George RR Martin can't play Elden Ring because 'people seem to want this Winds of Winter book'

An image of George RR Martin talking to Stephen Colbert on his talk show.
(Image credit: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)
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George RR Martin, nemesis of the deadline, graced television screens recently to chat about his latest book. In the process, the Song of Ice and Fire author let slip that, on top of being a one-time addict of games like Homeworld and Master of Orion, he hasn't even touched Elden Ring because "people seem to want this Winds of Winter book".

Spotted by GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Martin spoke a little about the work he did on Elden Ring in an interview with Stephen Colbert (opens in new tab), after the host prodded him to talk about his experience constructing the game's cosmology and background lore. Martin's answer was fairly boilerplate—though he was apparently surprised that games take as long to make as major motion pictures—but when Colbert asked if he'd actually played the game, Martin said that his "totally addictive personality" meant that if he tried, our chances of ever seeing The Winds of Winter would become even more remote than they already are.

"I did play video games a long, loooong time ago," said Martin, "I played games like Railroad Tycoon, Master of Orion, and Homeworld". "I would get sucked into it: weeks, months would go by, and I'd be sitting there in my red flannel bathrobe saying 'One more game! One more game!'". Putting aside how very relatable that is, and whether I too could be a millionaire fantasy author if I'd never picked up a controller, it sounds like it's probably for the best that Martin hasn't touched FromSoft's opus, even if it really is very good indeed (opens in new tab).

It's especially good news because, in the same interview, Martin revealed that, 11 years into writing The Winds of Winter, he's apparently only "three quarters" of the way done with the next book, which isn't even meant to be the final part of the Song of Ice and Fire series. So settle in, folks, and hope Martin doesn't realise how cheap you can get Railroad Tycoon on GOG these days.

Elden Ring is far from the first time that Martin's work has overlapped with the video game world. There's a digital Game of Thrones board game (opens in new tab), a pretty average Telltale game (opens in new tab), an RPG (opens in new tab), and more Game of Thrones mods (opens in new tab) than you can shake a stick at. There's also a mildly successful TV show, but you're better off pretending they stopped making that after season 4.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.