Dark Souls II was announced during the 2012 SpikeTV VGAs on December 7, 2012 with a CG trailer. FromSoftware confirmed via their official Twitter account and their website that the game would be released for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
On April 10, 2013, IGN released a 12 minute 'hands-off' gameplay trailer, demonstrating new lighting effects, enemies, areas, weapons, gameplay mechanics, and the improved graphical fidelity. One notable new mechanic involved hitting back axes a new enemy would toss at the player.
Some other things demonstrated involved the ability for enemies to break through walls, the ability of the player to move while using a bow along with the ability to move while healing, to light a torch to explore darker areas, and to now have up to at least 3 weapons in active equipment at once.
Games for Windows Live support, which many PC gamers disliked in the PC port of Dark Souls, has neither been confirmed nor denied. Given the lack of the logo on the Dark Souls II website there is a chance that Dark Souls II will not use the service.
The game will mark the departure of previous series director Hidetaka Miyazaki, who will now act as supervisor, while Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura take over as directors. The new directors initially stated that the game would be 'more straightforward and more understandable,' but Miyazaki later made statements reassuring fans that the 'core' of the series would be protected. Thanks to the 12 minute gameplay reveal, it appears that most of the game's core elements were kept intact.
The game will have a new setting, and will not take place in Lordran.