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Videogames: Spooktober Season


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1 hour ago, Gorn said:

How many people played Mass Effect series? Maybe 10 million, if you include the pirated copies. Amazon Prime has 200 million members. If the show focuses on the existing fanbase, it will be a failure.

In general even big hits on prime are very niche and have not a whole lot of viewers. Prime in theory has a lot of reach but even things like the boys have viewership only in the few millions. 

It's much better for Amazon's profit to bring in more mass effect fans that aren't prime subscribers than it is to make a show for the prime audience it does have who aren't in mass effect. 

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1 hour ago, Gorn said:

How many people played Mass Effect series? Maybe 10 million, if you include the pirated copies. Amazon Prime has 200 million members. If the show focuses on the existing fanbase, it will be a failure.

I think it's just under 20 million sales of all four games plus the Legendry Edition (or it might have just passed that). Normally you'd assume a lot of repeat business between the three games, but it's easy to forget that OG ME did not launch on PS3 and Andromeda was marketed as a new, current-gen title where you didn't need to be familiar with the franchise (hence why it wasn't called Mass Effect 4);, so the sales there are somewhat lopsided.

But still, I think somewhere in the vicinity of 8-12 million people having played "a Mass Effect game" and maybe 4-6 million having played all three games the original trilogy is a reasonable guestimate.

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2 minutes ago, Kalsandra said:

In general even big hits on prime are very niche and have not a whole lot of viewers. Prime in theory has a lot of reach but even things like the boys have viewership only in the few millions. 

The Boys had 8 million views for Season 1 in its initial week of release in the USA alone. This almost doubled in the second season, up to around 15.1 million. These figures are, again US, alone and not counting international views, tablet or smartphone viewing, the combined morass of which is estimated to maybe double the figures or at least get up there. So maybe 25-30 million views worldwide. A lot more than a few million.

That's half of what a good Netflix original can pull in (the highest-rated ones pull in well over 70 million) but nothing to sneeze at. It looks like Wheel of Time was not massively far behind The Boys's figures, which is reasonably good going as well.

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4 hours ago, Werthead said:

There are huge numbers of people out there who don't play video games, especially story-focused roleplaying games taking ~70 hours to get through, and don't want to watch streams, but would enjoy that story. I think adapting those kind of things into a TV series is a reasonable idea. I also like the idea, which the Fallout show might be going down, of having the same world as the video game but doing a whole new story in it.

Last of Us will be an interesting litmus test to see how this kind of live-action adaptation works.

With Fallout, I think you basically have to tell a unique story, as none of the stories in the games are really good enough to carry an actual TV show.  The main stories tend to be more of a jumping off point for all the side quests and exploring.  It's the world that is the star of Fallout, not any individual main story.

The main appeal of The Last of Us, though, is the narrative.  The world itself is interesting enough, but it's nothing we haven't seen before, and doesn't give a unique twist on the post-apocalyptic setting like Fallout does.  But the story is so well done, particularly in the first game, and that's what makes it so memorable.  Both the end of the prologue and the end of the game are so fantastically done that I'll likely never forget them.

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

The Boys had 8 million views for Season 1 in its initial week of release in the USA alone. This almost doubled in the second season, up to around 15.1 million. These figures are, again US, alone and not counting international views, tablet or smartphone viewing, the combined morass of which is estimated to maybe double the figures or at least get up there. So maybe 25-30 million views worldwide. A lot more than a few million.

 

Entirely reasonable points, but not really dismissing mine. My point is that one cannot reasonably expect the 200m prime owners to watch it. 

The other point is that Amazon prime video exists for the main goal of getting and keeping prime subscribers for their store. That sounds like the same thing as Netflix or Disney plus, but it isnt - it means that they aren't as interested in keeping people watching prime regularly as they are making sure that they buy prime for the year. In that way they're probably closer to HBO than Netflix- they want to have specialty shows that bring in some people but not necessarily a lot of shows that are fine (the Netflix model), and for them a hit is a show that measures new people buying prime and using the store.

Long way of saying that ratings are likely not what Amazon uses for their goals, and for them it may be better to appeal to the rabid fans of mass effect than it is to appeal to a more broad audience. 

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4 hours ago, briantw said:

With Fallout, I think you basically have to tell a unique story, as none of the stories in the games are really good enough to carry an actual TV show.  The main stories tend to be more of a jumping off point for all the side quests and exploring.  It's the world that is the star of Fallout, not any individual main story.

There's even a Fallout graphic novel that could serve as a bit of inspiration if need be.

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4 hours ago, Kalsandra said:

Entirely reasonable points, but not really dismissing mine. My point is that one cannot reasonably expect the 200m prime owners to watch it. 

If it's marketed sufficiently well and engages with unfamiliar viewers, anything is possible. 

Wheel of Time is currently being seen by plenty of people who've not read the books nor even heard of it till now. Including people with whom I've gone to school. You never know. As with everything else: nobody knows what they're doing, and nobody ever knows what will work. You place your bets and takes your chances. 

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5 hours ago, IlyaP said:

If it's marketed sufficiently well and engages with unfamiliar viewers, anything is possible. 

Wheel of Time is currently being seen by plenty of people who've not read the books nor even heard of it till now. Including people with whom I've gone to school. You never know. As with everything else: nobody knows what they're doing, and nobody ever knows what will work. You place your bets and takes your chances. 

Wheel of Time is almost certainly a bigger franchise than Mass Effect, with  larger pre-existing audience to attract. The series crossed 90 million sold copies this year. There are more books compared to Mass Effect games, which changes the denominator, but I suspect the large majority of readers never bought all the books (I know I didn't).

