Boston-based developer Disruptor Beam today announced a partnership with HBO to bring the channel’s popular Game of Thrones television series to Facebook as a social game. Game of Thrones Ascent is now accepting closed beta signups.
In Ascent, players assume the role of a noble in the land of Westeros who has to swear allegiance to one of the great houses vying for control of the country. At the same time, the player is responsible for building up their own power base. Details beyond those are currently unavailable, but it sounds as though the core gameplay loop will be a combination of strategy and resource management, where players will have to manage their land and reputation while sending agents out on quests. We’re also told that players can form alliances with friends, but Disruptor Beam has yet to confirm if this means the game will include a player-versus-player mode.
Update: Disruptor Beam has confirmed PvP will be a part of Game of Thrones Ascent.
Disruptor Beam recently launched 50 Cent’s Blackjack on Facebook and announced seed funding of less than $1 million to work on “story-oriented” games based on popular books and television shows. Game of Thrones is an immense property to bring into social games right now: The show airs in over 150 countries, almost 9 million people watch each episode and HBO already greenlit production for the series’s third season. A social game launching in the off season makes a certain amount of sense, since it will help keep the IP in the public eye even while fans impatiently await Season Two’s eventual DVD release. Previously, the official HBO Game of Thrones Facebook page offered a lightweight social game available as a tab application.
As a genre, TV show social game adaptations are very attractive for developers on Facebook because they tap into preexisting fanbases and provide game developers with a certain amount of stability. Broadcast television titles also lend some on-air promotion for social games, fueling growth in titles like Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, House M.D. — Critical Cases, and the now-defunct Jersey Shore Facebook game. If done right, like with 2010’s CSI: Crime City, a tie-in social game can last for years on Facebook. Game of Thrones Ascent may have a tougher time finding an audience, however, as HBO is a premium channel that’s subscribed to by fewer than 10 percent of the U.S. population.
No release date has been announced for Game of Thrones Ascent, but Disruptor Beam is encouraging people to visit its official website if they’re interested in signing up for the game’s upcoming beta.