Game of Thrones fans can soon play for the throne on FB

Krystal Peak · May 21, 2012 · Short URL:

Disruptor Beam landed the rights to create a social game based on the HBO fantasy series


With just two episodes remaining for the fantasy runaway hit Game of Thrones, fans may be excited to hear that the George R.R. Martin world will also exist on Facebook -- in the form of a social media game.

Boston video game company Disruptor Beam announced Monday that is has gained the license from HBO to release a game based on the TV series that is almost at the end of its second season.

Disruptor Beam, led by Jon Radoff and Angela Bull, founders of venture-backed GamerDNA in 2006, have titled the upcoming game: Game of Thrones Ascent. 

Within this game, players function as characters that are fighting to claim their birthright by choosing which of the great houses they’ll swear allegiance to, developing their property and personal reputation -- all while forging alliances with new friends.

Radoff said, in a statement, Game of Thrones Ascent will involve "weaving stories through decisions and social interactions," and will feature original artwork with hopes that it can "bring the world of Westeros to the over 500 million social game players in the market today."

"Everyone at Disruptor Beam was a huge fan of Game of Thrones long before we began working on the game, so we recognize that other fans expect character-driven conflict and intrigue to take center stage in our new game. Westeros is the perfect setting to deliver on our vision of weaving stories through decisions and social interactions," said Jon Radoff, CEO of Disruptor Beam, in the announcement. 

Details beyond this basic outline are currently unavailable, but players can form alliances with friends -- to create that social aspect.

Disruptor Beam recently launched 50 Cent’s Blackjack on Facebook and announced seed funding just under $1 million to work on these types of narrative games based on popular books and television shows. 

Game of Thrones already airs in more than 150 countries, with almost 9 million people watching each episode. The series' third season is already in production.

HBO has been going after the evolving media centers for a while. Most recently HBO struck out on its own to create a mobile app to allow subscribers to watch the entire HBO catalog on any mobile device at anytime. This forced Showtime and other channels to create similar options for their content and does position the premium cable channel the opportunity to run its own programming if it chooses to provide service for those without cable. No such changes have been announced, but it sure looks like a great plan B as more people are cutting the cord.

The world of social gaming has attracted a fair number of game creators that want to engage TV-series fans online. Some of the TV-based games that have already engaged viewers include a Facebook Dexter-based game, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, House M.D. Critical Cases, and CSI: Crime City

Most of what has given Game of Thrones the elements for such great sucess has been the quality of effects and background -- I imagine that will be the key to translating the series to a social game. I can't imagine Beam could "Ville-wash" this and get an avid followship. If done right, this game could reset the standard to show that Facebook social games don't need to look cartoonish and can enhance a TV fanbase and experience rather than give the name a black eye.

As a fan of the show, I would be interested in seeing this translation -- and if its done right, I'll totally play Arya Stark's part. 

No release date has been announced for Game of Thrones Ascent, but it would be amazingly effective if it could go live some time this summer in order to fill the gap before the series returns next fall. After all winter is coming -- or so we hear.

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