Warner Bros and Turbine managed to turn The Lord of the Rings into an online MMO, but still the people behind the uber-successful Game of Thrones haven’t managed to get their act together. Despite season six of the show averaging 7.65 million viewers according to Nielsen ratings data in the US, the HBO show is yet to become a fully-fledged MMO.
Although HBO has teamed up with German games studio Bigpoint, a fully working version of the game appears to have stalled. After starting work on the project back in 2012 and demoing a preview at GDC, Bigpoint appears to have hit a brick wall with the project.
A series of job adverts in 2015 hinted to gamers that the project was still under construction and this point was backed up in June 2016 when the German company responded to a tweet about the game. Clarifying that Game of Thrones: Seven Kingdoms was in the works, Bigpoint’s social media manger wrote that the company is aware it’s taking longer than expected, but thanked fans for the “interest and support.”
Why Game of Thrones is a Natural MMO
This final point appears is certainly worthy of note because, despite the show being an international hit, gamers aren’t often the most patient bunch when it comes to anticipating the release of a new game. So why are people still hungry for a Game of Thrones MMO?
The obvious answer is the quality of the show. However, when you peel back the layers you quickly realise that it’s the show’s ability to cross boundaries that’s made it a target for gamers. In fact, the game is already a major hit in another area of the gaming industry. Game of Thrones slots now form an integral part of many major online casino sites. Players that want to interact with the fantasy realms of Westeros can pick out Game of Thrones from the range of slot machines on au.32Red.com.
Nestled in among a collection of TV, movie and comic-themed online slots, this 32Red casino game not only offers players the ability to spin 15 or 243 paylines, but a bevy of Game of Thrones style bonuses. From the Baratheon House bonus to the Game of Thrones scatter, this slot offers a lucrative window into a fantasy world.
One of the reasons this game has become a huge hit with casino gamers is that it offers the perfect blend of action, suspense and, of course, prizes. Much like other themed slot games, like Casino.com’s Incredible Hulk with 50 win lines or Mr Smith’s Guns and Roses slot with its exclusive rock tracks, Game of Thrones picks out the best elements and fuses them into an interactive spectacle.
A Blueprint for Success
With a blueprint already in place, there’s no reason Bigpoint can’t take some inspiration from the online casino world and imbue its forthcoming MMO with some catchy features. Of course, the ability to win real money might be something reserved for online casinos like 32Red, but the combination of lucky, skill, anticipation and high-paced action could all be used to make the game worth the wait.
In fact, if that wasn’t enough of a guide for the developers, then there’s always the other myriad of Game of Thrones spinoffs out there. Firstly, there’s Telltale Games’ console product currently available for PlayStation, Xbox, Android and iOS devices.
Secondly there’s the classic game of Risk with a Game of Thrones twist to draw some inspiration from. If that isn’t enough, then there are always the original Game of Thrones novels (A Song of Fire and Ice) by George R.R. Martin.
When all else fails, Game of Thrones the show is always there to provide the perfect backdrop for the game. With people trying to watch the show any way they can – HBO is currently clamping down on pirates – a direct copy of its main elements certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Many Ways for a MMO to Shine
Basically, if the developers at Bigpoint are running out of ideas then they needn’t worry because there are plenty of mediums they can analyse.
Whether it’s the lexical complexity of the original novels, the adrenaline inducing elements of the slot game or the methodical logic of the board games, Game of Thrones is much more than a TV show.
While we’re pretty sure that guys at Bigpoint already know this, we can’t help but wonder if they’re going to get a move on and release the game this year. For now, however, you can get your Game of Thrones fix in Australia (for a cost), the US and beyond by turning on your TVs or streaming devices.