A NEW fantasy video game involving Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin has led to real-world debate after offering fans the chance to win a piece of the Scottish Highlands.

One hundred fans will be declared “Elden” lords and ladies over tiny slices of Glencoe as big-name publisher Bandai Namco launches its big-budget Elden Ring game. Released tomorrow, the role-playing title sees players step into a world called The Lands Between, which was created in collaboration with Martin. Players take on the role of characters whose ancestors were exiled from The Lands Between, and who now have a chance to return and conquer the territory.

To mark the release, 100 winners will receive certificates from Highland Titles for a “souvenir plot of land” at its nature reserve grounds near Glencoe. According to Highland Titles, which holds five sites across Scotland, more than 300,000 people have “become Lords and Ladies of Glencoe”. Its small print states that the title “is for enjoyment purposes only” and can be used “by us and within our 200,000+ strong community”.

But Scottish gamers and legal experts have questioned the competition, with game critic Jordan Middler joking that his copy of the game “came with the deed to Barrhead swimming baths” and another Twitter user posting that “Bandai Namco has gifted me Paisley”.

Actor Kenny Boyle, who starred in Highlands-set rom-com Lost at Christmas, stated: “Scotland isn’t a commodity to sell video games with.”

The contest is open to entrants from the UK or Ireland and the prize is described as “lighthearted fun” which supports nature reserves. Highland Titles’s plots run from 1sq ft to 100sq ft and owners are able to visit the space. As Highland Titles is owned by a Charitable Trust for Scotland, the land must be used for conservation purposes.

Strathclyde University law lecturer Malcolm Combe, who specialises in land reform, compared the prize to owning “bits of the moon” and said the issue arises regularly “like whack-a-mole”.

He said: “People buy into it because they want to believe, but in strict legal terms they are not the holder of a real right in land in Scotland and the Lord Lyon Court don’t regard you as being able to call yourself a lord. It’s very shortbread tinny. We are not going to be able to stop it and it’s been happening for years but it has undercurrents that don’t sit easily with people.”

Bandai Namco was approached for comment.