China’s Tencent releases test-version of Game of Thrones game

Tencent Holdings has released a test version of a third-party developed smartphone game in China based on the US hit television show ‘Games of Thrones’.

The game, titled “Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming”, was developed by Chinese games maker Yoozoo, Tencent Games said in a statement on its official WeChat account late on Wednesday.

According to a Reuters report, the launch comes just weeks after Chinese authorities gave their approval to two batches of new video games after a freeze on approvals for most of last year that had spooked players in the world’s largest gaming market.

China’s two biggest game developers – Tencent and domestic rival NetEase Inc – have so far not figured on any of the lists of approved titles.

Tencent, Asia’s second-biggest company by market value, signed a deal in 2014 to obtain the exclusive rights to stream “Game of Thrones” online in China.

The Emmy-winning medieval fantasy series is HBO’s biggest-ever hit with some 30 million viewers in the United States and has been played 960 million times so far on Tencent’s video platform.

The new game is a simulation that will let players take on identities such as the character Tyrion Lannister, visit spots such as Castle Black, and experience some of the show’s most memorable events like the Red Wedding, Tencent said.

Users who have obtained invite codes could start playing the game on Thursday, it said.

“The game will inherit the realist style of the HBO show, and players will be able to control various classic characters from the original novel to battle in Westeros,” Tencent Games said in the statement.

Players need to “conquer King’s Landing, capture the Iron Throne, and be the biggest winner in the Game of Thrones.”

China stopped approving new titles from early last year amid a regulatory overhaul which prevented many Chinese firms from being able to charge users for new games releases.

Yoozoo, founded in 2009, is a Chinese video game company which publishes mobile and website games.

Recently, HBO announced the premiere date of Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones season 8 will premiere on April 14, HBO announced in the first teaser. India will be able to watch the season 8 premiere on April 15, either on Hotstar or Star World.

The show will feature six episodes, which are reported to each be feature-length.

Game of Thrones is one of the most successful television series of all time and has broken records for US cable network HBO. A prequel to the series, Age of Heroes, is already in production.

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