David Gaider, the former BioWare lead writer who worked on Dragon Age: Origins and Inquisition, has explained a number of concerns he has about a potential Mass Effect or a Dragon Age TV series.
Reports emerged earlier this year that Netflix was developing a Dragon Age series and, after Amazon Studios approached a deal to develop a Mass Effect TV series, Gaider took on Twitter to address a number of concerns it has with either of the franchise switching media.
“I’m relieved that the Mass Effect / Amazon deal is for a potential TV series and not a movie,” Gaider said in a thread. “Even so, the possibility (and likewise for Dragon Age) makes me cringe a little, unlike many fans who seem … excited?”
I’m relieved that the Mass Effect / Amazon deal is for a potential TV series, not a movie. Even so, the possibility (and likewise for Dragon Age) makes me cringe a little, unlike many fans who seem… excited?
Let me explain. (Thread)
– David Gaider (@davidgaider) 25 November 2021
Gaider’s thread then explains a number of factors that concern him. Starting with the main character himself, Gaider points out that both franchises allow the player to make custom modifications and adaptations to the main protagonist of the series. “[Mass Effect and Dragon Age] have a personalized protagonist, “Gaider says.” Which means the TV show will have to choose whether said protagonist will be male or female. Boom, right off the bat you just alienated a whole bunch of hopeful built-in fans. “
The former lead writer goes on to explain his thoughts about a potential series by suggesting that none of the franchise’s main characters are necessarily suitable for TV audiences. “These protagonists are designed to be a bit of a blank slate, which the player fills in with their decisions. It won’t work for a passive medium. So all of a sudden the protagonist will have their own personality … and their own * story. *. It will be weird. ”He continues.
While Gaider’s thread begins by pointing out how player choice could create a number of issues for any studio choosing a lead protagonist, it draws on similar points for other factors in the game. Lead writer points out that much of the storylines in each franchise are done through the companions the main character chooses to meet. With that in mind, Gaider goes on to say that future showrunners could inadvertently alienate a large portion of their audience simply by choosing which characters will receive smaller and larger portions onscreen.
“Think about those companions,” Gaider writes in the thread. “Think how much the fanbase is attached to them. Now consider the fact that there is no way in hell that one story can encompass them all equally. Think of the howls of rage when Companion X is relegated to a cameo… or not at all there. “
“Having a TV show instead of a movie allows for more companion options, sure, but think about your own game: only a handful of them had a significant presence in a single game. That will have to be the case. for this story, to maintain consistency, a few companions, a romance.
Every video game adaptation coming to Netflix
Gaider’s comments certainly raise a number of reasonable questions that any potential showrunner should think long and hard about before moving either franchise forward. With Amazon on the verge of closing a potential deal for a Mass Effect TV series, it will certainly be interesting to see what the writers come up with if talks progress further.
Both series will continue as games alongside their potential TV adaptations. Mass Effect 5 has been confirmed and is apparently building a veteran squad. Dragon Age 4 is also on the way, but just lost its creative director.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow it on Twitter.