Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki has said the launch of the game is "not a very pleasant time" that's made him anxious.
The comments were made in an interview in the latest issue of Famitsu, translated by VGC.
"It's the same for all past titles, not just this one, but it's not a very pleasant time," he said. "I'm sure I'm relieved, but I'm more anxious about it. I never get used to it."
Miyazaki said from the start of development, Elden Ring "would be the largest scale ever".
That then influenced many of the design decisions, from the open world, to the implementation of Torrent.
Importantly, freedom was a key priority for the game (according to a translation from Frontline), allowing players to tackle areas and bosses in any order. The open world was also given a mythological, fantastical, painting-like look, with a feeling of romanticism in solitude.
The result is a game that ended up even larger and more complex than the team intended, but staff lived up to expectations. Miyazaki praised the "excellent staff" and their ability to "leave (him to it)".
Miyazaki also addresses George R.R. Martin's involvement in the story.
"Martin's lore has existed since the very early stages of development and has given us various inspirations. The lore depicts a complex and interesting relationship between mystery and the player, and gives us a multi-layered depth that we can call history," said Miyazaki, according to VGC's translation.
As for the Elden Ring itself and the world, Miyazaki did explain to Martin general ideas of the game's lore and specifics like the golden erdtree were formed later.
"At first, it wasn't called the 'Ring', but I think he talked about the Elden Ring-like existence and the image of the opportunity for it to break. However, it was only spoken as an abstract concept, and I don't think he had a concrete motif such as a golden tree at that time."
Elden Ring was developed in parallel with Sekiro, Miyazaki explains, so any similarities between the two games are due to his direction rather than direct feedback.
"Since this work and the production of Sekiro were in parallel, there was not much direct feedback from Sekiro," he said. "However, since I directed both, it is certain that they influenced each other."
Despite such a huge open world, one player has already managed to speedrun the game in two and a half hours without dying.
Check out our Elden Ring beginner's guide if you're having trouble with the game.