Over the weekend, Bandai Namco’s information page for upcoming game Elden Ring briefly redirected to a fake Instagram account. The account said more news about the long-silent game was “coming soon,” as if Elden Ring’s most devoted fans haven’t suffered enough.
The Instagram account, called “bandainamcoenteurope,” has a couple hundred followers and three posts that, when viewed together, say “Elden Ring News Soon.” For some amount of time between Saturday and Sunday, the tiny Instagram icon on Bandai Namco’s official European Elden Ring page linked to it. It was a little obscure, but it was enough to at least momentarily raise some people’s hopes. “Please dear god please be real,” commented one person on Instagram.
The redirect was eventually corrected, and it didn’t take long for shrewd fans to realize the account wasn’t the game’s official one and that the tease was likely fake. As modder Lance McDonald pointed out yesterday on Twitter, the fake Instagram account is registered to a Russian email address, and the redirect from the Bandai Namco site was possibly the result of a hack. Bandai Namco’s Twitch page still links to the fake Instagram account. Bandai Namco did not respond to a request for comment.
Most people might never have discovered the misinformation by clicking the tiny icon, but Elden Ring fans aren’t most people. The FromSoftware game is described as a “natural evolution” of the Dark Souls series by director Hidetaka Miyazaki. Souls players have been desperate to learn more about the game since its E3 2019 reveal, especially since the creator of A Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones), George R. R. Martin, is helping to write it.
Elden Ring’s real Instagram account hasn’t been updated in a year, during which time fans have gotten so discouraged they’ve actually taken to creating their own fan lore around the game on Reddit. There are made-up maps, character names, and even bosses. Now, some fans want to add whoever’s responsible for the fake Instagram post to its fake lore as one of the villains.
One of the reasons people were so ready to believe it in the first place is that the Tokyo Game Show is next week, the perfect venue for a surprise Elden Ring news dump. Some still aren’t completely convinced that the fake post was a mistake. In one Reddit post titled “What if Bamco did this on purpose?” some poor souls tried to make sense of it all.
Wrote one exasperated fan, “We are so starved of info that we reached this point...Truly they tried to bring the hollowing mechanic into real life.