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Are Bethesda working on an immersive Game of Thrones video game?

Winter could be coming to Bethesda, if a recent leak proves true.

When Target in the United States posted an unfinished product page with nothing more than “Bethesda: Game of Thrones”, the internet was thrown into a flurry.

Who can blame them? Bethesda, the company behind the timeless Skyrim and recent hit Elder Scrolls Online, has a long history of delivering quality fantasy RPGs to millions of players worldwide. While all we have to speculate over is a short and inconclusive title, the idea sounds at very least plausible.

With the finale of Season 7 less than 24 hours past airing, the (two year!) wait for Season 8 is going to be a big one. Bethesda may have been hoping to drop the announcement with a little more surprise, but an announcement in the near future would make sense. Bethesda’s E3 showcase was notably free of the next big Elder Scrolls game (and notably oversaturated with Skyrim re-releases) and this could be why.

Obviously, the game was far from ready then, but Bethesda seem to be making a habit of announcing games within six months of their release. It worked for Fallout 4, easily one of the most hyped games in recent history, and an absence of Game of Thrones episodes early next year could drive a game like this to a similar level.

It’s interesting to note that 2011, at the start of Game of Thrones’ mass popularity, Bethesda shot down any collaboration. Speaking to EGM, game director Todd Howard said “We wanted to do our own world. That’s where we wanted to put out time into. Before we were even making Skyrim, there was a conversation with George R.R. Martin’s people. They thought it would be a good match – and so did we, actually – but then we thought about if that was where we wanted to spend our time. It was tempting, though.”

So it wasn’t a total ‘no’ in 2011. Their tune might have changed by now.

It’s not all dollars and timing though. Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim pushed the boundaries for what a fantasy RPG could be in their respective launch times. Recently the Witcher series has capitalised off a similar level of political intrigue, and many studios have taken note of the power of games to tell these complex stories.

While Skyrim puts players in control of a single ‘Dragonborn’, Elder Scrolls Online adopted a faction system that would be well at home when lent to Game of Thrones. Regardless of the canonical setting the potential game may have, asking players to bend the knee and fight for the Targaryens, Lannisters or Starks is an attractive opportunity.

It’s far from the first time Game of Thrones has seen a video game adaption (see the poorly received 2012 ‘Game of Thrones’ from Focus Interactive), if anyone was to do it well, it’d be Bethesda. We’re already becoming Assassins in the Dark Brotherhood and studying at the Mage College – the Faceless Men and learning to be a Maester don’t seem like such a far stretch.

Whether all this is wild speculation or a pretty spot-on prediction (you read it here first!) hopefully we’ll find out more about the game in the coming weeks. The way these leaks go, there tends to be no plugging the holes.

If it’s legitimate I’m sure a lot of Elder Scrolls and Game of Thrones fans will be excited about where this game will take them. There are plenty of untold stories in the universe, and with the amount of spin-offs and prequels rumoured for the show, the content are there. Regardless of all this though, I’m sure someone at Target is facing a real icy reception right now.

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