According to From Software producer Yasuhiro Kitao, Elden Ring can be finished in roughly 30 hours. That's a really nice amount of time. Long enough to feel substantial, but not too long that it'll feel like a massive slog. No bloat, more riding on spectral horse-goat, as they say.
News of Elden Ring's playtime comes from the Taipei Game Show, where Kitao confirmed that the game had gone gold and answered plenty of questions, including how long it'll take to beat.
"This will differ significantly by player, but in terms of the targets set during development, the idea is that the main route should be able to be completed within around 30 hours. The game as a whole is quite massive and contains many dozens more hours worth of gameplay, but if we are talking about the main route only, it shouldn't take much longer than that."
Aside from being a solid chunk of time, 30+ hours is perhaps an unsurprising figure. That's in line with all the other Dark Souls games according to my Steam profile. I can see that I've logged 45 hours in Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition, 31 hours in Dark Souls 2, and 59 hours in Dark Souls 3. Taking into account DLCs and tough boss fights, that seems about right.
And replayability is clearly a big thing for Elden Ring too, as Kitao points out.
"Yes, you can [replay the game multiple times]. In fact, with the world being so vast, the game is designed so that it can be cleared without necessarily experiencing everything. Some players will prefer to try and explore the entire map the first time, while others will leave some areas for exploration in second or subsequent cycles."
Kitao also says that technically, "it's impossible to reach 100 percent" on a single playthrough, due "to the fact that there are branching points near the end". Sounds like it'll have multiple endings like other Souls games, with big decisions to be made as the end draws near.
While Kitao doesn't mention quest lines, I wouldn't be surprised if the game also features NPC questlines where you've got to fulfil a very specific set of conditions to see their stories through. Not to mention that they've got a bigger world to tuck secrets into, like Dark Souls' Painted World Of Ariamis or that Dark Sun Gwnydolin boss fight. So while you could've blasted through the main story, I imagine there will be so many little things you could miss, even on multiple playthroughs.
Personally, I wouldn't want Elden Ring to be any longer than 30+ hours. Yes, it's meant to be bigger and bolder and vast-er. Thing is, playtime doesn't dictate quality. You could give me an 80+ hour triple-A game that's so bloated, it's more like wading through the shallow end of a pool than playing a fun video game. I'm confident that From Software won't have stretched its Soulslike thin with Elden Ring's open world. I'm thinking less shallow end, more hot tubs and water slides, wave machines and three-headed hydras.
If you're thinking, "30 hours?! It'll take me that long to beat the first boss!", then Kitao has words of comfort for you.
"This is the perfect title for those who have been interested in our games in the past, but who have been put off by concerns about the games being too difficult. The game also features a robust character development system, and with online multiplayer...you can always get help with the harder parts in order to make your way through the game."
Judging by the 45 minute gameplay presentation, you certainly will have options. Summons are shown off, including a fire-breathing bird and lots of spectral wolves. Do give the whole thing a watch if you're as excited about the game as I am. It's a little treat before the main course.