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Videogame Rights Optioned

For years now fans of my epic fantasy series A Song of Ice & Fire have been writing and emailing me to suggest... ask... beg for the books to be made into a videogame. I'm thrilled to be able to announce that, at long last, those requests are being answered. Cyanide Studios, an independent videogame developer based in Nanterre, France, has acquired an exclusive option to develop Ice & Fire as both an RTS (Real Time Strategy) and RPG videogame for next generation consoles and PC.

Cyanide will begin development immediately, with an eye toward rolling out the games for release in the summer of 2011. "We are all huge fans of 'A Song of Ice and Fire', so it is a true honour for our teams to be entrusted with creating the first video games inspired by this masterpiece" said Patrick Pligersdorffer, Managing Director of Cyanide. "The twists and turns of the plot will allow us to deliver an experience which can be enjoyed by both long-time fans as well as gamers new to the series. Its rich web of characters, set in a universe where nothing is just black and white, make it an ideal background for both an RTS and an RPG."

Cyanide first approached me about videogame rights five years ago. No agreement was reached at that time, but Patrick and his colleague Joe Ryan have maintained their interest in the series over the years, impressing me with their doggedness and determination. Since that first contact, Cyanide has opened a studio in Montreal and more than doubled its headcount, and now have the resources to produce both RTS and RPG games that will, we hope, satisfy all my fans and readers, and gamers unfamiliar with the books as well. I am pleased to be in business with the Cyanide, and look forward to working with them on the games.

Cyanide was founded in 2000, and has developed and produced games in numerous genres, including sports management, real time strategy, fantasy, and action RPGs. More information is available through the company website at www.cyanide-studio.com



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Jun. 8th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
Oh great! I've played a couple Cyanide games and I've been impressed. I got into the Blood Bowl beta and was impressed at how faithful to the tabletop game it was.

I think this bodes well for the faithfulness to the books. :)
Jun. 8th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
I am very excited about the Blood Bowl game. Perhaps we could have a ASOIAF crossover. The Cleganes would fit in very well on a Blood Bowl pitch.
Jun. 8th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 8th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Tell them to get WBGames to do their testing and distro! Please please please?! (I want to test it, I want to test it!!!)
Jun. 8th, 2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, and congrats on the deal! You are a licensing genius. You are my literary AND my marketing hero.
Jun. 8th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
This is amazing news - I am so excited!
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
I saw the press release a while ago and was super excited! This should be a great pairing. There are a couple of very nice stories about it that came out in early May.

Jun. 8th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
OMG... this post is full of win.
My fiancee is going to freak when I tell him.
This is awesome news!
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
Good stuff, George. Will be very interesting to see the form of the RTS.

Obviously, games like the Total War series would seem to many to be an ideal format for an RTS (have you tried any of the TW games out? I think you'd get a kick out of them), and that might well be a good approach. However, I hope they make the political and diplomatic side of it a lot more varied and complex (more along the lines of Crusader Kings from the Swedish developer Paradox), rather than just focusing on building up armies and smashing them together.
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
You'd never have enough heirs to survive more than a couple of years in a Westeros: Total War game.
(no subject) - nicholsml - Jun. 8th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Westeros Total War - jhnatko - Jun. 8th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Westeros Total War - monte211 - Jun. 9th, 2009 05:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
Great news!
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on coming to an agreement with Cyanide. This could be so awesome!
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
I smell an MMO
Come on cyanide... you know you wanna.
Jun. 8th, 2009 08:00 pm (UTC)
Re: I smell an MMO
Sorry, but no. MMORPG rights were not included in the deal.
Re: I smell an MMO - hippoiathanatoi - Jun. 8th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I smell an MMO - weakwiththedawn - Jun. 8th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I smell an MMO - josh_b_mcc - Jun. 9th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I smell an MMO - wolflady26 - Jun. 9th, 2009 12:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I smell an MMO - 60srock - Jul. 15th, 2010 08:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I smell an MMO - nycfalcon - Jun. 12th, 2009 02:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
I gotta admit, when I read the books I never once thought "I'd like to play this as a video game!"

Still don't think that way.

A game is fun because of the game play, not because of what the pixels are named.

Jun. 8th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
I agree.

Of course a game can use a good story - but I don't believe they'll be able to capture what's best about the books in any kind of meaningful gameplay. How do you do politics and intrigue? What will the game do if you play Ned, and decide not to go south with Robert? The game will have to rewrite the whole story.

So either you'll be horribly constrained in the actions you can take, or you'll be forced to play a character who can't affect the story anyway.

