How long is Elden Ring? According to director and Dark Souls godfather Hidetaka Miyazaki, FromSoftware's upcoming action RPG can take around 30 hours "without a lot of detours."
Miyazaki briefly discussed the game's average playtime during a recent interview with Japanese outlet Famitsu (which we've run through a few Japanese to English translators for accuracy's sake). Miyazaki stressed that "this is a question I'm not good at [answering]" and that he's not entirely sure of the average length, but he offered 30 hours as a rough estimate for players who only focus on the game's main path with minimal to zero unnecessary exploration, side questing, and so on.
From Demon's Souls and Dark Souls to Bloodborne and Sekiro, FromSoftware's action RPGs have always been relatively short to beat but incredibly easy to get sucked into. Hell, you can clear Demon's Souls in like five hours even without any hardcore speedrun strats. As we highlighted in our Elden Ring gameplay breakdown, this is looking like the most FromSoftware video game of all time, so we fully expect to lose countless hours overturning every rock and overanalyzing every scrap of lore.
On top of that, Elden Ring emphasizes player freedom more heavily than previous FromSoftware games. New details provided by Miyazaki confirm that players can approach the game's six main areas in whatever order they choose, to say nothing of the many optional bosses and dungeons along the way. The choices you make will not only determine your path through the game, but also the ending you receive, and that's just the big-picture stuff – we haven't even gotten to building your character, which is apparently a more creative and flexible process than ever thanks to collectible spirits and weapon skills.
It's hard to ask "How long is Elden Ring?" without the question feeling somewhat loaded, so 30 hours is probably the most conservative possible answer. I wouldn't be surprised if the average playthrough clocks in at well over double that. And to be fair, 30 hours for the critical path alone is roughly in line with FromSoftware's other games. According to the reliable data on HowLongToBeat, the main stories of Bloodborne and Sekiro are sitting just below 30 hours, with Dark Souls 3 at 32. That gives us a pretty good reference for how side questing and exploration can add to the playtime of a FromSoftware game, not to mention the overall experience.
Elden Ring is so big, in fact, that publisher Bandai Namco is apparently looking to turn it into more than just a game.