'Elden Ring' release date, trailer, gameplay, leaks for GRRM new video game

Everything we know about this new kind of "Soulsborne" game.

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has collaborated with Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki on a FromSoftware game set in a brand-new fantasy universe, and it’s called Elden Ring.

In May, George R.R. Martin teased via his blog that he “consulted on a video game out of Japan,” leading many to believe that it was this rumored collaboration with FromSoftware. Those guesses turned out to be correct.

Hidetaka Miyazaki serves as game director on Elden Ring. In an interview with Xbox Wire, he described the game as “classic dark fantasy title” with themes that focus on “the will, or ambition of mankind.” He also described the nature of his collaboration with Martin, who essentially wrote the mythos for this new world.

“The actual collaboration itself begun with Mr. Martin ever so politely confirming what sorts of themes, ideas as well as many game-related aspects I had envisioned for the game,” Miyazaki said. “This allowed us to have many free and creative conversations regarding the game, in which Mr. Martin later used as a base to write the overarching mythos for the game world itself.”

What is Elden Ring about? What is the Elden Ring? Will it be anything like previous Soulsborne games? And when can we expect Elden Ring to be released? Here’s all of that and more:


Elden Ring Concept Art
This 'Elden Ring' concept art features a very creepy character.

Is there a trailer for Elden Ring?

Elden Ring was officially revealed on June 9, 2019 during Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference with an initial teaser trailer that looks exciting but also very confusing. (Watch it at the top of this page.)

It opens with a shirtless being hammering something on a massive rock in a dark cave-looking area. We later get a closer look at the figure, who wields a stubby hammer and has cracks in his back, as if he were made out of stone.

There’s also an elderly, long-haired human wearing a crown, holding up a massive humanoid arm (with his left hand shoved inside the arm). Five other large arms reach out to grab him.

“I doubt you could even imagine it,” a voice says. “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!” (It eventually becomes clear that the first being with the hammer shatters the Elden Ring.)

In the midst of this voiceover, we also see an armored, red-haired female warrior who attaches a metal right arm to her torso. Another, seemingly different warrior wearing armor attacks a massive enemy we don’t get a good look at. Later, there’s a massive red-haired ogre that burns on a battlefield — and then a white-haired woman with a staff that collapses.

None of this makes much sense at all given the nonexistent context, but it seems like the Elden Ring had magical powers of creation. Its destruction must have plunged the world into chaos.

When is the Elden Ring release date?

FromSoftware has not announced an official release date for Elden Ring just yet, but some rumors surfaced leading into 2020 that seemingly hinted at a June 2020 release date.

FromSoftware held a New Year Card campaign, gifting anyone a phone wallpaper via email if they subscribed with an email address. One of the three wallpaper options was for Elden Ring, and it said outright the game would be “released in June.”

fromsoftware elden ring card
Is this random card accurate and reliable?

It’s odd that FromSoftware would let a detail like this slip without first announcing a formal release date, as noted by Wccftech’s original report of this news.

June does seem plausible, but every major Soulsborne game since Dark Souls II has been released in March. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, for instance, was unveiled at E3 2018 and then released in March 2019. It’s reasonable to assume that Elden Ring might follow a similar promotion and release cycle after its reveal during the Xbox E3 2019 showcase.

In an interview with Xbox Wire, game director Hidetaka Miyazaki confirmed that Elden Ring has been in development since at least 2017, overlapping with Sekiro for a long stretch. Based on that, a release date in the first half of 2020 seems possible, but because we haven’t seen any more teasers or other trailers, March seems too soon to be possible.

elden ring
This large warrior doesn't look too good.

What kind of game is Elden Ring?

Revealed during Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference on June 9, Elden Ring feels like the next step in FromSoftware’s “Soulsborne” game format in that it will feel similar to the Dark Souls series, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. These gritty games are known for their punishing yet rewarding difficulty set in fantasy universes rife with horror elements, but Elden Ring will seemingly that that a step further in a “vast, fully fledged fantasy world” that’ll feel more open world.

In an interview with Xbox Wire published Sunday, Elden Ring game director Hidetaka Miyazaki dropped a lot of details about the game.

“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,” he said. “This title will include a wide variety of weapons, magic, and ways to engage enemies, that make it possible to provide users with a style of gameplay and strategy that suits them.” That emphasis on role-playing also means the player’s character will be fully customizable, like in Dark Souls or Bloodborne.

Gamesradar reported ahead of E3 2019 that the project, with a working title of Great Rune, “is set in the Norse world, exploring Norse mythology and all its dark legends.” Other rumors reported by Gematsu called it an “open-world title (with horse riding) … with various kingdoms to visit and abilities to obtain from killing the leaders of those kingdoms.”

Miyazaki confirmed the game was “open world,” confirming early teases referring to it as “the largest FromSoftware game to-date.” If horseback riding does play a vital role in Elden Ring, then it might feel closer to Zelda: Breath of the Wild or even Shadow of the Colossus, but don’t worry, you can still expect the same brutal combat and nearly impossible boss battles.

“Boss fights are something we enjoy making and make up one of the climaxes to this title as well,” Miyazaki said. “We feel there is a wide variety of unique and horrifying bosses for players to look forward to.”

If the story focuses on Norse mythology and/or the Apocalypse, then we might also get some serious God of War vibes as well.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
'Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice' also dabbled in dismembered arms.

How Will Elden Ring Compare to Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro?

“Unlike Sekiro, which has a heavy focus on action, Elden Ring puts more focus on RPG elements,” Elden Ring game director Hidetaka Miyazaki told Xbox Wire, adding, “Of course, we are not shying away from the fun of responsive melee-based combat, and these elements will be present as well.”

So how does it stack up to Dark Souls?

“Even when compared to the Dark Souls series, I believe this title will provide even more variety in the ways for players to overcome challenges and tweak their tactics when facing enemies,” Miyazaki said.

Sekiro and Bloodborne offer less variation in terms of combat options, whereas Dark Souls utilizes traditional fantasy classes like Cleric, Knight, or the less-common Pyromancer. For Elden Ring to have even more options will make it unlike the other Soulsborne games in a way that puts even greater emphasis on the role-playing. That, coupled with the open-world exploration, will make for a very different FromSoftware game.


Elden Ring might be released in March 2020, but that’s our unconfirmed guess.