From Software have come out to resolve allegations that they downgraded the graphics of Dark Souls 2 with the following statement:
"Throughout the game development process, a game is constantly being balanced not only in game playability, but also in the realm of resource management.”
This is in response to a Neogaf post that claimed there were huge differences in what From Software promoted at trade shows, and the experience of the final game. The post started a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #YOULIED, trying to rally up support for an official statement.
From Software added that “a developer is always challenged with creating the most rewarding gaming experience while delivering continuity in graphical quality, gameplay dynamics, and balance within the game."
"The final version of Dark Souls 2 displays the culmination of this delicate balance and we’re very proud of the positive media and fan reception for the game.”
Take a look for yourself at the graphics difference between what was shown at trade shows and the final game, and make your own judgement about whether there's been any foul play: