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Atlus announces plans to publish Game of Thrones in North America

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Game of Thrones, an action-RPG video game based on the fantasy series of novels by George R. R. Martin, is currently scheduled for release in North America in early 2012. Today, Atlus USA announced that it will be the game's publisher in the region. The title will release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC platforms, and is under development at Cyanide Studios.

According to the press release, the game features an original story written under the supervision of Martin, who surely is busy at work in the next novel in his beloved series (or consulting on the upcoming "Wild Cards" movie or the HBO television series based on the novels; one can never be sure). In any event, the game is filled with familiar locations from the pages of the books and also features the likeness of some of the actors from the aforementioned television series that airs on HBO.

Atlus is promising a 30-plus hour action RPG. You'll play as one of two original characters, both former soldiers of Robert's Rebellion. Naturally, you'll play a pivotal role in the ongoing war for power, completing numerous quests along the way and making decisions that affect the entire realm.

"The Game of Thrones television series and the A Song of Ice and Fire book series it is based on represent some of the most captivating, original medieval fantasy and drama ever created," commented Shinichi Suzuki, President and CEO of Index Digital Media, Inc (Atlus USA's parent company). "Its amalgam of bitterly antagonistic rival houses, deeply nuanced characters, intricate political machinations, and breathtaking fantasy--all set within a richly storied world--offers unparalleled realism and raw emotion. We are honored to work with HBO, Cyanide Studios, and the great George R. R. Martin in bringing an exciting action RPG set in this beloved fantasy universe to fans and gamers in early 2012."

It's not difficult to see why Atlus would choose to publish such a title. The chance to walk through the world of Westeros, to make decisions that affects its development, is likely to prove too much to resist for fans of both the series and the sort of games that Atlus typically publishes. The combat system, which has been called an "active slowdown tactical combat engine," also intrigues; battle slows to give you time to strategize, but never so much that it becomes a turn-based affair. You'll still have to make quick, pressured choices before enemies strike again. It could be quite interesting.

"This is a wonderful way for fans to engage with the brand in an exciting and interactive way," stated James Costos, VP of HBO Global Licensing. "Atlus and Cyanide are leaders in developing world class games with broad accessibility so the partnership was an ideal fit for us."

We don't know more about the game just yet, but Atlus is promising to change that in the coming months with frequent news updates, content additions and more. You can also visit the Game of Thrones video game web site.

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Staff article by Jason Venter (November 09, 2011)

Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.

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zippdementia posted November 11, 2011:

I don't know if I've ever seen a successful "novel-franchise-to-video-game" conversion. I just get the sense that this one will be game held back by its source material, rather than a game bolstered by its source material.

Which isn't to say I dislike game of thrones; far from it! After all, my name is Jon Stark... and my grandparents were Snows. Totally being serious. It's just that the joy of reading Game of Thrones comes from seeing a linear plot unfold with almost perfect pacing... something they amazingly managed to salvage in the HBO series, but something which, if they try to keep in the video game, will make it seem like it's holding the player's hand too much.

Of course, if they discard that pacing, then the whole point is lost. It's a catch-22 I'd have no interest in being in the middle of.

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