Wheel of Time author dismayed George R. R. Martin worked on Elden Ring

A player character in Elden Ring fighting a dark knight
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

A popular fantasy novelist and author of the final books in the Wheel of Time series has expressed his dismay that George R. R. Martin was asked to contribute to Elden Ring despite the Game of Thrones author not having a strong interest in contemporary video games.

Speaking on a Q&A panel discussion which was uploaded to YouTube last week, Brandon Sanderson, who's also written the Mistborn and The Stormlight Archive series of novels, said he was disappointed that Martin was asked to write the lore of FromSoftware’s upcoming game, rather than a fantasy author more familiar with the developer’s previous work, such as himself.

“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,” he adds, rather tongue-in-cheek. 

“They went to George and made a game with George, and I’m like, George doesn’t play video games. George has no idea.”

Analysis: fans don’t always get what they want

An Elden Ring character taking on a large forest creature

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

George R. R. Martin hasn’t kept his limited knowledge of modern gaming a secret. In a blog post last year, he praised Elden Ring and revealed that he’d ended up contributing to its backstory and world-building after game director Hidetaka Miyazaki reached out. In the same post, he also revealed that video games weren’t his forte. 

“Now, video games are not really my thing - oh, I played a few back in the dawn of time, mainly strategy games like Railroad Tycoon, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and Master of Orion - but this offer was too exciting to refuse,” Martin said.

Although all three of those games were released well before the turn of the millennium, it’s not Martin’s knowledge of the medium that secured him the job. Miyazaki has previously said he’s a huge fan of Martin’s work, expressing his love for A Song of Ice and Fire and describing the author’s 1982 antebellum novel Fevre Dream as a “masterpiece among vampire fantasy” that he recommends to all new employees.

From Sanderson's own admission, however, he's quite the fan of FromSoftware's work. King’s Field was the first video game the developer released and it came to the original PlayStation in 1994. If Sanderson’s been following the developer since then, it’s understandable why he’s a little disappointed not to have been given the opportunity to collaborate with one of his favorite studios on the much-anticipated game.

Callum Bains
Gaming News Writer

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games.