Heroes have arrived in Game of Thrones: Conquest, the mobile game created by Warner Bros. Games and HBO. The update is the biggest change since October 2018, when the game got dragons.
Game of Thrones: Conquest has been downloaded 20 million times since it debuted in 2017 as a mobile game based on the Emmy-winning HBO television show. The Heroes update adds 30 characters from the TV show with their images. Players can earn them by playing or paying for certain speedups. Measurement firm Sensor Tower said the game has generated more than $750 million in revenue to date.
Since launching, the title quickly peaked as the no. 1 free-to-play strategy game in the U.S. and has since spent more than 105 cumulative weeks on the App Store’s top 25 grossing chart. In the past year following the conclusion of Season 8, the game has also remained a top 3 strategy game in the U.S. across both iOS and Android devices combined.
The Heroes update introduces a collections mechanic. Players can earn the Heroes and gain leadership skills when sending them out to locations to attack in the mobile game’s kingdom of Westeros. The addition of Heroes will add a new gameplay element and level of complexity that will influence the balance of power in Westeros. Ranging from uncommon (green) to mythic (orange) rarities, these characters can lead attacks against the kingdoms of other players. And they can gain advantages by assigning Heroes to their own Small Councils.
Steve Sadin, head of Game of Thrones: Conquest at Warner Bros. Games Boston, said in an interview with GamesBeat that the team has worked on the new feature for about nine months, or just about the entire duration of the pandemic. Each card for the Heroes has unique character art and you can level up the character to as much as level 60.
“This has never been intended as a pop-and-drop game,” Sadin said. “We intend to operate the game for many years to come.”
In particular, it could take a couple of months for players to acquire all 30 characters, and it could take much longer to level each character as much as possible, Sadan said. He said players have logged more than 225 million hours in the game and trained nearly a trillion troops. They have battled more than half of a billion times, formed 17 million allegiances, and conquered Winterfell 37,000 times.
The characters include the most recognizable characters from the show including Jon Snow, Tyrion, Daenerys, and Cersei, as well as fan-favorite supporting characters such as Hot Pie, Hodor, and Jaqen H’ghar. Players will be able to acquire Heroes through Summons, which will reward hero relics, hero XP, and other bonus rewards. Once players acquire enough hero-specific relics, they will be able to unlock that character and begin upgrading it.
Players can increase their hero’s XP to raise their level and boost their two signature skills, while hero relics and oaths increase the hero’s star rating. This raises the hero’s level cap and unlocks Star Skills that offer significant bursts of power that can turn the tides of battle.
“One thing we really wanted to do was inject a new layer into the meta that would really switch up how players interact and take King’s Landing,” Dylan Shadid, senior product manager at Warner Bros. Boston, said in an interview with GamesBeat.
Each character has unique benefits. Cersei can access more troops as reinforcements when she’s defending King’s Landing, Shadid said.
For the first time in-game, players will have the option to form their own Small Council by adding Heroes to six open seats. They will also be able to send them out on marches to aid their troops and can be deployed alongside a dragon as well. Players will have to make informed decisions on which Heroes to assign, as certain characters will offer more Small Council Skills, while others will provide more march Skills. Heroes can be sent on any march-related activity including rallies and reinforcing allies starting from level 1, so all players can experience the benefits from the start.
Warner Bros. said that the game requires players to play extensively in order to acquire Heroes. You can’t just buy them.
“We have deliberately designed the experience to be accessible and exciting and meaningful for new players,” Sadin said. “We very much wanted a player that doesn’t spend any money to be able to have very meaningful interactions with Heroes. The more deeply you engage with the game, the more you get out of it. If you want to operate at the highest levels of the game, you have to play.”
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