Mass Effect: Why Fans Don’t Need a TV Show

David Gaider, a former BioWare narrative designer and writer, has expressed his trepidation regarding the rumored Mass Effect TV series that Amazon is said to be considering adapting.

According to Gaider, a TV series may displease fans since certain plot points would have to be determined for the protagonist’s gender and personality. The player gets to define them in the game, but as Gaider mentions: “That’s not going to work for a passive medium.”

The game’s narrative, according to Lagarde, is “fragile.” It also includes cinematics that can’t always be rendered in a single episode. The dangers of the narrative possibly crumbling outside of episodes include the companions. “There is no way in hell any single story could encompass them all equally,” he writes.

I’m relieved to see that the Mass Effect/Amazon deal is for a potential TV series and not a movie. Even so, the possibility (and likewise for Dragon Age) makes me cringe just a little, unlike many fans who appear… excited?Let me explain. (Thread)November 25, 2021

While he is cautiously optimistic that, with the correct personnel and strategy, it could succeed. “I can think of any number of ways it could be done better… but that involves doing more than a strict adaptation, and that comes with its own complications.”

His concerns are well-posed and reasoned, demonstrating the difficulties that creators confront when transferring a beloved story, universe, and set of characters from one platform to another.

Of course, none of this can be verified. Only a few days ago, sources told Deadline that Amazon was considering an adaptation of the Mass Effect video game series for its Prime Video streaming service.

Amazon Studios is closing in on a deal to produce a series based on Electronic Arts’ best-selling sci-fi video game franchise, according to Deadline. The publication credits Amazon’s prior TV adaptation successes as the reason for the studio’s interest in the franchise rights.

How do video game adaptations ever really work?

We were optimistic about the prospect of a Mass Effect TV series when we first heard about it. After all, there’s enough material in the four games to tap into.

Amazon, having already established a foundation for its audience, would be well prepared to adapt. The Castlevania TV series from Netflix has been successful, and the HBO big-budget adaptation of The Last of Us games is eagerly anticipated. The Halo TV series has been in development for many years (and years).

Gaider also raises some intriguing issues, which extend well beyond the challenges Amazon might face if it were to create a Mass Effect television series and into the broader issue of whether changing games for TV is feasible.

The most essential thing to note is that games are inherently active, not passive; this is why so many of us like them. You don’t watch a character; you play the role of the game. Even the greatest TV shows can’t match that kind of enchantment because it’s a different medium.

Although the narrative of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor isn’t quite as engaging or thought-provoking as that in Mass Effect, it does have a deep plot, strong world-building, and an excellent cast of characters with which to tell stories in non-participatory media. The key is whether fans who fell in love with Mass Effect