands-off previews we’d had with the game throughout 2023. However, there’s no denying it’s still a solid really enjoyable soulslike from the team at Hexworks. And at the end of the day, the stats don’t lie: Lords of the Fallen easily surpassed a million sales.
It has been a decent success for CI Games, and judging by a new trademark filed by the publisher on January 3, a second Lords of the Fallen game could be on the way. As spotted by ‘Kurakasis’, who has produced a summary of all its upcoming projects, CI Games has filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office for the term ‘Death of the Fallen’.
Now, as always with any trademark listing, there is no guarantee that this will ever even get used on a finished product – and even if it does, it may not be a direct sequel like we’re speculating here. However, given Lords of the Fallen’s success, the same-but-different naming convention, and the timing of the filing (a few months before publishers such as CI Games will start releasing reports for the financial year) it seems likely.
Plus, in this long-term strategy presentation from 2022, CI Games labeled the PS5 and Xbox soulslike as an “evergreen” franchise, suggesting that it had plans and expectations for last year’s LotF to not just be a one-and-done. It also shows that from 2025 onwards, it expects Hexworks to be working on ‘Project III’, which is described as “a new title built around more ambitious gameplay options for wider audience appeal” which looks to capitalize on LotF’s success.
But what if we’re wide of the mark here? What else could Death of the Fallen be, if not a sequel? Well, the next best guess is DLC. The current LotF roadmap doesn’t detail any standalone, named expansions – rather lots of smaller pieces of post-launch content such as new questlines, New Game Plus, and secret boss weapon abilities. However, “premium post-launch content” is also expected of Hexworks in 2024 for LotF, according to the same presentation. So maybe once the current roadmap is finished, a larger-scale DLC could arrive.
Whether it be DLC or a full-blown sequel, it will be interesting to see how Hexworks handle the narrative, given the three very different Lords of the Fallen endings. Maybe, Death of the Fallen will never materialize, but there’s a good chance we’ll find out more in a couple of months when CI releases its next financial report.
If you’re yet to play LotF, it’s definitely one of the best games you can play right now if you’re enamored with Elden Ring or find yourself praying for a new Bloodborne or Dark Souls game. If you’re not willing to commit just yet, we reckon there’s a good chance it’ll hit Xbox Game Pass or join the PS Plus library at some stage in 2024. Speaking of, we recently crunched the numbers on both services and found out Game Pass added 150 games worth $5,000 in 2023, while PS Plus added 251 games worth up to $8,000. Blimey.