Game Of Thrones is of course one of the biggest franchises in the world. While it’s made some impact in regards to the video game market, there’s so much potential for Westeros to become the focus of an open-world title, complete with a unique narrative, plenty of areas to explore, and intriguing NPCs to interact with.
There are countless directions that such a game could go in and it’s somewhat surprising that Warner Bros. hasn’t pulled the trigger on the concept quite yet. But what are the elements of the franchise itself that demonstrate something like this could genuinely work and not just become a poor tie-in title?
George R.R. Martin’s Foray Into The Genre
George R. R. Martin isn’t a stranger to the world of video games. While the world-famous author spends his time crafting new worlds on the page, he has also been responsible for rounding out the brand new fictional landscape found in Elden Ring. His iconic style is pretty easy to recognize when playing the title.
Astonishingly, Warner Bros. hasn’t yet taken advantage of yet another skill. Martin could very much get involved in the creative processes surrounding a Game Of Thrones open-world game, considering he has demonstrated he understands the medium in his recent foray as he crafted fantastical characters and such rich lore.
Expanding Westeros At Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. and HBO have their eye on expanding the world of Westeros further since they are developing countless spin-offs set within the same continuity. The conclusion of Game Of Thrones was just the starting point for the franchise.
House Of The Dragon is the first spin-off in Westeros, although it’s largely acting as a prequel to the main series. With such an ambition to try and bring in further narratives and characters, a video game could be yet another path for HBO to explore, adding to the tapestry they are weaving.
It can be challenging to craft a new fictional universe from scratch and have it immediately resonate with audiences. Luckily there are so many different pre-existing materials that an open-world game can draw from to flesh out the wider setting.
Whether it’s the two TV shows that HBO boasts, the many books within the main Song Of Ice And Fire saga, or perhaps the variety of other texts from this universe, including the adventures of Egg all of these elements could be brilliant launching off points.
Importance Of Supporting Characters
One of the aspects of Game Of Thrones that audiences have fallen in love with is the notion that absolutely every character is important. Supporting characters can really change the tide of battle, rise far above their station or suddenly find themselves at the center of a shocking twist.
This kind of formula works beautifully within a video game. That very concept means that players will take all the NPCs seriously, grounding every interaction with an extra layer of importance. It’s also more believable that the player’s protagonist could be integral to a story, even if they are seemingly nobody.
A Recognizable World
Another benefit of a recognizable world already existing is that players will also come across locations that they know well. For Game Of Thrones, there would be an increased interest in an open platform, as fans will want to explore some of the many settings they’ve seen on screen.
King’s Landing, Dragonstone, and Winterfell are just a few notable examples. But there’s an expanding area to utilize as well, whether it’s beyond the seas or perhaps North of the wall, where some truly monstrous creatures may lay dormant. These locations play so well in keeping gameplay varied.
The way that Game Of Thrones has been developed thus far allows for a great deal of narrative openness. There are massive gaps in the timeline and the future of Westeros is completely up in the air. The earliest days of civilization are also yet to be detailed as well.
All this scope means that there are so many different directions an open-world game could take its story in. There won’t be any fear of breaking continuity or having creative limits because of the vast amount of potential narratives that have thus far remained untouched. That extends to any written materials that haven’t been adapted yet and are looking for a home, alongside original arcs.
There have been a few other Game Of Thrones video game titles that HBO could learn from in the development of an open-world game. Mobile experiences and PC multiplayer RPGs are amongst those that fans might have previously come across.
While none of them truly capture the essence of the series, the closest was the installment from Telltale Games, which sought to tell an original and additional story alongside the TV show, on consoles. The success of that game in terms of its quality demonstrates that this franchise works on gaming platforms with the right storytellers.
Success Of The Genre
The genre in general has been taking off in recent years. Elden Ring is a fantastic example of that, although the stellar gameplay of Skyrim also cannot be ignored. Audiences are looking for these rich fantasy landscapes to adventure through.
There are several gameplay elements that fans love in this kind of title, including the customization aspect which will be touched upon further later. There’s a kind of formula that’s followed from weapons progression to map exploration that would marry well into Game Of Thrones. With Warner Bros. having such a heavy hand in the open-world genre in general with the likes of Shadow Of War or the Arkham series, this seems like a no-brainer.
The Nemesis System
The Nemesis System is something that Warner Bros. developed for the Shadow Of Mordor and Shadow Of War Middle-Earth series that demonstrated great innovation within the industry. It’s a genius system that creates personalized rivalries and a hierarchy amongst the antagonists.
That kind of system could be blown up to epic proportions within the context of Game Of Thrones. After all, who wouldn’t want to interact with a House system where the various factions are at war with one another, constantly fighting over the Iron Throne while creating individual rivalries?
Character Growth And Customization
The development of the protagonist is so vital in an open-world game, allowing the audience to truly interact with their character. From the customization of their abilities to the impactful choices that they can make and the look they can design for their wardrobe, each of these elements is critical for a game in the genre.
Game Of Thrones has all of the desired elements needed for this level of interactability. Players should be able to choose their role in Westeros, what house they belong to, who they swear loyalty to, and of course what kind of armor they might wear. These decisions would make for a spectacular game within the universe that played to the franchise’s strengths.