David Gaider, the former BioWare lead writer who worked on Dragon Age: Origins and Inquisition, has raised a number of concerns he has about a potential Mass Effect or Dragon Age TV series.
Reports surfaced earlier this year that Netflix was developing a Dragon Age series, and after Amazon Studios allegedly came close to a deal to develop a Mass Effect TV series, Gaider went on Twitter to resolve a number of concerns he has with both franchise removable media.
“I’m relieved to see that the Mass Effect / Amazon deal is for a potential TV series, not a movie,” Gaider said on a thread. “Still, the possibility (and also with Dragon Age) makes me wince a little, unlike many fans who seem … excited?”
I’m relieved to see that the Mass Effect / Amazon deal is for a potential TV series, not a movie. Still, the possibility (and also with Dragon Age) makes me wince a little, unlike many fans who seem … excited?
Let me explain. (Thread)
– David Gaider (@davidgaider) November 25, 2021
Gaider’s thread continues to explain a number of factors that he has concerns about. Starting with the main character himself, Gaider emphasizes the fact that both franchises allow the player to make custom changes and adjustments to the main protagonist of the series. “[Mass Effect and Dragon Age] have a custom protagonist, “says Gaider.” That means the TV show has to choose whether the protagonist is male or female. Boom, you instantly alienated a whole bunch of the built-in fan base who got their hopes up. “
The former lead writer continues to explain his thoughts on a potential lead role by suggesting that none of the main characters in the franchise are necessarily suitable for television audiences. “These protagonists are designed to be a blank board that the player fills out with his decisions. That won’t work for a passive medium. So the protagonist suddenly has his own personality … and his own * story *. This is going to be weird. “He continues.
While Gaider’s thread begins by emphasizing that player choice could pose a number of problems for any studio that occupies a main protagonist, he draws similar points for other factors within the game. The former lead writer points out that large chunks of the storylines in any franchise are performed by the companions the main character meets. With that in mind, Gaider goes on to argue that future showrunners could inadvertently alienate large swaths of their audience just by choosing which characters get smaller and larger chunks of the screen.
“Think of these companions,” writes Gaider in the thread. “Think how MUCH the fan base is attached to you. Now remember that there is no way that a single story can encompass them all equally. Think of the howl of anger when companion X is banished to a cameo … or not there at all. “
“Having a TV show instead of a movie offers more accompaniment options, of course, but consider your own playthrough: only a handful of them had meaningful presence in a single game. That has to be the case for this story to maintain coherence. A couple of companions, a romance. “
Any video game adaptation that comes to Netflix
Gaider’s comments definitely raise a number of sensible questions that potential showrunners need to ponder long before moving either franchise forward. With Amazon nearing a possible deal for a Mass Effect TV series, it will surely be interesting to see what the writers come up with as the talks continue.
Both series will continue as games alongside their potential TV adaptations. Mass Effect 5 has been confirmed and appears to be putting together a team of veterans. Dragon Age 4 is also on the way but has just lost its creative director.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him Twitter.