Game of Thrones Ascent is the name of an upcoming social game developed by Disruptor Beam in cooperation with George R.R. Martin and HBO. At the moment, beta testing has begun on Facebook.
There already is a Game of Thrones board game, and that might be considered a kind of social game, too. Still, there is a huge difference between playing a game with up to 6 players, and doing approximately the same thing with 500 million other people. I’m saying “approximately the same thing” cause in the first scenario you are actually interacting with the other players, and you’re also seeing their faces, while in the second scenario, you are sitting in front of your computer clicking away, in a virtual world.
There are plenty of other differences between the board game and the social one. For example, in the board game, people have the major characters from the books and the series at their disposal. On the other hand, in the social game, they will lead the life of a noble pertaining to one of the great houses. Despite not playing a major character, people will be facing the same problems from the books and the HBO series: alliances, betrayal and what seems to be a never-ending war for the Iron Throne. The major goal of the developers of Game of Thrones Ascent was to bring story and strategy together. It remains to be seen if they have succeeded.
Jon Radoff, CEO of Disruptor Beam, stated: “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. Game of Thrones Ascent will bring the world of Westeros to the over 500 million social game players in the market today, featuring original artwork in a highly engaging game experience that is, most importantly, fun for fans and their friends!”
On the other hand, James Costos, VP of HBO Global Licensing, added: “We recognize that one of the reasons Game of Thrones has been so successful is because of its large and ever-supportive fan community. For this reason, we are delighted to give our fans the opportunity to dive even further into the world of Westeros and live out tales of intrigue, sacrifice and deception inspired by the stories they love.”
As of October 2012, Facebook has 1 billion active users. However, it is rather obvious that not all of these users will show interest in playing Game of Thrones Ascent. Some of these users use the social network strictly for keeping in touch with friends and family, others for professional reasons and not at last, despite the global popularity of the books/series/board games, there might be a great number of people who simply are not into Game of Thrones.
Beta invites are already given away on Facebook, which means that it won’t be long till the official launch of the social game. In order to be eligible for a beta invite, Facebook users must first Like the Game of Thrones Ascent page. Secondly, Facebook users who do not accept friend requests or who do not allow messaging from non-friends, cannot receive invites. More details are available on the Disruptor Beam website.