Amazon have been rapidly expanding their sci-fi and fantasy exclusives, and video game Mass Effect could be next in line.
Amazon Prime Video are very quickly gaining a name as the go-to streamer for big fantasy and sci-fi TV shows, having already debuted their The Wheel of Time series and with Lord of The Rings waiting in the wings, but it looks like they are continuing to expand their arsenal with a TV series based on the sci-fi video game franchise Mass Effect. According to a report by Deadline, the streaming giant are hoping to snap up the rights to the franchise and are “near to a deal” with game publisher Electronic Arts, and with Amazon’s track record so far, it would be foolish to think they will not be completing the purchase soon.
Once there was a time that news of video game adaptations would strike fear into the hearts of fans everywhere, with many movies based on popular characters frequently falling short of the mark, but recently there has been a surge in big budget video game movies that have managed to, on the whole, please both fans and newcomers to the franchises. Already in production are TV series based on The Last of Us at HBO, and Halo at Paramount+, as well as the animated Super Mario Bros. movie, Sonic The Hedgehog sequel and a rumored Donkey Kong animated movie among others. It seems that video game adaptations are becoming just as popular as reboots and remakes.
The original Mass Effect game was developed by BioWare and published through Microsoft Game Studios in 2007, and was released exclusively on the Xbox 360. The game transported players to 2183 and focussed on Commander Shepard, a soldier on a mission to defeat the Reapers, a race of sentient starships, and stop their planned invasion. When EA took over the publishing of the game, it moved to make its debut on Playstation 3 and PC, and subsequently saw the release of sequels in 2010, 2012 and 2017. In 2020, BioWare and EA announced that a fifth game in series was being developed.
The Mass Effect franchise has gained a lot of praise for the strong narrative and worldbuilding involved in its games, and that should mean an easy translation to a small-screen long-form piece of storytelling, and it will be the latest branching of the franchise, which has already seen tie-in novels and comic-books released. In 2012, an animated film was produced, entitled Mass Effect: Paragon Lost, and even earlier than that in 2010 Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures acquired the rights to bring the game to the big screen but the planned adaptation didn’t make it past the development stage.
This time around there is no doubt that Amazon will see through the project, as they are continuing to bolster their position as one of the big players in the streaming world and in genre titles in particular. Along with their epic fantasies, Amazon already put out the likes of ultra-violent comic book series The Boys, and have recently revived the 90s movie series I Know What You Did Last Summer as a brand new TV show.
Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said, “You will see us continuing to invest in fantasy genre of all kinds, we have a genre-focused team on the ground in Studios who work tirelessly with our creative partners on those slates, and you can look forward to more.”
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