In the Game of Thrones, You Win or You Play Another
?Did you know there are three Game of Thrones videogames coming out next year? It’s true. And that’s not counting Game of Thrones: Genesis, the recently released strategy game that takes place in Westeros 1,000 years before A Song of Ice and Fire begins. The three games include (as per USA Today):
? Game of Thrones, a role-playing game from developer Cyanide Studio and publisher Atlus for PS3, Xbox 360
and PCs, is based on an original story by Martin. HBO plans to share
video with the developers so that the game parallels the series.
? Bigpoint (Battlestar Galactica Online) is developing a free-to-play Game of Thrones massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
? A Thrones-based social networking game — think FarmVille comes to Westeros — is also in the works.
Let’s talk about these for a second. First off, I think we can all admit Genesis sounds like a good idea — a strategy war game is probably the best fit for GoT, and setting it in the past allows the designers to not fuck with the current ASoIaF storyline. All good. And far be it from me to complain about a GoT game based on a story by Martin; if there’s someone who knows a story that can be told alongside the books, he’s probably the dude. I’d give it a shot.
It’s the other two that freak me out — the MMORPG and Farmville nonsense. I’m having a hard time imagining house these might work. There’s not a lot of personal accomplishment in the ASoIaF books — sure, people do dally with intrigue, and there are a few duels — but the latter are few and far between, and I have no idea how the former would work in an MMORPG. It’s not like there are hordes of monsters wandering around… except above the Wall, and that seems like it would be too limited a scope for a GoT game. There’s just not a sense of individual “adventure” in GoT — there’s war, politics, betrayal, love, etc. — but no one in Game of Thrones wanders the countryside looking for XP. Can you have an MMORPG without that? Or specifically, can you have one that people want to play?
The less about Throneville or whatever the fuck it’s going to be called the better. I can’t even imagine how that would work. Tell you what, instead of making a Game of Thrones Farmville, let’s just add a league of marauding bastards to Farmville, who come and rape, murder and set fire to everybody’s farms once a month. I can’t think of a more authentic Game of Thrones gaming experience than that.