Yesterday we reported that a petition has been solidly gaining signatures to get Netflix to work with Disney and Lucasfilm in order to create a series based on BioWare’s Old Republic era video games. The petition’s target was 50,000 signatures and I can let you know that that target has been smashed, as at the time of writing, it currently has gained 55,429 supporters with a new target of 75,000 now set up – you can sign up as well through think link to Change.org.
But it definitely got me thinking: video game movies are by and large pretty poor, perhaps because there is so much to tell in these games with even “small” AAA-games having a single player campaign that lasts about 6 hours. You cannot cram all of that into a 2-hour film, you just can’t do it, let alone a game like Skyrim or The Witcher, it’s a similar issue that people have with books that are made into movies – a lot is missed out and movie goers don’t get the full experience.
Now with a TV show, in theory, you could put as much lore and detail in as you wanted, with episodes lasting a good 45 minutes to an hour and half for specials, you could put a lot of detail and a lot of narrative in that could otherwise be missed in a 1.5 – 2 hour film. Anyway, enough pre-amble, here are some of my choices for games that could translate into TV shows seamlessly.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (1-3)
May as well start of with an explosive one! The story of the Modern Warfare trilogy is one of international subterfuge, betrayal, brotherly bonds and a lot of action. Starting with an SAS Mission in the Bering Strait which uncovers a nuclear warhead draped in an Arabic flag, the entire story starts with a massive amount of action and drops the player, or viewer, straight into the thick of the story with things getting ever more tense as you go along. From a nuclear explosion being the biggest maskirovka of all time, to a Russion invasion of mainland USA, to chemical gas attacks in Europe and the loss of beloved characters along the way, the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare trilogy would be an absolutely epic watch.
Come on, don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it already? I mean Deus Ex would fit right in with shows like Humans and Westworld, that futuristic-cyberpunk-dystopian alternate reality would make one hell of a roller-coaster show. I suppose chronologically, you’d have to start with the events from Human Revolution, with Adam Jensen’s attempts to rescue Megan Reed and her scientist colleagues from a Tyrant attack on Sarif Industries – again throwing you into the thick of it and engaging you from the start.
Now each game in the Fallout series is a solid stand-alone title. There’s no reason why someone uninitiated in the entire series couldn’t just dive straight in and play Fallout 4 and fall in gaming love for example. And that is why you could have a TV series dedicated to Fallout – let me explain. You could have a show where each series stands alone from the next, much like the American Horror Story series where each one is separate from the last. Each series could start with a different part of America in the time before “the event” and then the subsequent story from that areas Vault years down the line.
The Elder Scrolls
Much like Fallout, this other stellar series from Bethesda would certainly make for an epic TV show that would certainly give fans of Game of Thrones something to watch when it ends in a couple of years time. The fantasy genre is certainly a mainstay within the entertainment world, with The Lord of the Rings perhaps the biggest example of this, and The Elder Scrolls arguably has an absolute ton more lore, content and stories to tell than the people of Middle Earth. Tamriel has rich tapestry of locales, characters and stories to tell from the days of Arena and Daggerall all the way up to Skyrim and beyond, The Elder Scrolls could be a mainstay on TV for years and years.
Mass Effect (Original Trilogy)
Now anyone who knows me, I mean really knows me, knows that Mass Effect is as big a part of my life as my daughters, and knows that it’s inclusion in this list was absolutely inevitable. And to be honest, it should be regardless of what I feel about the games. There have been rumors for a good few years of a Mass Effect movie, after Legendary Pictures bought the rights to it a couple of years ago, it seems like it could happen in years to come. However, it would definitely suffer from the issues that I mentioned at the start of this article – there is just too much content, too much lore, too much narrative to cram into a single film. I would think a series of Mass Effect would be out of this world – no pun intended – setting the scene of the whole saga over a few episodes detailing the prologue mission in Eden Prime, the first glimpses of Sovereign, and the way the intergalactic community works through the early (seemingly lasting forever) Citadel missions. Mass Effect could easily hold it’s own against the sci-fi stalwarts of Star Trek and Star Wars and a series could explore the deep lore and history of the universe in which it lives.
So there you have it, 5 game franchises that would easily become amazing TV shows – in my humble opinion. But mine isn’t the only opinion, we want to see yours too! What games or game franchises do you think would make a great TV show? Let us know in the comments below, the RGM Forums or on Twitter.