One of the most hyped video games of 2022 is Elden Ring. The gaming community has fallen in love with it, and the expert reviews are extremely positive. Even the billionaire Elon Musk is a fan. He recently tweeted, "Elden Ring, experienced in its entirety, is the most beautiful art I have ever seen." The new game is also a huge commercial success — over 13 million copies were sold within a month of its release on February 25.
So what is the secret to its popularity? The answer is, the game has all the ingredients for success: an open-world structure (meaning that players are free to explore it and not forced to follow a given route), beautiful 3D graphics, and a complex grand story written by none other than George R. R. Martin. Yes, the George Martin who is the mastermind behind Game of Thrones. Elden Ring is part of the so-called “soulslike” subgenre — a difficult action game set in a dark fantasy environment — named after the Souls series of video games created by the Japanese company FromSoftware and designed by Hidetaka Miyazaki.
What sets the game apart from a million others is the quality of the open world. Sure, Elden Ring is not the first open-world game on the market, but it is a rare game with such size, scale, depth, and freedom. The player can choose their own unique path, explore the enormous world of Elden Ring for hundreds of hours, and know that their curiosity will somehow be rewarded. The fact that the game is made with such care to detail is its top advantage. People are now used to games that are unfinished, full of software bugs and performance problems. Many developers release games as soon as possible — leaving testing to the users. FromSoftware has a different approach. The huge popularity of Elden Ring may finally change the industry.