Media reported this week that streaming service Amazon Prime has nearly won the rights to a serial adaptation of the Mass Effect saga. There is no confirmation yet, but the community is already actively discussing what might come of it.
David Gaider, the former lead writer for the Dragon Age series, joined the discussion. On his twitter he in detail described what difficulties the creators of the show may face. However, he is glad that we are talking about a series, and not about a full-length film.
We chose the main thing from a series of tweets:
- In Mass Effect and Dragon Age, you have to choose the gender of the hero, that is, the creators of the show will have to choose – already at this stage a lot of fans will be furious
- In games, the protagonists are a kind of blank slate that the players fill in with their decisions – in the series this will not work, so the hero will have a certain personality and * story * from the very beginning.
- In favor of the previous thesis, it is also worth noting companions, who also bear a bunch of stories and decisions of the player – without this element, they are just a bunch of boring heroes
- Companions in their own right – Mass Effect fans are very attached and love many heroes; there is also a problem – to fit all or only some into the series, and add the rest as a cameo
- The serial format helps a little better in telling the stories of the party members, but here is a similar story with the passing of the games – every time the decisions, quests and dialogues are different, many moments are missed in one playthrough, but they can be made up for repeated playthrough
- The series will have to choose – several companions and one romantic line
- At the same time, the creators of the series can generally throw out many members of the squad, which would be a big mistake.
- But even this is not the essence and appeal of Mass Effect – it all comes down to interactivity, player choices that cause genuine emotions;
- Without all of the above, Gaider will end up with ordinary science fiction, which will be trampled before the release.
All this, of course, is quite likely if incompetent people are engaged in the series. I can think of a bunch of options for making something decent out of this, but it takes a lot more than a simple and rigorous adaptation, and that comes with a lot of complications.
Anyway, good luck to the showrunners. They’ll need it!
Gaider also noted that he wrote these theses with the idea that the creators of the Mass Effect series would take a smarter path and tell the story inside the universe without affecting the plots of the games. From the point of view of the creators, this seems to be the most profitable option, since the series will clearly be designed not only for Mass Effect fans.
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Gaider stressed that showrunners and the series itself need to answer the question: “What is Mass Effect?”, Which means filming something with recognizable features of the series. Something that fans are likely to react badly to.