5 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Franchises Bioware Needs to Work With

I’m a sucker for fun stories and epic tales; two things BioWare seems to specialize in.  Since they’ve done so well with one of the biggest science fiction properties around, Star Wars, I’m sure they’re more than able to handle other much beloved sci-fi and fantasy franchise.  There are several worthy tales out there which haven’t received the video game attention they deserve, or simply didn’t get good games, so perhaps BioWare should look to these titles for their upcoming projects…

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Dune

It saddens me that it’s been over a decade since this property has been given any video game love.  While the original series of Dune games were pioneers in the RTS genre (providing inspiration for even the Command & Conquer franchise), none of the games really did what you wanted them to, put you in control of Paul Atriedes.  The Dune story is all about him and his rise to power (then his children, then back to him…it gets a little crazy towards the end) and it chronicles the many friends and enemies he makes along the way.  In short, it’s the perfect set up for an RPG.

Paul’s journey is an epic one, with universe spanning conflicts and political intrigue.  The actions of the hero Paul have wide-reaching consequences on the entire human race…sound familiar?  Those are all elements that make BioWare games so fun, and thus this property would fit well with their gameplay styles.  Imagine having to travel from tribe to tribe in an effort to convince all of the Fremen to stand with you against the Emperor and Baron Harkonnen, or traveling the universe in search of revenge against the Bene Gesserit.  The options are endless, and that’s exactly what the boys at BioWare are best at.  They are one of the few game developers I believe could handle this revered franchise properly and do it justice for the many fans out there. 

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The Fifth Element

Sure, this movie is a couple decades old now, but to watch the film you’d hardly notice.  It’s an incredibly well done science fiction movie that’s managed to withstand the test of time thanks to memorable characters and a classic story that’s easy to sit through over and over again.  The film does a great job of showcasing a variety of alien species and futuristic technology all of which comes with their own nuances and quirks.  In short, it’s the perfect backdrop for a role-playing game. 

Frankly, I’ve always been bummed that The Fifth Element never got a sequel.  Hell, I wouldn’t even care if the original cast were brought back together.  I think the world established within the movie is ripe with potential for fun and engaging stories.  As such, it seems like something Bioware could take and turn into an amazing game.  Perhaps using that idea of going on new adventures, rather than focus on the story from the film, would be best as it would give the developers freedom to craft their own story, while still giving fans of the film reference points to latch onto.  It’s also something that’s more light-hearted.  While I love all that Bioware does, I think a more humorous take on an adventure would do them some good.  Regardless, give me more Fifth Element!

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Game of Thrones

Let’s face it, stories don’t get much more epic than George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones saga.  The books are classic and the television show (soon to be in it’s fifth season) has done an incredible job of translating the story into a compelling and engaging series.  The one area that Game of Thrones hasn’t conquered yet, is the video game world.  It had a crappy RPG at one point, and while some would argue that Telltale’s (admittedly excellent) series of games have made an impact on gamers, many more would argue that calling those a video game is kind of a stretch.  They’re more interactive stories without letting gamers interact with the world around them. 

There’s so many places in Westeros for people to explore, a Dragon Age: Inquisition style of game set within this world almost seems like a no-brainer.  Considering how deep the history within the story goes, it wouldn’t be hard for the developers to craft their own unique story to compliment the books and TV show.  Combining Bioware’s storytelling prowess, along with solid gameplay mechanics, and the deep lore of Game of Thrones sounds like the absolutely perfect setup for fans and gamers.  

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Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers seems far more suited to the First Person Shooter genre (and they tried that to mostly bleh reactions), but I think it’s perfect to BioWare’s particular brand of RPG.  It’s even more suited to their tastes if they delved into the original Robert Heinlein book, which had more political leanings and galaxy intrigue.  Not to mention the timing would be perfect as Hollywood is currently working on a reboot for the movies, which will supposedly follow the original novel more closely. 

Besides which BioWare proved with the Mass Effect games that they can handle fast-paced shooting action, while still being able to tell an engaging story.  So the epic bug battles from the films can be incorporated just fine into the game.  Just imagine being able to take control of Johnny Rico or any other Roughneck and climb through the ranks, travel to different worlds, and meet all manner of other people in order to help rid the galaxy of the bug menace.  It’s a nice thought, and something that sounds way more appealing than another FPS attempt. 

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The Wayfarer Redemption

If you haven’t heard of, or read, any of Sara Douglass’ Wayfarer Redemption series (totaling six books that can be read as two separate trilogies), then you’re depriving yourself of some of the best fantasy stories out there on the market.  It’s high fantasy, but filled with amazing characters and a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and flipping pages like crazy.  It’s the equivalent of a movie blockbuster but with all the character depth you’d want.

The story takes readers all across a magical land, encountering prophecy and a villain as evil as they come.  In the tale a man’s choices affect the world around him and whether or not he’ll be able to defeat the bad guy.  It’s the perfect setup for BioWare, who love playing off of player decisions and exacting real consequences for your actions.  Not to mention the initial story is  about a man discovering latent magical powers he never knew he had…which sounds an awful lot like an RPG leveling system to me.  Considering the work Bioware has done with bringing magical worlds to life, I think this series would be well suited to their game style. 

Honorable Mentions:

John Carter of Mars

The Dark Tower (the licensing alone would be nigh impossible to collect for all of the references in this series)

Redwall

Chronicles of Narnia

Lord of the Rings

Planet of the Apes

To be honest, it’d be great to finally get a great video game for ANY of these properties, regardless of the developer, however, I feel the ones I’ve listed above are particularly suited to BioWare’s unique style and brand of gameplay.  Considering how well they are managing their own IPs, I can’t say it’s likely we’ll ever see them tackle any of these, but we can dream and wish…

Got your own wish list of properties for BioWare to handle? Tell us about them in the comments!

-Jordan