So, who is with me? An open-world RPG based on Game of Thrones or its vast world? Of course you are! Yes, it’s been spoken about a hundred times over and a thousand times more. Hell, Target inadvertently sparked interest in this formula by “mistakenly” listing a Game of Thrones game from Bethesda. Though, Target swiftly removed the listing and released a statement to say that it wasn’t a real product. It’s a shame, really. Given Bethesda’s long and rich history of open-world RPGs, it’s like a match made in heaven.
Of course, Bethesda are not the only ones with a good history of open-world RPGs under their belts. In fact, my choice before Bethesda would be CD Projekt RED or Monolith with their neat nemesis system. So long as a well respected and established developer took a project like this on, not only would it sell like hotcakes by default alone, but it could go on to be an absolute smash hit. Furthermore, with Game of Thrones’ world and history already well laid out and well set, much of the foundation regarding the lore is steadily in place.
Much of the story across Game of Thrones and its source material takes place within Westeros, home to the Seven Kingdoms and the lands beyond the Great Wall. Essos is referenced a few times here and there, but by and large, Westeros is where all the action takes place. Sothoryos serves as the third continent of “The Known World”, with Ulthos, which is situated south of Essos, lightly touched upon in the source material too. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of places that a game could center around, but Westeros is the best bet.
Westeros alone covers a vast amount of land that’s perfect for a video game adaptation. It’s a very interesting and open location that houses large, iconic landmarks and structures. There’s The North, The Iron Islands, The Riverlands, The Vale of Arryn, The Crownlands, The Westerlands and much, much more. These districts make up many of the locations that we’ve seen in the source material; Winterfell, King’s Landing, Pyke, The Twins and so on and so forth. That’s not to mention the general belief and law system of each individual outlet.
There’s also a huge scope when it comes to what time-frame a game could take place in. Despite my absolute love for the TV Show, I would much prefer something based after or before the show/books, or maybe even a parallel story to that. Of course, that’s just my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to interact with Tyrion, Bronn, Jamie, Cersie, Catelyn, Daenerys and anyone else in between, but I think a fresh setting with fresh characters would make a game feel less forced, rather than relying on A Song of Ice and Fire.
Cyanide’s Game of Thrones (Xbox 360) was a valiant effort indeed, but it lacked a solid structure and a compromised its quality. Some argue that Cyanide got in on the action before the TV Show truly hit the big time, with some questioning whether they would have obtained the licence to create Westeros post-global success. Ultimately, the game did well enough to gain some attention but again, its loose plot, which takes place concurrently with the TV Show’s first season, didn’t really take off as well as many were hoping that it would.
That’s not to say that a new game based alongside the TV Show wouldn’t work, but it would take a lot more than Cyanide’s effort to break through to success. This is what leads me back to Bethesda, CD Projekt RED and Monolith. Each of these developers have proven their open-world RPG worth, time and time again. The latter two especially, given that they’ve worked on games that have been based on entertainment properties before with The Witcher and Middle Earth. Plus, Monolith’s nemesis system would go down a treat.
I’m not ruling out Bethesda because their Skyrim games are absolutely remarkable for the most part and I truly hope that there’s more to the rumor of them making a Game of Thrones game, than meets the eye. When all is said and done, however, it all just makes too much sense to pass up. Westeros and its deep pool of lore and stories is damn near perfect for an open-world RPG. The potential for something groundbreaking is there for the taking, we just need the right developer with the right motivation to pick it up and get it done.
It’s a world that could easily be filled with heaps of questing, gear, factions, alliances, fortification, merchants, beliefs and so on and so forth. Literally, I could go on and on and fill a freakin’ magazine with its aforementioned potential alone. Hell, I dare say that an open-world MMO would work just as well, but given the state of the market, this may be somewhat a large risk to take, despite how well known the source material is. Enough of my fantasies for now, I’m sure there’s many that agree with me and many that disagree.
The point in all of this is that as a huge fan of both Game of Thrones and open-world RPGs in general, I can see a mashup of the two working well, but that’s just my own preference. How do you feel about a large scale game based on Game of Thrones or Westeros? Do you think it would work better under a different gaming genre? Is there a particular time in the material that you would prefer a game take place? What sort of gameplay elements would you like to see if it’s ever realized? Sound off in the comments below to get involved.