Game of Thrones, the extremely successful American fantasy series, had been incredibly popular since the show’s inception. In fact, the book series alone had a massive following long before the television show was even a concept. The loyalty, corruption, religion, crime, and punishment featured in the series make intricate ingredients in a recipe for success on the page and on the screen but is Game of Thrones capable of making an unheralded leap into online gaming?
Meereenese Maester Of Raven Pyromancer George is definitely not the acronym that MMORPG was set to stand for at the beginning of this popular, growing culture. With massive worlds and immersive game play, MMORPG’s have quickly cemented themselves as a premier place for online social gaming. From Star Wars: The Old Republic to World of Warcraft, diehard fans have reveled in just how much bigger and intriguing their favorite MMORPG could be.
With over eight million subscribers, World of Warcraft has established itself as the frontline player in this massive industry generating about 1 billion dollars in revenue each year. It is hard to see how an upstart like Game of Thrones: Seven Kingdoms could hope to compete – until you dig a bit deeper. Currently, Game of Thrones draws approximately 9.3 million viewers per episode. For example, let’s say only half of those viewers decide to play the new MMORPG. That figure alone equates to 4.65 billion players worldwide. 4.65 players paying an average of fifteen dollars each month would equate to 873 million dollars of revenue per year. That’s amazingly close to the billion dollars of the market that WOW owns at this point.
Of course, the pessimist will tell you that there is no way that half of the viewers would even play MMORPG’s but how many people will engage even though they are not avid followers of the series? This will most likely come down to the quality of the game production. Based on the television series ever growing in popularity, players will be able to align themselves with one of three different factions. The sandbox style game will allow players to take part in an ongoing battle scheme for castles and fortresses. The game is definitely skill-based and allows your characters to specialize in a variety of fields, from melee to commander.
Built with the Unity engine by Art Planet, the same developers as Battlestar Galactica Online, the dark graphics appear to be pretty remarkable. Much of the design has a Skyrim feel, which is not surprising since the overall themes are set in a world very similar in many respects. Will Game of Thrones make even a dent in the market occupied by players such as WOW and Elder Scrolls online? Honestly, it’s still way too early to tell but – if the hype around the original series is any indication – it may surely be worth the wait.