For several years now, a good number of video games seem destined to be declined in television series, because such seems to be the goodwill of the investors. Fortunately, not all players in the industry seem to have taken the easy step, as the case of Mass Effect illustrates.
The adaptation pandemic is such that it becomes very difficult to list it: after The Last of Us, Resident Evil, Driver or even Twisted Metal, the panel of video game series to decline in series begins to dwindle. What does it matter, since one will always find a producer lazier than the average to find a palliative with the novelty. Today, it is the e-commerce giant Amazon that could soon offer its serialized version of Mass Effect via its streaming platform.
The commander steals
The head of Amazon studios has indeed confirmed the desire to decline the adventures of Commander (or Commander) Sheperd in a few episodes, as now required:
One of Amazon’s newest streaming hopes is called Mass Effect. Amazon Studios is close to closing a deal to develop a series based on Electronic Arts’ best-selling sci-fi video game license.
And if the case will perhaps do little hands in charge of adapting this video game space opera for Amazon Prime, the announcement seems to have really pained a writer from BioWare, undoubtedly attached to the universe of the series.
Joined BioWare in 1999, David Gaider wrote the screenplay for a number of opuses in the Dragon Age series, and even declined it in short stories and other comic books. This is to say if he knows his subject. But with the announcement of a potential television series inspired by Mass Effect, the blood of the Canadian screenwriter has only turned. In a long series of tweets, Gaider explained his reluctance to choose Amazon:
I’m relieved to see that the agreement between Mass Effect and Amazon is for a potential TV series, not a movie. But even so, the possibility (just like for Dragon Age) makes me cringe a little, unlike many players who seem… excited?
For starters, Mass Effect and Dragon Age both have a custom protagonist. This means that this series will have to choose whether said protagonist will be a man or a woman. Paf, from the start, you just alienated a part of the public.
Second, these protagonists are designed as a blank page that the player fills in as they decide. It will not work for passive media. So, suddenly, the protagonist will have his own personality… and his own “story”. It will be weird.
The intrigues around the fellow travelers had to take into account the decisions of the player. They were in a way the relay of emotional engagement. Interactivity was the star, not the intrigue.
Whatever happens, good luck to the showrunners.
At one point, this TV series has to answer the question “What is Mass Effect?” “… And do something that” looks “like Mass Effect. The players don’t need that, and their reaction is sure to be bad. We will see.
This is a speech that is sure to reach the ears of potential future writers of the Amazon series, if it ever sees the light of day. For their part, the little guys from Bioware promised that a new episode of Mas Effect – video game this one – would see the light of day, through a curious teasing …