It was surely a different time back in 2005 when the offer was on the table for Obsidian, before the worldwide craze that was brought about with the television show, though the books already had a loyal following.
"My feeling was, understanding the IP at the time, it's about this political intrigue, and people's connection to the IP is to all these characters - that's how the books are written, each chapter is a person and what's happening to them", Urquhart told me when I visited Obsidian recently. "Basically there's dudes with swords and armour and a little bit of mysticism, but within the main land [the Seven Kingdoms] there's no goblins, no kobolds..."
Talking to Eurogamer, Obsidian co-founder and chief executive Feargus Urquhart revealed that EA, through EA Partners, offered the company an opportunity to make a licensed game in 2005. At that point not much was known about what was beyond The Wall, and it was the character relationships and political intrigue that were key to the series. Even then, they didn't know what the series would become and there was nothing that would have suggested that people would have been interested in a game that just took place in that universe. It seems Game of Thrones and Obsidian would be a flawless fit, so why did the studio not go for it?
We're hearing all sorts of Game of Thrones potential video game stories this week, what with that rumored Bethesda game being shot down after accidentally leaking.
"And", Obsidian co-founder and vice president of development Chris Parker added, "you can't give the player a character they can play that is important in this world. All of the important characters are all clearly spelled out and you can't even really go have a conversation with them".
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What it boils down to is that while Game of Thrones is a fantasy series, it was hard to adapt into an RPG because... well, there isn't much to fight, and the conflicts were more political in nature.
"The only thing we could have done is what BioWare did with Knights of the Old Republic,"Eurogamer quoted Urquhart as saying".
The promo for the very first season of HBO's Game of Thrones.
"We were starting to think more about open-world RPGs, and we wanted our players to have agency, to be important in the world", Urquhart explained.
"Back then [real-time strategy games] were more relevant and I said".
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