Global Warfare and Kingdoms of Camelot developer Kabam revealed today that it is working with Paramount Entertainment to create a social game based on the classic novel and film saga The Godfather.
The game, dubbed The Godfather: Five Families, is set 10 years before the first film and emphasizes the conflict and rise to power of the five mafia families featured in the first movie.
Much like Kabam's previous titles, the title is an empire-building game first and foremost, and the company aims to differentiate the title by allowing players to take over territory throughout New York city not only to advance their personal rank, but to contribute to a larger competitive meta-game between the game's five major factions.
Speaking to Gamasutra, Kabam general manager Lawrence Koh likened the game's structure to a core MMO, emphasizing the importance of siding with a faction to take part in a server-wide fight for dominance.
"The system provides players with a community they can immediately interact with," said Koh, noting that the faction system in The Godfather: Five Families will help players find others to interact with even if they don't have real-life friends playing the game.
Kabam also hopes to use the faction system to help recreate the interpersonal conflicts that permeate the Godfather franchise. "As an example, we're also going to allow players to switch families to allow for that sort of betrayal and backstabbing," said Koh.
Discussing the origin of the project, Koh said that Kabam was particularly interested in working with the Godfather IP not only because of its popularity, but because crime-oriented titles tend to appeal to the company's "core gamer demographic."
"We've seen how popular these kinds of games are, not just in the social networking space with Mafia Wars and Mob Wars, but even on the console space there's track record with crime-themed games being hugely popular with hardcore gamers. GTA, Saints Row, etc.," he said.
With this core audience in mind, Kabam aims to capture the dark visual aesthetic and mature themes of the franchise. "We didn't want to make a cutesy, casual version of the Godfather universe," Koh said.
Kabam also announced that closed beta registration for The Godfather: Five Families is now open, and the company says it plans to launch the game officially this fall.