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Game of Thrones, Spartacus, Robotech: Television MMOs We'd Like To See

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Posted April 28, 2011 - By Guest Writer


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Many beloved fantasy and scifi works have been transformed into MMORPGs. Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan, Battlestar Galactica, Dungeons and Dragons Online and Star Trek Online have all found a built-in fanbase for their offerings. Even more recognizable titles are in development including Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and, of course, a little MMO called Star Wars: The Old Republic. But what great entertainment has yet to get the MMO treatment it deserves? Here are our top three picks.

Game of Thrones, Spartacus, Robotech: Television MMOs We'd Like To See

Game of Thrones

The land of Westeros is torn apart by the War of the Five Kings, the imminent invasion by the mythical Others to the north and the reappearance of dragons in the world. Sounds like a great landscape for 5-man instances, PvP battlegrounds and 40-man raids. George R. R. Martin’s popular and ongoing fantasy book series, now and HBO TV show, has many of the elements needed for MMOs to work.

Read on for more!

Game of Thrones is missing some key elements though. More racial options are needed. Though humans are a popular choice among players, there is also a big demand for other racial options as shown by the many long-eared elves, grumpy Klingons and big-headed Twi’leks that populate other titles. The land of Westeros also lacks a flashy and easily accessible magic system. Warriors, rogues and mystical faiths abound, but ability to throw a fireball or call forth magical constructs is needed as well. Lord of the Rings Online struggled with this as well, since there are only a few true wizards in Middle-earth, but they found a way to justify healers, nukers and crowd-control abilities and still stay true to the source material.

Given the popularity of the books and television series as well as the fact that there are more to come of both, an MMORPG would have a lot of staying power. However, it takes about five years on average to develop an MMO and by then, all the original source material may have already finished with no more in the pipeline to fuel interest. Still, the gritty nature of the series has a large fanbase which is only getting larger. And who wouldn’t want to take on the role of a champion for the realms of Westeros and explore the rich world Martin has created?

Game of Thrones, Spartacus, Robotech: Television MMOs We'd Like To See

Spartacus

Gratuitous, slow motion gouts of blood. Scantily clad men and women. Lust, greed and avarice at every turn. It’s a great recipe for a world of conflict. You could play a Gladiator in ancient Roman times in a PvP-centric MMORPG that is all about leaderboards and bragging rights. 1v1, 5v5, 10v10, it’s all good in the arena. Swear your allegiance to a lanista, train in the ludus, win your freedom in battle against other players or watch your lifeblood trickle away into the sands when you lose.

The problem is, this has largely been done already with Age of Conan, a title that has struggled since a promising launch. If Spartacus: The MMO stayed away from PvE quest grinding and focused strictly on player vs player clashes, it could avoid the comparison to AoC. An ideal game would split the world of the series into two pieces: one is training and doing combat in the arena, while the other is the political intrigue and backstabbery high game that comes into play with the owners, the wheelers and dealers, and their secret arrangements. Plus, who wouldn’t want to meet Lucy Lawless, even digitally speaking?

Game of Thrones, Spartacus, Robotech: Television MMOs We'd Like To See

Robotech

The Macross saga is perfect fit for a mech-based MMO. Alien invasions, customizable mechs and a well-loved animated series from the 1980s combine to for great PvE and PvP possibilities. Plus, porting this to consoles similar to the recent DC Universe Online launch would be a natural fit. With Earth enslaved, you could aid Admiral Rick Hunter and his rebel force in freeing the planet and its peoples. Combat against the Zentraedi, Tirolioan and Invid invaders over the coveted Protoculture energy sources could be played out as land, air and sea battles as well as space battles in the upper atmosphere. Start with a basic mech and build it up with upgrades as well the ability to transform it other transport modes.

Though quite a few single player Robotech video games have been produced over the last few decades, there has been no word of this title getting the MMORPG treatment. Still, any child of the 80s would happily pay a monthly subscription fee to fly a Veritech fighter plane for the Robotech Expedition in the fight for freedom.

Game of Thrones and Robotech already have pen and paper RPG books available, as well as board game versions, and many of the upcoming MMOs in development have single-player video game titles already out. But it can’t hurt to dream about living in the virtual world of your favorite book, show or fantasy world. Which work of fiction you hold dear would you like to see get the MMORPG treatment?

What TV-based MMO's would you like to see?

Dan O'Halloran has been an avid MMO player since 1999 and a game journalist for the last 4 years. When not sucked into the latest MMO, he can be found playing far too many mobile games.'

 

Game of Thrones, Spartacus, Robotech: Television MMOs We'd Like To See
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