Gaming historian and journalist Liam Robertson, who's previously been proven correct in regard to rumors about BioWare's then-unannounced Anthem, Mass Effect Andromeda's animation, and the cancellation of Scalebound, showed up on Twitter timelines yesterday with yet another rumor, this one surrounding FromSoftware.
Robertson then passed it on to YouTuber Spawn Wave, who claimed on Twitter: "One part of the rumor is even hard for me to believe and I'm the one reporting the rumor." That part refers to a possible collaboration of the Japanese developers with the high priest of grimdark fantasy, George R.R. Martin, creator of A Song of Ice and Fire, the basis for the enormously popular HBO adaptation, Game of Thrones.
Based on the confirmation from a GameSpot report that FromSoftware has two new games planned for release after Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, one of these games will allegedly be FromSoftware's shot at an open world style of game. Spawn Wave claims that there is already some nonlinear design involved in Sekiro, with bosses split into branching paths. This rumored, unannounced game, however, would not just be nonlinear, it would be full-on open world, where "you drop into and you can pretty much decide where to go from there." We also know that they have been working on an Armored Core project alongside Sekiro and Deracine, so unless it's been canceled one of the titles in the works would still be that project.
Spawn Wave goes into detail on the open world as a collection of kingdoms, where each includes "a boss, a prince or whatnot" that you must defeat and kill so you can take their ability, adding it to your arsenal. "Think of like Mega Man for example. So you end up going to a boss, you fight, you destroy them, and then you take their ability and you can use it as you go through the world. [...] And you can choose whichever kingdom you wanna go to first, [...] the fire kingdom or something, and then you go to the ice kingdom next. Those are just examples, but there'll be different kingdoms."
He hopes for an E3 announcement, but says it could go unannounced until 2020 as well. He also discusses the possible involvement with George R.R. Martin with skepticism, considering that Martin is supposed to be finishing the last two books announced for A Song of Ice and Fire, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. According to an interview from November 2018, Martin has been struggling with the writing. It doesn't seem very likely that he would spare the time to collaborate on an undertaking as massive as the writing for an open world game. That said, Martin has often worked on various side projects delaying the release of The Winds of Winter for a long time. His role would likely be based on designing the setting, and possibly main story, while FromSoftware's team would do narrative design, similar to R.A. Salvatore's role on Kingdoms of Amalur.
What do you think of this rumor? Do you think Martin's brand of grimdark fantasy would match the Souls universe? Let us know in the comments below.