This will be hack and slash and nice graphics of Westeros - which might be cool anyway :-)
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
Oh wow. o.O That's fantastic! Thanks for agreeing to this, Mr. Martin. I wonder when the RPG will be set, in terms of historical periods of Westeros...
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
I know a lot of friends who will b e thrilled with this news! And maybe I'll finally be a gamer...
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
This is more than awesome.
Jun. 8th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)

Excellent news. :D
Jun. 8th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
The only game where you'll cheer when your entire party is slaughtered!
Jun. 8th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
A videogame . . . really?
Jun. 8th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
I never heard of their games...



I'm not too sure abot the outcome of this one - Frenches can pull out awesome games out of their asses, and the worst ones too >____>

I hope it'll be awesome, so I can play this one. I'll be looking forward this, and touch wood.

Thank you for the word, although I did hear about that a while ago.
Jun. 8th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised that the video game rights were not optioned with the television rights. I'm glad to hear it though, as it potentially means more diverse offerings.

So when can I expect my fully articulated action figures? Or is that asking to much?
Jun. 8th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
Ice and Fire video game? ORGASMIC!!!
Cyanide studios? Booo..

George, I'm a avid fan of your books, as well as a regular video gamer. Some good crafters of video games in the fantasy RPG genre are Bioware and Bethesda. Bioware is coming out with a new game called "Dragon Age" and shares many similarities with settings in Westeros. Bethesda's unique style and it's "Elder Scrolls" series also prove it can develop great fantasy RPG experiences. Day and night I dream of one of these firms licensing an Ice and Fire game.

While I am absolutely thrilled that someone finally realized the market potential for a SoIaF game, I reserve judgement for the qualities of these games. Perhaps I will be surprised. However, I think this is a milestone for us Ice and Fire fans. If nothing else, this will serve to attract other teams to try their hands on an Ice and Fire video game. All I ask is that, in the future if/when some bigger and better development firms come calling, please consider them for the sake of your fans.

Jun. 8th, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)
BioWare have said that ASoIaF is one of the main influences on DRAGON AGE, but they wanted the freedom to do their own thing rather than directly license a game. Similarly, some of the guys at Relic (makers of the DAWN OF WAR WH40K games and COMPANY OF HEROES) have also said they're huge fans of the books but don't seem interested in actively pursuing the licence.

In the games industry, is often the case that bigger companies have to answer to far more levels of bureaucracy and money men than smaller ones do, so a smaller developer like Cyanide has more freedom and less obligations to rush out an inferior product. On the other hand, their budgeting and marketing may not be as great. My worry about a game from either BioWare or Relic would have been that it would have felt like a traditional BioWare RPG or a traditional Relic strategy game first and an ASoIaF-specific product second. Cyanide should be able to develop something much more specific to the books.
Jun. 8th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
As an avid gamer, and a huge fan of yours, this really made my day.

I really hope that they are able to do your universe justice. It is going to be a tall order.

2011 does sound a little ambitious (especially for 2 full games.) I hope that Cyanide subscribes to the "it's done when it's done" school of though rather than the "it's done because the deadline is coming up." Too many games are rushed out.
Jun. 8th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Gaaaaaaaaaaah, nerdgasm....and that was a strong one.

Jun. 8th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
Maybe this is a good idea, maybe not.

I can't really see how a intriguing world like the one in ASOIAF should work as a video game. The essence of the books, can it be maintained?
Maybe a surprise will convince me. RPG (which I play) or RTS (which I usually dislike because of the stress factor).

I also look forward to the HBO TV series. Excited but sceptical. Doubts doubts doubts ... in the beginning of June ...

And dear GRRM,
maybe you should think about a subpage on your website to list and picture those miniatures instead of hiding them somewhere in the depths of this "blog".
Maybe your page requires a little more structure to find what one likes to find.

I hope you are well and you trust us fans that we try to encourage you in your work even if we are critical.
Criticism, constructive or not, should be seen as support, not as intervention or knockout to thwart your life, work or motivation.
I really love your books, every single one of them, not only ASOIAF. I was simply overwhelmed by Fevre Dream for example and I praise it to all who ask for vampire stories.

But you know what is most anticipated.
Go for it, go go go and surprise us with all your works as I am sure you will :)
Jun. 9th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
Re: Maybe?
I think his site works very well to be honest! It might not be super flashy but all the images are original and the bandwidth seems to be adequate considering all the people who stroll through here. Maybe he could just link something to an image gallery somewhere in the front page. The navigation on the front page is very straight forward IMO.
Re: Maybe? - lorddarkul - Jun. 9th, 2009 12:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
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George R.R. Martin
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