FromSoftware’s lack of Elden Ring news around development and release, in addition to constant leaks, could lead to dangerous overhype at launch.
Elden Ring is one of the most hotly anticipated games of the last decade, and with FromSoftware’s seminal Demon’s Souls having gotten a gorgeous PS5 remake from Bluepoint, fans of the loose congregation of games known as the Souls franchise (or sometimes “Soulsborne” in honor of FromSoftware’s popular PS4 exclusive Bloodborne) are anxious to get their hands on it more than ever. But as with any major release, so much excitement can be a double-edged sword, especially with a game as enigmatic as Elden Ring has proven to be thus far, potentially making so much fan-frothing hype its biggest enemy at launch.
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The dearth of Elden Ring news has frustrated fans for quite some time, making for a constant source of turbulence. With FromSoftware being so tight-lipped about development progress, despite being 4 years out from the game’s original unveiling, fans have had little to go on other than a drip feed of questionable leaks, the majority of which have proven to be fakes. Some have even begun to speculate that something at FromSoftware has gone awry, citing possible issues with George R.R. Martin’s involvement, or with development problems that could put Elden Ring at risk of cancellation.
While this doesn’t exactly constitute “hype” in the traditional sense of the word, it’s a sort of reverse-hype that can end up affecting a future game’s fandom in much the same way that hyperbole and overpromising do. In this case, it becomes far less about a developer making statements that will come back to haunt them, or a game failing to live up to perceived promises (as was the case with recent Hood: Outlaws & Legends hype), and more to do with Elden Ring fans dreaming up their own expectations of the game that it may never be able to actually meet.
Scant Details on Elden Ring Development Progress May Hurt FromSoftware
While it’s entirely possible that FromSoftware is still plugging along with Elden Ring’s development at a solid pace, it’s all but certain that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused setbacks. This may be enough to explain away the ongoing delay, but more information would undoubtedly serve them better than being as quiet as they have, especially since FromSoftware released Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice a lot closer to when they were first announced.
It’s certainly possible that Elden Ring will be everything gamers hope for and more, and FromSoftware’s past track record does much to instill faith in its fanbase. At the same time, the amount of fan fervor that’s come from the lack of trailers, official announcements, and news coverage around the game (beyond fact-checking the constant stream of Elden Ring leaks) means that even if the game turns out well, it may have trouble reaching players whose imaginations have had time to set expectations that can never truly be met.
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