is Dark Souls developer FromSoftware’s latest game, officially announced at E3 2019 after rumors, hints, and a minor leak. But even with all the buzz, there isn’t a ton of information about the upcoming game yet – just what we saw in its reveal trailer and a few tidbits of info here and there from game director Hidetaka Miyazaki and project collaborator George R. R. Martin.While fans of Miyazaki (and Martin) patiently await more details, we’ve rounded up the most important things to know about Elden Ring… so far.
Elden Ring: The Rumors
In late December 2018, FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki (noted also for directing Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and the recent Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice) mapped out the studio’s product line in an interview with Japanese game site 4Gamer.net. After Déraciné and Sekiro, FromSoftware noted two “unannounced games” in development.
“While it isn’t the time to discuss details, they’re both [FromSoftware]-esque games,” Miyazaki said, according to a translation from Gematsu.
Fans have come to know the signature “FromSoftware style” from games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne – moody, technical action RPGs, with deeply layered worlds and lore. With Dark Souls 3 marking the official end of the Dark Souls series and no real sign of a Bloodborne sequel, it was safe to assume something original was in the works.
Enter: George R. R. Martin. On May 20, the Song of Ice and Fire series author posted a farewell letter to HBO’s Game of Thrones on his blog, noting later in the entry that he had “consulted on a video game out of Japan.” Just before E3 2019 kicked off in LA, a security leak on Dark Souls publisher Bandai Namco’s website revealed more about the project, confirming Martin’s involvement, teasing a potential logo, and giving it a name: Elden Ring.
Elden Ring: The Reveal and George R. R. Martin’s Involvement
By the time Elden Ring was officially revealed during Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference on Sunday, June 9, FromSoftware fans knew from the leaked press release that it would be a “fantasy action-RPG adventure” with a world co-created by Miyazaki and Martin – a “new world” as stated in the reveal trailer, which you can watch above.
According to an interview with Miyazaki on Xbox Wire, the collaboration between FromSoftware and George R. R. Martin began simply because Miyazaki is a fan of Martin’s work. After reaching out to Martin, the team at FromSoftware was surprised to be given a chance to chat with him. Once both parties agreed to a collaboration, the world of Elden Ring began to take shape.
Martin wrote the “overarching mythos for the game world itself,” Miyazaki told Xbox Wire, while Miyazaki “constructed” the world of Elden Ring “using [Martin’s] mythos and stimulus as a base” – though both artists were also working off of “themes, ideas as well as many game-related aspects” that Miyazaki already had in mind.
Elden Ring: Story, World, and Characters
So far, we can only speculate about the world Miyazaki and Martin have co-written.
The trailer makes several references to a “ring,” as you can see in the transcript of the trailer’s narration:
I doubt you could even imagine it. That which commanded the stars, giving life its fullest brilliance: the Elden Ring. Oh, Elden Ring. Shattered by someone, or something. Don’t tell me you don’t see it. Look up at the sky! It burns…
In an interview with IGN, Miyazaki explained that the Elden “ring” is not a wearable ring, but something much grander and more thematic.
“The Elden Ring is a mysterious, key element in the foundation of the world we have created,” Miyazaki told IGN. “It forms the rules and rhythm of this world. But as you can see in our trailer, it has been shattered.”
Miyazaki also told Xbox Wire that the “theme” of Elden Ring is “the will, or ambition of mankind.”
Possible characters include the red-haired warrior reattaching their severed arm (perhaps the same severed arm earlier in the trailer) and a blacksmith, both featured in the trailer alongside a few other unnamed figures. Some of the characters appear cracked, rotten, or blighted in some way.
Elden Ring: Gameplay
While the Elden Ring reveal trailer didn’t showcase any gameplay, Miyazaki did provide some details in an interview with IGN.
Elden Ring is an open-world, third-person action RPG “heavily based on Dark Souls,” Miyazaki told IGN. It will feature weapons, magic, and character customization, as well as “a wide variety of unique and horrifying bosses” according to Miyazaki’s interview with Xbox Wire: “We wanted to create a new dark fantasy action RPG full of things that we weren’t able to do in the Dark Souls series.”
You can also expect Elden Ring to be tough.
“The importance we place on the joy the player experiences through overcoming challenges will be the same as it is in our other titles,” Miyazaki told Xbox Wire.
While most of this sounds like something we’d expect from a new Dark Souls game, the open-world element might prove to be the major defining point of Elden Ring, Miyazaki told IGN: “With a more open and vast environment, the way combat plays out becomes fundamentally different.”
So fans can expect more than just the interconnected level design of Souls games, but something vast enough to require horseback travel, which will be a feature according to Miyazaki. You probably won’t come across any fully populated towns in your adventure, however. Miyazaki is still doing open-world his way.
You can read more about his vision for Elden Ring in his interview with IGN.
Elden Ring: Release Date
Elden Ring doesn’t have a release date yet, but some fans have half-jokingly speculated about a March 2020 launch, since many of FromSoftware’s major game launches from the last few years have happened in March: Dark Souls 2 in March 2014, Bloodborne in March 2015, Dark Souls 3 in March 2016, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice in March 2019.
Miyazaki told Xbox Wire that development on Elden Ring began after development on Dark Souls 3’s DLC had wrapped. Dark Souls 3’s final DLC launched in March 2017, theoretically giving Elden Ring at least two years in development. But these numbers are not confirmed.
Elden Ring: Platforms
Elden Ring will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
We will continue to update this article as we learn more about Elden Ring.