This year’s edition of Spike TV’s Video Game Awards aired this past week, giving gamers a sneak-peek at some major new upcoming franchises, as well as the opportunity to debate the merits of the network’s 2013 award choices. One of the night’s biggest announcement came from Telltale Games, as the game developer confirmed that they acquired the rights to produce a series of games coming in 2014 based on George R. R. Martin’s ASOIAF universe, and likely serving as complementary content to HBO’s Game of Thrones television series.
Given the nature of Telltale’s previous work on the Walking Dead series and The Wolf Among Us, it’s safe to say that the GoT games will be episodic in nature. CEO Dan Connors stated in an interview after the awards that while the studio is just beginning the task of determining overall plot and character advancements, gamers will likely be able to play the first episode in 2014. Telltale has found massive success (and became a critical darling along the way) through their Walking Dead games and more recently, episode 1 of The Wolf Among Us, so it’s fair to say the GoT franchise is in good hands (we’ll just forget about Jurassic Park for the moment), but the massive popularity of ASOIAF will amplify the scrutiny this game will face on launch.
Prior GoT video game offerings have fared about as well as the Stark family, to put it kindly. Both Cyanide’ Studio’s Game of Thrones: Genesis and Game of Thrones were universally panned on release, so Telltale doesn’t face a very high bar in terms of prior offerings in the medium. However, given the TLC the developer poured into their award-winning Walking Dead series, there are undoubtedly higher standards afoot.
Other award show happenings saw GTA V named as Game of the Year—a choice that we, as staunch advocates for The Last of Us, personally disagree with. You can check out Spike’s full list of winners here. And what of your vote, Dear Reader? What would you choose as your Game of the Year? Let us know below.
In other gaming news this week, MGS V asks for your patience, casting begins for the World of Warcraft movie, and AC IV gets DLCs aplenty. Read on!
- What does Valve’s oh-so-secret Steam Machine console look like? Let’s have a look at the early prototypes, appropriately named “Gordon” and “Freeman.” Word has it the Steam Machine will retail in 2014 for $500.
- MGS creator Hideo Kojima is advocating patience for fans eagerly awaiting MGS V: The Phantom Pain, saying the game is still a long ways off. Fortunately, MGS fans have been well versed in patience over the decades.
- For those of you gaining notoriety as scourges of the Seven Seas—the first DLC for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, entitled Freedom Cry, launches on December 17th, and focuses on the story of Edward Kenway’s first mate, Adewale. As we noted a few weeks ago, another upcoming AC IV DLC, Blackbeard’s Wrath, will place you in the boots of Blackbeard himself.
- EA CEO Andrew Wilson is optimistic about Sony’s and Microsoft’s future in living rooms everywhere, but warns that they may face a stiff challenge from competitors like Google and Apple down the road.
- The first wave of actors and actresses signed up for the World of Warcraft movie has leaked. No big names so far, but a few recognizable names include Ben Foster of Six Feet Under fame, Paula Patton, Rob Kazinsky, and Dominic Cooper. The film, helmed by Moon director Duncan Jones and co-produced by Blizzard, will begin shooting next year.
- The digital revolution took a significant step forward last financial quarter, as for the first time ever, digitally downloaded games outsold physical copies. With that said, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen feels that the demise of physical game media is still a long ways off.
- Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin joined the growing list of developers critiquing the current state of Nintendo, stating that the gaming giant is currently “irrelevant as a hardware manufacturer.” Rubin’s full comments suggest that Nintendo may be better off licensing games for development on Microsoft and Sony platforms—a viewpoint slowly gaining momentum in the gaming-verse.
- Finally, Microsoft launched Project Sparks this week for Windows 8.1 users (one of the few perks for the unfortunate among us using Windows 8)—an ambitious game creation program that aims to place the freedom of development, whether simplified or advanced, in the hands of the common gamer. Think Little Big Planet’s level creator on steroids. Project Sparks will be available to Xbox One users next year.