One of the coolest things about From Software's original, brutally difficult Demon's Souls was the in-game messaging system. No, you weren't able to pen letters to your friends, but you could drop hints anywhere you wanted in the game — before a nasty drop or difficult set of enemies, for example — that other players would then see as they made their way through the virtual wastelands. Such a system required servers, however. Those holding Demon's Souls' messages have been maintained for years with various reprieves from threatened shutdowns. Now, however, it appears that publishers Sony and Atlus are shutting down the servers for good as of February 28th, 2018.
"The game will remain fully playable, but online functionality such as in-game messaging, player death locations, and World Tendency features will stop working," wrote North American publisher Atlus in a heartfelt blog post. As Kotaku notes, the online functionality is inextricably tied to game itself, with the aforementioned messages and the Old Monk boss fight (in which you discover the boss is actually another player) as highlights of a game that used its online functionality in new and unique ways. Losing these features is a blow to anyone wishing to experience the fullness of Demon's Souls now and into the future, while still an understandably sound business decision.