Could a ‘Mass Effect’ MMO Be on the Way?

Could a ‘Mass Effect’ MMO Be on the Way? (photo)

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Here’s what I love about how BioWare views their games: the folks at the Edmonton development collective view their games (and attendant DLC and transmedia projects) as huge, perpetually unspooling skeins of fiction that can be braided and folded in a variety of interesting ways.

You can look at how BioWare used the DLC for “Mass Effect 2” to suss out that philosophy. Players got backstory on established characters, all-new characters to ad to their intergalactic crew and tonal variation that ran the gamut from super-spy genre tropes to futuristic horror. It never felt like you were being wheedled out of $10; it felt like you were paying to access more of a richly imagined universe.

Now, via the new issue of Game Informer, comes word that BioWare’s not averse to creating a massively multiplayer online game based on their successful sci-fi franchise. “Mass Effect 3” should be out by the end of the year and one of the persistent rumors was that it would finally bring a multiplayer component to what’s always been a single-player experience. But, series executive producer Casey Hudson soft-pedals that idea:

“We’ve been trying to think of a way that makes sense for people to experience Mass Effect with their friends… We haven’t yet come up with a way to do that, so we don’t have anything to announce at this time. But, obviously, multiplayer is something we want to do more of in the future as a company.”

So, while multiplayer on “Mass Effect 3” seems to not be happening, Hudson says an MMO “makes sense”:

“A lot of people say that they want to see an MMO, I think that kind of makes sense for this universe. Part of what you’re trying to do is save the universe so you can live in it. That’s part of the promise, I think, for any great IP. It has to be a world worth saving… I think Mass Effect has that quality to it. If you get rid of the Reapers and win that, wouldn’t it be amazing to just live on the Citadel or just take a ship to Omega? That makes sense.”

With most companies, you’d receive the news that they’re thinking of entering the MMO market with heaping gobs of skepticism. After the seemingly unstoppable success of “World of Warcraft,” many game companies view the idea of an MMO as a way of creating their own perpetual-motion money machine. And, while bean-counters at parent company EA may have mercenary considerations as a motivating factor, it seems as if the creatives at BioWare may seize on an MMO as a way to just keep extending out this fictional construct they’ve built. I especially love the idea of treating the MMO as a reward, as a sort of Elysian Fields or Valhalla for “Mass Effect” players. You still need conflict and drama to make the thing go, of course, but the idea of getting to live in a universe that you’ve saved and fundamentally reordered is a particularly great one.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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