Over the last six years, few releases have caused as much excitement, anticipation and pure unadulterated shock as Game of Thrones. Based on George R.R. Martin’s novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, this television show has united people from all over the world, despite their usual cliques, interests and ages. Fantasy is no longer reserved for the slightly socially awkward stereotype, now anyone can embrace fantasy and everything it has to offer.
“The huge success of Game Of Thrones is that it has brought fantasy fiction out of the world of the geek and made it cool again,” Mike Mulvihill, TV editor of The Times, told Sky News back in 2014, “It’s TV on a scale that we’ve never seen before – epic proportions, Shakespearean story lines, tragedy, death, violence, sex. Everything you can wish for.”
There’s no denying it: Game Of Thrones turned fantasy into a mainstream genre, and for now writers, developers and producers are taking advantage of this. For many years creators have attempted to bring fantasy to the forefront of entertainment, but it has been many years since this was doable. Sure, Lord of the Rings was and is popular, but it would be difficult to argue that it has enticed as many different people as Game of Thrones does.
One industry that is embracing fantasy in entirely new ways following the success of Game of Thrones is gaming. Fortunately, for many years fantasy has experienced a large amount of popularity on console and PC with games such as World of Warcraft and the Elder Scrolls series. However, more recently other gaming platforms have started to offer their customers more fantasy-based titles. For example, there are now a number of apps based on typical fantasy escapades including Chaos Rings and Crescent Moon Games’ hit release Zenonia.
Meanwhile, the iGaming industry has also further embraced their fantasy titles, with some operators even offering entire categories dedicated to fantasy casino games. If you often play online slot games you may have noticed bgo’s Myth & Legend category, which includes all sorts of fantasy titles including the Zeus series and Lancelot. Even Nintendo have jumped in on the action, creating the rather oddly titled Fantasy Slots: Adventure Slots and Games title as DSiWare. Unsurprisingly, sites like Bingo Rooms Online and Fantasy-Bingo have started offering – you guessed it – fantasy themed bingo rooms to encourage Game of Thrones fans to get involved.
Of course, the influence Game of Thrones continues to have isn’t restricted to gaming. It’s quite possible that movies like Warcraft being released is somewhat down to the sudden surge in fantasies popularity, as well as TV shows like Vikings and Black Sails. In fact, it’s thought that there are many other upcoming TV series that have been inspired by the show, including a TV adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials for the BBC and Fox’s Son of Zorn.
Needless (we accidentally wrote Nedless, it’s still too soon!) to say, we love the way the world has embraced fantasy over the last few years, almost as much as we love Game of Thrones. We just hope that the series continues to be inspirational and that Martin manages to publish Winds of Winter soon.