Being able to “recruit” someone like George RR Martin was one of FromSoftware’s greatest achievements during the development of Elden ring and it seems that the Japanese studio liked the idea of having famous authors collaborate on their projects.
At least that’s what Brandon Sanderson guarantees, who, when performing a live broadcast recently, revealed that Bandai Namco called him to create a title in the future. The invitation made by the editor of the Elden ring came with several promotional products for the game and about the possibility of this partnership, the author stated:
“They’re interested in maybe doing something together […]. I am too, actually. This is how it works: I actually have an argument for them in the back of my mind, so I can send them the argument and see what they think.
I always have an argument for everything. Like, ‘If I’m going to make a Souslborne-style game, what could I do?’ You know what happened when I thought ‘what would I do if I were going to write a story for Magic: The Gathering?’ I spent four years developing a story for Magic: The Gathering, so when Magic contacted me and said ‘hey, want to write a story?’ I could say ‘yes, I already wrote one and I will! And I did.
Likewise, I’ve been thinking ‘what could I do if I created a Souslborne game?’ Obviously I won’t decide that, right? But I have it in the back of my mind, so maybe you’ll hear something from me. I have some ideas, I always have ideas.”
Dedicated to fantasy and science fiction stories, among Sanderson’s most famous works are the book series born of the mists and The Stormlight file. He was also known for replacing Robert Jordan at the end of the series. The Wheel of Timeafter he passed away in 2007.
The detail is that the invitation to Brandon Sanderson may not have been as random as it seems, since in January the author was harsh in criticizing the choice of George RR Martin to participate in the creation of the Elden ring. During a Q&A with fans, he gave the following statement:
“Let me demonstrate my frustration! FromSoftware decides to make a fantasy game, partners with a fantasy novelist, and picks someone who spends their day blogging about the NFL over the person who’s played their games since King’s Field and listed their games as their top 10 favorites. consistently over time.
What are you guys thinking!? If you don’t know, they went to the George RR Martin and played a game with him. I was like, ‘George doesn’t play video games! George has no idea.’”
Both the invitation to participate in a future game and the goodies sent to Sanderson may have just been Bandai Namco’s press office’s way of pleasing the author, but I don’t doubt that such an approach has real interests. How Elden ring FromSoftware discovered the impact that a famous name can have on advertising and if it is not the creator of born of the mistsI think it’s likely that another will be linked in an upcoming project.
This is a strategy that I find very interesting, mainly because of its potential to greatly improve the plot of the games. The problem is that in the case of FromSoftware, I have my doubts about how this partnership could be effectively leveraged in the game’s content and it’s the latest creation of the studio makes me think so.
When it was announced that George RR Martin would participate in the project, I assumed he would be free to develop his ideas, but that’s not exactly what we saw in the game. With its somewhat obscure narrative working very similarly to other titles in the soulsin Elden ring we have to put a lot of effort into trying to understand what’s going on in your world, and we often learn more from reading an item’s description than we do through dialogue or non-interactive cutscenes.
In an interview with The New Yorker, director Hidetaka Miyazaki admitted to having imposed some barriers to Martin’s creative freedom, leaving him to create only the backstory and not the script as a whole. In this way, he left the American who became known for The Chronicles of ice and Fire create the characters, setting and mythology of that universe, so that the game designer can develop the story and its gameplay.
“In our games, the story must always serve the player’s experience,” declared Miyazaki. “I know [o Martin] had written the story, I would have been worried that we might distance ourselves from it. I wanted him to be able to write freely and not feel restricted by some obscure mechanics that he might have to change during development.”
That’s a good excuse, but after spending a few hours in the Elden ring and realize that the game could very well be called dark souls 4 Or until “Dark Souls: Breath of the Wild”, I still wonder what George RR Martin’s real contribution was. In celebrating its release and the way the title was being acclaimed, the author even admitted that his share was small and that almost all credit should go to Miyazaki and his team.
So even with the game designer likening RR Martin’s help in following a dungeon master in a tabletop RPG, I think it was, at heart, a big marketing ploy, a way to show the world that FromSoftware was able to bring to games a name as heavy as that of the creator of War of Thrones.
By that I don’t mean that the game is bad, on the contrary, it has been fantastic to get to know its vast world and see how there are secrets scattered almost everywhere. However, due to Martin’s participation, I really expected to find Elden ring a story full of twists, with an intricate plot and characters far more complex than those with such vague dialogues.
Perhaps the mistake here was mine, for not realizing in advance that Miyazaki’s narrative style would never match that of George RR Martin and for having been innocent enough to think that the game designer would renounce something that has become his trademark.
But whether it was out of conviction or pure ego, as the director of the game he is within his rights to create it as he sees fit and as long as the parties approve this in advance, I don’t think it’s wrong to resort to this marketing strategy. I just won’t be looking forward to a change in storytelling style in FromSoftware games when future partnerships arise.
Source: PlayStation LifeStyle