Back in 2010, Legendary Pictures won the rights to a film adaptation of BioWare’s popular Mass Effect franchise. While that feature never did materialize, Mac Walters, project director for Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, has finally explained why. According to Walters, it was because BioWare felt like it was “fighting the IP” in that the relatively limited timespan of a 90- to 120-minute film was not enough to tell a good Mass Effect story, which traditionally plays out in what could be hours of gameplay segments and cinematics. Plans for a Mass Effect film also came to a halt when Legendary decided that it would work better as a TV show, but development “never picked up again” and fizzled out. Despite these setbacks, Walters believes that it’s a “matter of when, not if,” Mass Effect fans will get treated to some sort of big-budget Hollywood adaptation.
“When we build out a ‘Mass Effect’ game, we have a backbone, or an overall story that we want to tell, but each level or mission is like its own TV episode,” Walters said. “It doesn’t get written ahead of time. It gets written at the time that we get to it. So it gets added to the main story and sometimes the main story gets adjusted because we did something really cool in that ‘episode.’ So long-from storytelling is a great place for game franchises.”