It should come as no surprise that many authors working in the science fiction and fantasy genres are also fans of movies, shows or video games about the same stuff. Brandon Sanderson, the mastermind behind the Cosmere and author who finished The Wheel of Time after Robert Jordan passed, hasn’t made a secret of the fact that he loves gaming. He’s an avid Magic: The Gathering player and periodically releases lists of his favorite video games, which include titles like The Secret of Monkey Island, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Civilization 6, Final Fantasy X, Fallout New Vegas, and FromSoftware’s Bloodborne.
Speaking of FromSoftware, they have a big new release coming out this week: the fantasy epic Elden Ring. To help build the game’s lore, FromSoftware tapped A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin, who’s name has featured prominently in all its marketing. While Sanderson may have a deep love of the company’s games and a wide breadth of knowledge about gaming in general, he was never contacted to help out with Elden Ring. And he has opinions about that.
Brandon Sanderson wishes he’d worked on Elden Ring instead of George R.R. Martin
While recording a live Q&A episode of the Intentionally Blank podcast, one fan brought up video games, asking how Sanderson’s character Kelsier ended up in Fortnight. As it turns out, that one was due to a personal friendship Sanderson had with Fortnight creator Eric Holmes. For Elden Ring, Sanderson had no such luck.
“Let me be salty,” Sanderson said. “FromSoftware decides to make a fantasy game and partner with a fantasy novelist, and they choose someone who spends his days blogging about the NFL rather than the person who has played their games since King’s Field and has listed their games as among his top 10 consistently over time. What are you thinking people?”
"They went to George and made a game with George, and I’m like, George doesn’t play video games. George has no idea."
Sanderson is very clearly joking around here; he’s not actually angry and his salty rant gets a good laugh out of the crowd.
It is funny to think about though, because George R.R. Martin has admitted that “video games are not really [his] thing.” But on the flip side, Elden Ring looks like a very dark and brooding game, which is much more Martin’s wheelhouse stylistically. Even before A Song of Ice and Fire, Martin’s works had a strong streak of horror that fits with the style of FromSoftware’s other games. (Just read Dying of the Light, Sandkings, or Fevre Dream if you don’t believe me.)
Regardless of where the lore came from, Elden Ring looks pretty epic. It releases on Friday, February 25, so soon we’ll be able to see how this partnership between Martin and FromSoftware turned out for ourselves.