Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced yesterday that it has begun pre-registration for its Westworld mobile game, based on HBO’s most-watched original TV series.
I’m a huge fan of the Westworld TV show, and I interviewed the show’s creators back in 2016, before the first season debuted. They did a tremendous job of finding the frontier between the real and virtual worlds and between humans and artificial intelligence.
I’m not sure I’m going to like this mobile game, based on what I see so far. I’m hoping it will surprise me, but the art style itself shows that the creators are looking to create an extremely accessible version of what is a very intellectual and dark show. It’s sort of like that same feeling, so long ago, when fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit novel had to watch a version of it that was turned into a Rankin Bass cartoon. I’m withholding full judgement yet, but I’m pretty wary.
WB Games San Francisco is producing the game in collaboration with Kilter Films and Behaviour Interactive. It’s coming out in 2018 for iOS and Android devices. The art style is surprisingly set in a cartoon world, with 2D characters that look nothing like the realistic science fiction and Wild West style of the TV show. Warner Bros. showed off the game in conjunction with the SXSW show in Austin, Texas.
But the teams at WB Games are working closely with Westworld’s producers and writers to deliver a game that is a complement to the series. In the Westworld mobile game, players will assume the role of a newly hired Delos Trainee, who has been granted access to the Delos Park Training Simulation (DPTS).
Season Two of Westworld debuts on April 22, and HBO showed off footage at SXSW. I wouldn’t want the game to be a mimic of the TV show, but I do want it to make me think about some of the same themes and dilemmas surrounding the creation of new technology that the show brings to life.
In full control of the simulation, players will take over all aspects of the Westworld park operations including manufacturing and care-taking of artificially intelligent hosts and satisfying guest desires.
“This game is an opportunity to give mobile gamers a fresh and exciting way to interact with the engrossing themes and enigmatic narrative explored by the Westworld series,” said Jonathan Knight, vice president and Studio Head at WB Games San Francisco, in a statement. “We can’t wait for fans to get their hands on the game to develop their own unique strategy to orchestrate and explore the perfect park experience.”
Based on the video, it looks as if you’re running a theme park, sort of like Rollercoaster Tycoon, and you are in charge of a bunch of simulated people. The side-view user interface looks a lot like Fallout Shelter (which was surprisingly fun to play, even as a 2D version of a very high-end video game).