The Newest Player in the Game of Thrones Marches its Armies onto Facebook

Like five kings fighting over the Iron Throne, games hoping to represent the true Game of Thrones experience keep arising. The newest contender hopes to wave its victorious banner over the fertile fields of Facebook.

Game of Thrones Ascent will take place in HBO's version of George R.R. Martin's sprawling fantasy world. Developer Disruptor Beam plans for the game to focus on the spirit of backstabbing political wheeling and dealing that forms so much of the backbone of the series, by using Facebook's social connections to let players forge critical alliances. Players take on the role of petty nobles in the Seven Kingdoms, who "claim their birthright by choosing which of the great houses they'll swear allegiance to, securing their holdings, developing their lands and personal reputation, and assigning sworn swords to quests."

There are many games of Game of Thrones, but so far none of them seem to be winning the crown. The recent single-player full-scale RPG was, well, not great. The board game does succeed at pulling off the right feel, but can only be played if you find a bunch of players to sit down at the table with. There is also a free-to-play browser-based MMORPG in progress, expected to launch later this year.

Meanwhile, Facebook games in general have enormous problems with storytelling and complex worlds. The political backdrop of Westeros is indeed complex and engaging, but what really makes the series sing—both in the books and on screen—is the play of characters. Most readers and viewers care far more about seeing what Tyrion, Arya, or Jamie Lannister get up to than about which banners are sworn to which ruling house in exchange for which supply lines. Feudal ties and obligations do indeed make society into am intricate web, but without the power of dynamic and interesting characters to carry events along, it remains to be seen whether they can make an interesting game.

Game of Thrones Ascent [Facebook]