‘Game of Thrones’ video game: Telltale, HBO partner for episodic game

Dec. 09, 2013 | 10:52 a.m.
Telltale Games will in 2014 release the first chapter in a "Game of Thrones"-inspired video game. (Telltale / HBO)

Telltale Games will in 2014 release the first chapter in a “Game of Thrones”-inspired video game. (Telltale / HBO)

Telltale Games will in 2014 release an episodic video game inspired by HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” the hit series based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. Confirmed for release on PC/Mac and mobile devices, the game is the first unveiled as part of a what was described in a release as a multi-year, multi-title partnership between Telltale and HBO Global Licensing.

Plot and characters were not yet revealed, but Telltale principals Dan Connors and Kevin Bruner said the game will take its lead from the television series rather than Martin’s books.

“The book is a great resource to understand the decisions that they made on the show and how rich the world is,” said Connors in unveiling the game on Spike TV’s “VGX” program on Saturday. “VGX” is a retooled version of the station’s video game awards that focuses on promoting upcoming games by premiering a series of teaser trailers.

PHOTOS: Meet the ‘Thrones’ cast without their costumes

Telltale, the Bay Area studio behind the successful episodic game series inspired by Robert Kirkman’s “The Walking Dead” comics, emphasizes narrative and character over action in its games. The company’s games are modern takes on the classic PC-style adventure game, where puzzle-solving and dialogue are placed at the forefront.

“Game of Thrones,” said Connors and Bruner, will be done in a similar style as Telltale’s prior adaptions. Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” game was much lauded for the way in which it created character depth and attempted to confront players with larger, existential questions, unfolding like an interactive novel.

Telltale’s titles tend to be story-first with very light action elements, often in the form of quickly pressing a button to get through a challenge and onto the next narrative element. Though a “Game of Thrones” game could lend itself to epic, strategic battle-planning, Telltale’s Bruner said the company wouldn’t stray far from its comfort zone.

“It will be similar to other Telltale Games, but you can’t tell a ‘Game of Thrones’ story without big battles and those kind of elements,” Bruner said during the “VGX” telecast. “They’ll definitely be there in the story. The way we attack them and the things you do in those battles will be more a Telltale way of doing it. So you’ll be swinging a sword every now and again, but you won’t be hacking your way through a hundred people.”

The decades-old Telltale Games were launched by a number veterans of LucasArts, a now-shuttered game studio known throughout the ’80s and ’90s for its point-and-click-style story-driven games. Early Telltale titles revived popular LucasArts adventure franchises of yore, as the company offered new chapters in the “Sam & Max” and “Monkey Island” universes.

More recently Telltale has focused on larger, cross-media licenses, having issued “Back to the Future” and “Jurassic Park” games. Plans to revive “King’s Quest,” a well-known adventure game franchise that dates to the early ’80s, were announced but later rescinded as Telltale has instead focused on its popular take on “The Walking Dead” as well as launching a game inspired by the DC Comics series “Fables.”

Telltale has stated that its second season of “The Walking Dead” will debut before Christmas with subsequent chapters issued in 2014. Also new from Telltale in 2014 will be an episodic game based off of the “Borderlands” franchise, a beloved first-person shooter developed by Gearbox Software.

– Todd Martens

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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