George R.R. Martin has not played Elden Ring because "people seem to want this Winds of Winter book"

Elden Ring
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones author and Elden Ring backstory contributor, has confirmed that he hasn't played From Software's latest because he's afraid he'd get so addicted that he wouldn't be able to finish Winds of Winter.

"I have not played it, because people seem to want this Winds of Winter book," Martin said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. (Elsewhere in the interview, he commented that the book is about three-quarters complete.) "I have, unfortunately, a totally addictive personality. I did play video games a long, long time ago, I played games like Railroad Tycoon, Master of Orion, and Homeworld and I would get sucked into it. Weeks, months would go by and I'd be sitting there in my red flannel bathrobe just saying 'one more game, one more game.' I can't, I gotta go cold turkey on this, this is gonna kill me here."

Clearly that old-school PC gaming made an impression on Martin, because he name-dropped many of the same titles when he discussed his contributions to Elden Ring in a blog post last year. In the interview with Colbert, Martin reiterated his role as world-builder for the game.

"Video games - which I didn't know - actually take as long to make as a major motion picture, if not longer. Intensive development," Martin said. From Software "made it clear that Elden Ring was going to take place in, let's say 'the present' of the game universe. What they wanted me to write was what happened 5,000 years before that, that totally screwed up the world, so that the present was really messed up. I went back and I wrote a history of what happened 5,000 years before the current game, and who all the characters were, and who was killing each other, and what powers they had."

Regardless of how long ago his role on Elden Ring was finished, Martin seems quite impressed with the final results. "It's the most beautiful game I've ever seen. It's really amazing, and amazingly detailed, and the people who play it love it, and I'm very gratified to have been a part of it."

Dataminers are starting uncover evidence of DLC in Elden Ring updates, though the story's more complicated than it may initially seem. For now, the devs are fighting a war with their own buffs and nerfs to Endure.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.