Skyrim V: The Elder Scrolls was one of the most ground-breaking games in recent memory when it came out. It managed to combine the use of the first-person action with a world that was not only almost entirely accessible for players to interact with, but also suitable for players to explore the universe in very different ways. This unique combination made the game hugely popular; to date, it has sold over 20 million copies. It has also been successful on a critical level, the game receiving awards from a broad range of sources: in 2011, it was named PC Game of the Year by IGN and GameSpot, as well as earning the Readers’ Choice award from the latter the same year, and was voted in top position on the 2013 list of the 100 top video games of all time by Good Game.
Of course, like most successful games, the original has been tweaked significantly, and newer editions have been brought out, including a special edition of the game which is likely to now be the most commonly used version of the game.
Enter the Game of Thrones World
With great games come great ambitions by fans to keep them relevant, something that has been achieved recently with an adaptation that turns the game into an unofficial Game of Thrones world. Players can use the adaptation on the special edition – with much gnashing of teeth and complaints that the developer hasn’t made a version that works with the classic version of Skyrim yet!
— Skyrim News (@skyrimnews) 16 April 2017
This unofficial adaptation is likely to gain a lot of fans, but despite the gameplay being excellent and the mods bringing the game into a modern-day popular culture, there must be room for an official open-world RPG for Game of Thrones, especially when you consider that the TV show continues to go from strength to strength. US figures from HBO alone are staggering, with 8.9 million people watching the season 6 finale, compared to 8.1 million for the season 5 finale. In the UK, meanwhile, it is one of the main shows on Sky TV, and one of the biggest draws the brand currently uses for encouraging people to sign up for a subscription. Sky have an exclusive right to broadcast Game of Thrones in the UK and have already been teasing fans with snippets of the Season 7 premiere, due to land on British shores on July 17 in the early morning.
Sky Atlantic Sets UK Premiere Date For ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 7 https://t.co/zjzHHHGLyB
— TVWise (@TVWiseNews) 11 March 2017
The Pervading Influence of Game of Thrones
The truth is that Game of Thrones has managed to keep hold of its original loyal audience, as well as gathering swathes of new fans along the way. The original books helped to spur the success of the TV adaptation, and there have been spinoffs in all sorts of branches of the entertainment industry.
The 2014 Game of Thrones computer game by Telltale, which sold almost 60,000 units to date, takes place between the third and fifth season of the series. This title somewhat failed to allow the players to explore an open world, though, with users instead presented with an episode-based approach where individual player actions influence the latter parts of the game. It lacked the element of giving players control over what to do and how to undertake quests. In comparison to how generally well received the 2014 game was, despite its flaws, the 2012 Game of Thrones video game from Cyanide, which tried to be a proper RPG, failed to capture gamers’ hearts, as a well-crafted plot was let down sorely by the graphics. This left the game struggling under the pressure of poor reviews, with Metacritic only ranking the game with a Metascore of 58/100.
More Emphasis on Stunning Graphics
This shows that whilst the market is clearly there for an open-world RPG, the delivery needs to be immaculate in order to avoid conflicting with the view of fans regarding how the landscapes and characters should appear, whilst ensuring the characters can produce the range of twists and turns that help make the franchise so popular. It is possible to partner sophisticated and engaging storylines like this, that allow for player involvement, with solid graphics that bounce off the screen in all the right ways. Microgaming‘s Game of Thrones slot game manages to replicate the magic of the show from a visual perspective, even if this sort of game doesn’t reach the accessible heights of an open-plan game that allows for full exploration by gamers. Available to gamers by the likes of Betway Casino, the slot replicates the look and the feel of the show, even down to the intricate detail used like fonts. An appetite for this sort of focus on visual stunners is clearly there with the show’s fans, especially when you consider the demand for and subsequent publication of the graphic novel and the 24-issue comic books by Dynamite Productions between 2011 and 2012. The graphic novel made the New York Times bestseller list the day after it was released on 27 March 2012.
For the time being at least, the Skyrim adaptation fills a gap in the market whilst we wait for the upcoming sequel to the 2014 game from Telltale. It also, of course, helps to keep players enjoying Skyrim, ensuring it stays relevant despite being originally released in 2011 – an age ago in the exceptionally fast-moving world of computer games!
What do you see as the future for Game of Thrones and online gaming? Let us know – we would love to hear from you!
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Nerd Stash. An avid gamer since I could walk and can be found in Ashland, KY, where he hopes to find inspiration and uniqueness in life by meeting awesome people, development friendships with companies, and become more nerdy.