Apparently plans for this were laid a couple of years ago, but this is the first I’ve heard of it. EVE Online, the popular MMORPG, is slated to have a TV Show based on it with Baltasar Kormakur, director of 2 Guns, at the helm of the production team. With the rise in popularity of video games, it is no surprise that Hollywood and Television Studios are both turning to the gaming industry to find sources for their future projects. After all, creating a show or film based on a game provides a built in audience. Many games also have highly developed worlds and story arcs to draw from, so screen writers don’t have to come up with new material so much as draw on what already exists (though it seems that many of them opt to come up with new ideas…many of which are also not nearly as cool as the games’ original story or setting, but I digress!).
The World of Warcraft movie has been in the works for a long time, and now it finally has a release date set for 2016, but EVE is a bit different than its fantasy counterpart. While World of Warcraft has a rich storyline, much of which can also be explored in the original Warcraft games, EVE is famous for being a sandbox game. For those who haven’t played it, there is certainly a setting, and there is a very loose narrative most of which can be found in the introductory mission arc that players are given to complete while they learn the ins-and-outs of the game. But the majority of exciting stories that come from EVE Online are player driven. EVE is great simply because its developers don’t impose rules or a narrative arc on the player experience, and through the years we have been treated to some great tales.
There have been multiple bank heists, Ponzi schemes, and corporate espionage maneuvers that have fleeced hundreds of players of their in-game currency. There are also massive space battles fought between EVE’s different corporations, one of which recently ended in $300,000 worth of in-game resources being destroyed. The story of this game doesn’t come from a pre-conceived narrative or quest arc but rather from gamers and their exploits.
The creators of EVE recognize this, and though there will likely be a standard narrative arc for the TV show so that audiences (especially those who don’t play the game) can easily follow what’s going on, they are turning to the players of EVE Online for story content. Some of these stories will be published in a series of comic books to be published by Dark Horse called “EVE: True Stories”, and some of these stories may influence or end up in the TV show eventually.
I think crowdsourcing content is a great way to go, especially for a video game that is so full of stories brought to life by all of its players. I used to play EVE several years ago, but it is a rather large time commitment. I still appreciate the game, and I honestly think it is one of the better ones ever made (if not the best to date), and if it wasn’t quite so involved I’d probably still be playing…but then again it wouldn’t be nearly as good a game. Either way, I love the setting, and I am excited to see how it and the stories involved with it expand into other mediums beyond the game.