We may not have long to wait for Elden Ring's next major expansion, Shadow of the Erdtree. This week, eagle-eyed fans spotted some promising mentions of the highly anticipated DLC — including, in close proximity, the words "DLC" and "Release" as well as a reference to quality assessment testing — in an update to Elden Ring on Steam's online gaming marketplace.
On Friday, February 2, several Reddit users uncovered a variety of new file depots that were added to the Elden Ring Steam backend, each sporting promising names like "dev_debug,” “dev_release,” “qa_debug,” and “qa_release.” One depot named "pd-10” has been a particular subject of speculation, as some fans suggest "pd" could refer to a "playable demo" for the expansion.
While Shadow of the Erdtree is not mentioned by name, it's the most likely suspect for the update's multiple references to "DLC." The SteamDB file for Elden Ring is now listed as being in "QA release," which pretty clearly indicates that developer From Software is testing some sort of update. Several more changes have been made to Elden Ring's game files since the news started making the rounds on Reddit.
This should all be taken with a grain of salt for now as From Software has yet to confirm Shadow of the Erdtree's official release date. However, these developments in the backend seem to support long-circulating rumors of a February 2024 launch window. That date would also align with the two-year anniversary of Elden Ring's launch.
This comes after even more clues of the DLC's imminent release date have come to light in recent weeks. Elden Ring's Steam DB page includes a DLC tab containing extra downloadable content, such as the adventure guide and digital art book. Under that tab, another update titled "SteamDB Unknown App 2778580" was added in January — the first since the addition of a pre-order bonus bundle in May 2022.
A December leak revealed publisher Bandai Namco is teaming up with peripheral manufacturer Thrustmaster to purportedly release several limited edition controllers themed around the game, as reported by Eurogamer. Promotional material, which was presumably released by mistake, claims the first batch of controllers would arrive in February to "sync with the new Shadow of the Erdtree expansion release".
For Elden Ring fans who have long beaten the main game, this DLC can't come a moment too soon. Hopefully, Shadow of the Erdtree will prove to be a challenge worth waiting for.
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Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment.
Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats. She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.