Just last week, reports began to surface that claimed Game of Thrones author George RR Martin had teamed up with Sekiro and Dark Souls developer FromSoftware to create a new open world game based on Norse mythology.
This followed on from rumours earlier in the year that Martin had indeed started working with FromSoftware on something, which was recently hinted at by Martin himself when he confirmed that he had in fact consulted on a video game out of Japan.
While the existence of a George RR Martin/FromSoftware collab (or indeed even a new From game) has yet to be officially confirmed, the most recent reports posit that the game does exist, and is called Great Rune.
Gematsu claims that a person “familiar with ongoings” at FromSoftware confirmed to the publication that the project is being referred to internally as “GR.” Gematsu’s source requested they only share the acronym, while GamesRadar later suggested that Great Rune is the official title.
In an intriguing new development, a modder who goes by TKGP on Twitter appears to have uncovered a clear reference to Great Rune tucked away in the files for From’s latest game, the Samurai stealth adventure Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
While the initials “GR” sitting in the files for Sekiro might not seem like much to go on on their own, given everything else we’ve heard about Great Rune so far, this seems to be much more than a simple coincidence.
Apparently there was a sneaky little reference to Great Rune sitting here in the Sekiro material configs all along. pic.twitter.com/H5uKZOUzZi
— TKGP (@TKGP_) May 29, 2019
Redditor Katalash later backed up TKGP’s findings, referencing both Bloodborne (‘SPRJ’) and Dark Souls 3 (‘FDP’) as other examples of codenames being used in FromSoftware’s game file directories. They also theorised that this suggests Great Rune is being developed in the studio’s internal engine, and not Unreal Engine 4 as had previously been rumoured.
Other Redditors were in agreement, with several pointing out that Dark Souls creator and FromSoftware boss Hidetaka Miyazaki has hidden hints for future projects in his games before, including a reference to Sekiro in Bloodborne.
Great Rune has allegedly been in development for the last three years, and will be published by Bandai Namco, just like the Dark Souls trilogy was. It’ll also reportedly feature an open world and horse riding.
If the rumours are to be believed, it sounds as if George RR Martin’s involvement with the game will see him fleshing out the lore and characters of the world, which is said to consist of multiple kingdoms that the player will visit and conquer before facing down the ruler of each.
Take all of this with a hefty pinch of salt for now, but the existence of Great Rune is looking more and more likely. Multiple reports seem to think we’ll see the game announced at Microsoft’s E3 2019 show, so we don’t have long to wait to discover the truth.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.