Netflix made it perfectly clear that it’s entering the race for video game properties, trying to secure new content sources – an integral part of its film and television strategy for the upcoming years. As part of such a strategy, Netflix is currently developing several television adaptations based on video games, with a slew of feature-length and episodic projects in various states of development. In most recent news, the world’s biggest streaming service has its eyes on the Mass Effect video game series.
As published by That Hashtag Show, Netflix is currently developing a Mass Effect animated series, with an original story that happens parallel to the story of the original gaming trilogy. According to their article, the fandom shouldn’t expect Shepard to appear. Still, the animated series will introduce side characters and companions from the game, while the story focuses on an Alliance military officer investigating terrorist acts across the galaxy. And the most intriguing aspect of the entire story, though allegedly, is Netflix’s plan to make Mass Effect into an interactive experience.
For those unfamiliar with interactive entertainment, Netflix allows users to make choices for the characters, influencing the course and end of a story, allowing you to experience a single title in different ways. The idea of choice is probably the most endearing aspect of Mass Effect, and Netflix’s (supposed) decision to transfer that aspect into the series plays well with that idea. Early concepts of the show grant viewers the freedom to choose the gender, physical appearance, and a class of the show’s antagonist. And thanks to Netflix’s improved interactive technology, the system now remembers the viewer’s choices and projects them through the episodes.
It’s worth noting that none of the information was confirmed by Netflix, or Mass Effect’s IP owner, at this point, only adding fuel to the rumor mill, much like the previous rumor claiming that Henry Cavill was making a Mass Effect movie. But the information aligns with Netflix’s decision to acquire as many gaming IPs as means of broadening its repertoire, with titles such as Tomb Raider, Sonic the Hedgehog, Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Resident Evil, and others, in various stages of development. We can only hope that the alleged Mass Effect series reaches the heights of Netflix’s The Witcher, whose second season just dropped another teaser.
Mass Effect is a sci-fi media franchise set in an alternate universe where humans and several alien races have colonized the Milky Way galaxy and are facing off against a race of ancient, hibernating machines called Reapers. The original trilogy was a commercial success and garnered universal acclaim, with critics praising the game’s narrative, characters, and the aforementioned idea of choice, warranting a recently released remake titled Mass Effect Legendary Edition.
In the end, Netflix’s adaptation of one of the gaming world’s most beloved franchises isn’t all that surprising. The sheer size of Mass Effect’s fandom represents a massive and untapped market to which Netflix can offer one thing the fandom’s hungry for – more Mass Effect media. Now, isn’t that a brilliant business move?