George R.R. Martin’s latest fantasy extravaganza hit the shelves back in February. But you won’t find his work on the shelf at your local bookstore, but instead video game shops. George R.R. Martin worked with video game company Bandai Namco to launch a massive action role playing game called Elden Ring. But why would a famed fantasy author shift to gaming?
On his personal blog, Martin said that video games weren’t his thing. Still, Elden Ring offered him an opportunity to build a deep, complicated world, rich with lore and history. While Martin is perhaps most famous for his intricate plots that shock and enthrall readers, with Elden Ring, Martin focused on world-building and lore.
In his own words, he noted that Bandai Namco wanted “a bit of worldbuilding: a deep, dark, resonant world to serve as a foundation for the game they planned to create.”
Often even before and certainly while writing out their plots, fantasy authors build rich worlds complete with cities, magic, technology, history and lore. The written tales that unfold typically take place in a larger world, and one that many fans love to get lost in — perhaps crafting their own tales and heroes while daydreaming.
Bandai Namco wrote the actual plot, but Martin helped craft the world that the story takes place in. This should come as no surprise, for as Martin says “As it happens, I love creating worlds and writing imaginary history.”
Building a world and lore for a video game offered Martin another avenue for his work. Video games might be the perfect format for imaginary worlds. According to the New Daily, they combine everything: Painting, radio, television and storytelling, and the user controls the outcome.