Filename forensics suggest there has always been a PC version of Bloodborne—but that doesn’t mean we can ever play it
Bloodborne on PC—if it hasn’t happened yet, it probably never will, at least not without going through some kind of full overhaul remaster or remake, a cursed monkey’s paw sort of situation by my reckoning. Still though, a not for commercial use, full PC port of the game does seem to exist in some form. As reported by DSO Gaming, longtime souls series dataminer Lance McDonald has attested to its existence in the past, and now points to a curiously-named screenshot on the Bloodborne Wiki as supporting evidence.
I’ve mentioned that I’ve seen Bloodborne running on Windows 7 before in a private setting, and that was a super early build from around May 2014. This is the first time we’ve seen the full game + DLC. Still, not like we’ll ever get our hands on it…May 21, 2023
The image in question is “Marcos-domenech-win64-sprj-160809-172519.jpg” on the page for Bloodborne’s oil pitchers—basically this game’s exploding barrels. Marcos Domenech is an environmental artist who has worked with FromSoftware on multiple projects including Bloodborne, Dark Souls 3, and Elden Ring. The image was shared by a moderator of the wiki, CuteLunaMoon, and is presumably a promotional image or somehow otherwise sourced from Domenech himself.
According to McDonald, who has significant experience in taking Bloodborne apart and putting it back together, the “win64-sprj” segment of the filename points to it having been taken on an internal Windows build of Bloodborne, while the angle of the screenshot suggests usage of a debug camera not available for general use. McDonald further points to the screenshot being of the DLC area, the Fishing Hamlet, as evidence that this developer-side PC build encompasses the full retail release of the game, as opposed to being limited to earlier prototypes.
McDonald attests to having seen an earlier build of the game running on PC in a “private setting,” but a Windows-sourced screenshot of a DLC area implies that a version of the full game running on PC exists out there, somewhere—or at least did at some point.
This doesn’t bring us any closer to an official release though—unlike say, porting the infamously Cell Processor-dependent PS3 game, Metal Gear Solid 4, I don’t think the issue with Bloodborne has ever been a question of whether it can be done. McDonald’s findings are a frustrating confirmation that it would probably be a relatively simple job, one with a lot of groundwork already there, but there seems to be no will on Sony’s part to bring Bloodborne to a high-refresh display or Steam Deck near you. For more behind the scenes Souls series work from McDonald, you can check out his YouTube channel.