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1 hour ago, Fez said:

Wheel of Time is almost certainly a bigger franchise than Mass Effect, with  larger pre-existing audience to attract. The series crossed 90 million sold copies this year. There are more books compared to Mass Effect games, which changes the denominator, but I suspect the large majority of readers never bought all the books (I know I didn't).

Note that this also includes foreign editions which were even split into multiple volumes in some cases, sometimes as many as 3 or even 4. All of these count as "books sold", but they're really padding out the numbers. In France, the series was published in two volumes per book. In Germany, some of the bigger books had four volumes to represent them.

Mass Effect 3 sold 7 million copies. Jordan's 11 books had sold 14 million copies in North America and over 30 million worldwide (which, in retrospect, sounds like 16 million outside of North America, not 44 million total as some sites took it to mean), per Tor.com when they announced in 2007 that Sanderson would finish the series. I suspect there aren't many more people who've read at least one WoT book than have played Mass Effect 3.

(I have to say, I think estimates of how many copies WoT has sold seems wildly ... off. Sanderson comes on to write three books and the total book sales double or even triple in a single decade? That doesn't compute to me. I don't recall some huge surge of WoT back catalog popping again into bestseller lists as ASoIaF did.)

Edited by Ran
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3 hours ago, Fez said:

Wheel of Time is almost certainly a bigger franchise than Mass Effect, with  larger pre-existing audience to attract. The series crossed 90 million sold copies this year. There are more books compared to Mass Effect games, which changes the denominator, but I suspect the large majority of readers never bought all the books (I know I didn't).

I made it through like five of them before I tapped out.  

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How much more popular are the Witcher games than ME? I would venture a guess that only the 3rd game sold better than ME. I think most the TV show audience for The Witcher came because of the games, not the books, and because of Cavill. But on the actor side, Amazon could easily find at least one famous actor to carry the show. Hell, it could be Cavill himself, the guy is an avid gamer.

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4 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

How much more popular are the Witcher games than ME? I would venture a guess that only the 3rd game sold better than ME. I think most the TV show audience for The Witcher came because of the games, not the books, and because of Cavill. But on the actor side, Amazon could easily find at least one famous actor to carry the show. Hell, it could be Cavill himself, the guy is an avid gamer.

As of the end of fiscal year 2020, Witcher 3 had sold over 30 million copies.  

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6 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

How much more popular are the Witcher games than ME? I would venture a guess that only the 3rd game sold better than ME.

Witcher 1 and 2 had sold a combined total of 8 mio when Witcher 3 was released. ME 1 and 2 had sold 7 mio when 3 was released. That said, there was a far bigger boost in sales with both Witcher sequels, original W1 sales being good for CDPR, but overall quite limited compared to major video games; ME1 obviously had sold more units before 2nd game in the series hit.

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5 hours ago, Kalsandra said:

Thought this was interesting - one of the main writers of ME chimes in and seems to favor a much less strict adaptation, though not for the reasons I mentioned. 

 

But it’s almost like he was reading our discussion too

 

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9 hours ago, Kalsandra said:

Thought this was interesting - one of the main writers of ME chimes in and seems to favor a much less strict adaptation, though not for the reasons I mentioned. 

Yeah I agree with him and in part his reasoning. I also just think that the reapers storyline told with the "great man" saves the galaxy perspective is also too cliche. I think an ensemble show which builds to the Reapers later in the story could work, but it can't dive in with season 1 = Mass Effect, and I absolutely think they'd be better off not having Shepard and not having someone specifically in a role doing that much of the saving on their own.

Technically a whole lot of what Shep does, particularly in 3, is being the glue that brings everyone together and that part of it can be retained but at the very least the cipher into lazarus project stuff is too much for a show. And I'd still rather them change the character so they're not conflicting with anyone's personal Shepard.

12 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

Hell, it could be Cavill himself, the guy is an avid gamer.

I wouldn't want Cavill front and center as Shep even if they stick with Shep, but I could certainly see him fitting in as another prominent character in an ensemble cast or a high profile secondary character. His enjoyment of playing Geralt is hard to measure but its a significant part of why I enjoy Geralt so much in the show.

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6 hours ago, karaddin said:

Yeah I agree with him and in part his reasoning. I also just think that the reapers storyline told with the "great man" saves the galaxy perspective is also too cliche. I think an ensemble show which builds to the Reapers later in the story could work, but it can't dive in with season 1 = Mass Effect, and I absolutely think they'd be better off not having Shepard and not having someone specifically in a role doing that much of the saving on their own.

Technically a whole lot of what Shep does, particularly in 3, is being the glue that brings everyone together and that part of it can be retained but at the very least the cipher into lazarus project stuff is too much for a show. And I'd still rather them change the character so they're not conflicting with anyone's personal Shepard.

I wouldn't want Cavill front and center as Shep even if they stick with Shep, but I could certainly see him fitting in as another prominent character in an ensemble cast or a high profile secondary character. His enjoyment of playing Geralt is hard to measure but its a significant part of why I enjoy Geralt so much in the show.

The "great man" (or could be a great woman in this case) saves the galaxy may be a cliche but I think such tropes exist for a reason. People look for it not only in fantasy / sci fi but in history as well (the lionizing of Winston Churchill for example)

So I think the story definitely will be missing a strong dramatic element if there's not a central hero like Shepard who unites the galaxy against the Reaper threat. They would just need to develop the character more and make him/her more human, rather than the cardboard cutout Shepard is in the game (which is fine for the game because the player projects their own personality onto the central character).

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