The penultimate season of Game of Thrones has come to a close. Having to wait until 2019 for the next season will surely mean it becomes the most talked about TV show ever. Wouldn’t a videogame of Game Thrones be the perfect thing to tie us over until then? On first thoughts, it seems like the perfect solution. A sizzling slice of pie just waiting to be scooped up by the games industry. Six years before the pilot episode aired, Obsidian co founder Feargus Urquhart turned down the opportunity.
Was Turning Down A Game of Thrones Game A Dumb Idea? We Think Not…
While he may be inclined to reconsider nowadays, it’s important to bear in mind that he was already familiar with A Song of Ice And Fire. He knew exactly the kind of opportunity he was turning down. Yet, after the initial burst of excitement of the idea, it’s easy to see how he came to his conclusion. Would it be a first person open world RPG, like Fallout: New Vegas? How do you build a suitable character and story around that? Would it be more suited to what was a stronger genre back then – the RTS?
The only notable game we already have is by Telltale Games. This revolved things around the story of a family loyal to the Starks. Yet, the mechanics involved in that were safely a lot closer to the main thing we love about Game of Thrones – storytelling. This meant Telltale didn’t have to worry about the intricacies of gameplay mechanics or keeping the player happy with context suitable combat scenarios.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Urquhart explains “Other than what weird stuff is going on beyond The Wall, and the dragons, and some hint [of fantasy/magic], there are no magic users, there are no clerics, no thieves. Basically there’s dudes with swords and armour and a little bit of mysticism, but within the main land [the Seven Kingdoms] there’s no goblins…”. After all, if a Game of Thrones version of Skyrim was made, wouldn’t it be identical in gameplay beats? Goblins and elves would be nowhere to be found but dragons would still be about. The harsh gaming community of critics, Urquhart knew, would just call it a discount Skyrim.
He goes on to explain his perspective. “”Looking back at it, the only thing we could have done is what BioWare did with Knights of the Old Republic. They basically said Episodes 1-6, you can’t touch it, so we’re just going to go way back. But even then some stuff had already been written about it in the [Star Wars] Expanded Universe. With George R. R. Martin there was no other… they talked about some history… we could have done that.”
Game of Thrones Being Made By Bethesda? Nope
The more eagle eyed of us out there recently started a rumour that spread like wildfire. Naturally. Over the bank holiday, a listing on American commercial site, Target gave away some information in its URL. That then pointed toward the presence of Game of Thrones emanating from Bethesda’s studios. If you’ve followed this rumour up until now, we’re sorry to tell you it’s false. No Game of Thrones is in development. A Target spokesperson recently stated simply “This is not a real product – we’re sorry for any confusion”. Turns out the page that caused all the trouble was a spoof page. Someone’s getting fired…
So it would appear, after all the hubbub surrounding the end of the season and the perfect timing of these rumours will amount to sweet nothing at all. So it may be a very long time before we’re exploring Westeros ourselves. Still, the idea is undeniably tantalising. How would create a Game of Thrones videogame?