The song's producer, Jack Antonoff, came up with the title after he and Del Rey attended the 2020 Oscars after-party hosted by Madonna and Guy Oseary.
"It's dark, but just a game"
That's what he would say to me
The faces aren't the same, but their stories all end tragically
And that's the price of fame
A tale as old as time you'd be
A pretty little fool to think exceptions to the rule
Del Rey told Mojo magazine she met an unnamed musician at the high-profile industry party. "Something happened, kind of situation like - never meet your idols," she recalled. "And I just thought, 'I think it's interesting that the best musicians end up in such terrible places.' I thought to myself, 'I'm going to try my best not to change because I love who I am.' I said, 'Jack [Antonoff], it's dark.' And he said, 'Well it's dark - but I mean, it's just a game.'"
"Dark but just a game is so her to me," Antonoff added. "Fly down the rabbit hole and smile in the same breath."