It feels a little like anything and everything in the video game world is getting adapted into movies and TV shows at the moment. Some of those projects will succeed, and some will likely fail. Drew Karpyshyn, the sci-fi author behind Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic, is hopeful that neither of those titles get the adaptation treatment.
Karpyshyn revealed as much during what wound up being an incredibly long and informative AMA on Reddit. The author was asked who he would cast in a KOTOR movie, to which Karpyshyn replied he doesn't think it nor Mass Effect should be made into films at all. “I don't want them to make a KOTOR film. Or a Mass Effect film. Not if those films are just going to tell the same story as the games,” Karpyshyn replied.
“Branching narrative games tell stories in a different way than a linear medium like film, and we have SO MUCH content that you'd have to cut 80% of the story to fit it into a film.” Both Mass Effect and KOTOR require players to make decisions, thus altering what happens throughout the game. As Karpyshyn quite rightly points out, that wouldn't be possible in movies based on those games if they were to follow the same story.
The Mass Effect writer goes on to say he tried to write a game story into a novel one time, but vowed to never do it again. He does sign off by admitting if someone were to offer him the right amount of money to do so, he might well change his mind. Karpyshyn discusses a number of very interesting topics covering both games throughout the AMA, including an interesting insight into whether different species in Mass Effect can successfully breed with one another.
As for potential adaptations, Mass Effect is already on the long list of games getting recreated for a new medium. A Mass Effect TV show is in the works at Amazon, but details on the project are incredibly sparse right now. No word on whether KOTOR will ever be turned into a show or movie, but with various other Star Wars stories being told or retold for Disney+, you never know.
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