Deadline recently reported that Amazon Studios were “nearing a deal” on producing a Mass Effect TV show. While fans are mostly enthusiastic about it, a former BioWare lead writer had quite a few things to say about the whole idea, and he may have a few very valid points.
David Gaider, who previously worked at BioWare mostly as a lead writer on the Dragon Age series, posted a Twitter thread explaining his thought process behind the idea of a Mass Effect TV show. In essence, the writer criticised the traditional structure of the television show or movie format as being a contradiction to Mass Effect‘s agency as an interactive game series.
Gaider’s lengthy thread raised plenty of valid points, including the structure of a television show having a set protagonist, meaning it would alienate players who perhaps already see Commander Shepard as female, for example, if a male actor is cast or vice versa. Gaider also talked about Mass Effect‘s companions and how they all can’t get the same fair treatment of screen time on a TV show since the games largely depended on the player’s choice and which characters they chose to form closer connections with. Likewise, a TV show would have to technically follow one romance path, negating other potential fan-favourite options.
Gaider concludes by stating that fan outrage will be massive if the TV show is not handled correctly, and judging by his criticisms, it’s a perfectly valid fear to have. The Mass Effect games (and by extension, Dragon Age too) all allow for players to carve their own narrative paths, and it will be difficult for a TV show to stick to one path for the sake of telling a coherent story.
The Mass Effect TV show is still only in the discussions phase, so we’ll have to see if Amazon does ultimately end up with the series. BioWare is currently hard at work on the development of the next Mass Effect game.
Source: David Gaider