The Game of Thrones is moving from books and television to computers and popular game consoles.
Best-selling author George R.R. Martin and cable’s HBO, which had a hit earlier this year with a series based on his fantasy novels, are working with developers on three games, all due next year:
•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.
Martin helped formulate the game’s scenario, says Yves Bordeleau, studio director at Cyanide Montreal, which created the Genesis game.
“All the situations and story line were written under (his) monitoring in order to fit with the story the fans have already read, and thus fulfill their expectations.”
The Game of Thrones realm, a fantasy inspired by Britain’s War of the Roses, “makes an excellent basis for a strategy game because, as you may know, the universe of Westeros is full of twisted plots, spying and treachery, which have been really interesting to turn into gameplay,” Bordeleau says. In Genesis, “the player will have to use diplomacy, underhanded methods or warfare to take the upper hand.”
Even though Martin is involved in all the games, the author says, “I am not an expert in this field. … I trust in (the developers’) expertise.”
Among the characters Martin created for the in-development and as-yet-untitled role-playing games are a member of the Night’s Watch on the frozen Wall and a Red priest. The game “has some interesting stuff and looks gorgeous,” he says.
Other projects aside, Martin is looking “to wrap up (the Song of Ice and Fire saga) in as powerful, effective and moving a way as possible in the last two books. And they will be gigantic books, just like (this year’s hardback release) A Dance With Dragons.”
He knows he’s “facing many more years of writing. Hopefully I can stay ahead of the HBO series,” which returns in April.
“That creates a certain amount of pressure, having a freight train coming up behind me. Right now it’s way back, but it’s moving faster than I am.”