"I did some snooping today and it seems like Elden Ring is ready to be shown publicly," McDonald said in a recent Twitch stream. "It seems like there's some people working on Elden Ring who they only bring in when the games are nearly finished. As you can imagine, there's a bunch of contractors I snoop around on. I watch what they're doing and what they're talking about, and one of them said some stuff today [December 3] and I'm like, 'Oh, wow.' Based on what I know that person's job is, I was like, that game's gotta be almost finished. But I still don't know whether it's gonna be at the Game Awards, which is all I care about."
Responding to a viewer's question, McDonald suggested that March 2021 is likely "too soon" for Elden Ring's release date. "If it was March, I would know a lot more about it I think," he said. "I don't think it's coming out that soon. I think it will be next year sometime, but I don't know, I don't know enough about it to know that sort of thing. I think that when the game gets really close to completion, I'll probably just stop talking about it. If I actually know something for a fact, I won't spoil it. You know, it's a big game, it's kind of exciting. So if I just suddenly stop speculating on Elden Ring stuff, it probably means I actually did learn some cool stuff about it. But right now I don't know anything."
McDonald is an independent source citing unspecified activity from an unnamed contractor, but given his track record on From Software's games and his commitment to studying the studio's plans, his word is more valuable than most. Elden Ring has been missing in action essentially since its reveal, but the timeline McDonald's outlined here does line up with the most recent update on the game, which came from Xbox boss Phil Spencer. Last month, Spencer said he's "played quite a bit" of the game, and if Elden Ring is in a state where From Software is comfortable showing it to the boss of a major platform, it's probably ready (or almost ready) for primetime as well. Right? Surely we won't go dry this year as well. Right?