Oh my… A Game of Thrones MMO

Sean Bean. Available for all fantasy based roles that involve a lot of brooding.

Sean Bean. Available for all fantasy based roles that involve a lot of brooding.

Well, colour me pleasantly surprised. A few days ago, via Rock, Paper Shotgun, I found out that developer Bigpoint are releasing a free-2-play MMO based on the Game of Thrones IP. I’m actually feeling surprisingly giddy about it.

Of course, it’s still early days and there’s absolutely no information on the official web site about the game but then that’s to be expected considering it likely won’t be out for another three years. Still, one can dream. Here’s hoping it’s less WoW-like and a little more EVE-like, focusing on political intrigue, deception and general backstabbery rather than leveling up and quest grinding. Fingers crossed for a sandbox type model too but, hell, that’s unlikely, so I’d just settle for something a little different from the norm.

The big question one has to ask though is will the Game of Thrones franchise still be as popular when the MMO comes out as it is today? Or will end up being another Matrix Online and miss the hype-train completely? I suppose considering George R. R. Martin still has a few books to publish (I imagine he’s just increased the saga by a few tomes now that it’s dramatically picked up in popularly) and the TV series could run for a few years to come as a result, it’s likely that interest will still be high for some time. Still, timing is everything for IP based MMOs, a bad combination given the length of development they require.

I’m also incredibly curious as to how the game mechanics will play out. Will there be classes? Races? Magic? Perma-death? Now that would be interesting and quite apt given the how easily Martin disposes of main characters. Some nudity à la Age of Conan wouldn’t be out of place either, especially considering you can barely what a television episode without seeing tits and bums flying everywhere. We actually have big arguments in the office over the immersion factor all the sex in the show either brings or breaks, my stance being that everyone in the fantasy era was just horny as hell with nothing better to do. Plus, I’m pretty sure HBO has aspirations to be soft porn company.

Anyway, a Game of Thrones MMO? Yes please. Now just give me a Wheel of Time one too and I’ll be a happy chappy.

-Gordon

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16 Comments

  1. bhagpuss says:

    You put your finger on the I.P. problem re MMOs. The development cycle is so languorous that by the time a game comes out no-one remembers why they thought it was a good idea to make it in the first place.

    Consequently, rather than getting hot, topical I.P.s we get hoary old dinosaurs like Star Wars, Conan, D&D, Lord of the Rings, Warhammer et al.

    • Gordon says:

      I’ve got not issue with IP powered MMOs, just that more often than not they seem to fall flat on their face. Age of Conan was one of the best in conveying the ‘Conan experience’ IMO but aside from that, wasn’t a great game.

  2. Galaji says:

    A good number of your questions have been answered in the following interview with the BigPoint development team:

    http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/03/09/gdc-2012-bigpoint-discusses-the-game-of-thrones-mmo/

    I’m not sure what to think of the game at this point. A full run down of the skills available at launch as well as reasons to avoid straight up physical conflict are still needed for me to make a decision.

  3. Mid says:

    Don’t get too excited. BigPoint is very much into pushing cash shop items — all of the games in their ‘inventory’ are very much Pay2Win. Wouldn’t bother.

  4. Anuillae says:

    It’s probably just my general jadedness when it comes to MMOs, but I’m not eagerly anticipating the Game of Thrones MMO at all.

    Also; ‘I’m pretty sure HBO has aspirations to be soft porn company.’ This is so true. The Wire isn’t *that* bad, but the first episode of Game of Thrones had more naked people in it that clothed. Bad way to be surprised when you’re watching it in the same room as the rest of your family.

  5. Nils says:

    Bigpoint? That’s the company which wanted me to put links to their web pages in my blog posts in exchange to linking to my blog. I expect exactly nothing from this game.

  6. shipwreck says:

    Having only played the Battlestar Galactica browser game, I can probably say that Game of Thrones will be light on content.

  7. Graham says:

    Gordon your blogs have been lackluster lately. Give us something deep! Come on buddy I know you have it in you.

  8. MMO says:

    Gordon, sorry if I posted comments three times in a row, lol I just can’t resist replying to some of your posts. About the Game of Thrones MMO, I have been a fan of the series and an active poster in the asoiaf.westeros.org forum since 2001. I’m quite familiar with the setting but I must admit that this is rather problematic for me to imagine because:

    - there are only humans, no other sentient races except (maybe?) the Others. dragons seem to have some intelligence but only as much as smart dog or horse, IMO
    - magic is very limited. definitely no one would be flinging around spells
    - what would players kill? there are no monsters in great numbers running around freely in ASoIaF
    - the series focuses a lot on the great houses, how would this work out? 1000s of nobles running around the virtual world will seem weird

    The best I can think of is a faction vs faction war type of game.

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