There Is Going To Be A TV Show About EVE Online

By Brendan Caldwell on April 29th, 2013 at 8:00 am.


Brendan again. I’m still stranded in Iceland at the EVE Fanfest, where I’ve just been told (haha not really I’ve known all day EMBARGO) that EVE Online is getting the television series treatment. This is partly to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the spaceiest MMO in space but it is also something that has been pondered for a long time, according to developers CCP. But here’s the interesting thing: The plot of the series, we are told, will be based on EVE players’ own stories – all those tales of treachery, money and backstabbing that have accrued in the EVE universe so far. Stories that even EVE-skeptics find intriguing.

The only other thing we know so far is that the production is being spear-headed by a local team on Iceland and that it will be directed by Baltasar Kormákur, director of Contraband (it was a movie starring Mark Wahlberg. Have you seen it? What’s it like?) Kormákur is currently shooting an HBO series right now, so we can assume EVE on TV, or ‘TVE’ if we are to predict its title based on the studio’s recent terse nomenclature, is still hanging out in the pre-production phase. Chillin’.

During the requisite marketing spiel, CCP flashed up images of Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, suggesting that the theme of the series could be POWER, or possibly SELLING SOME THINGS, or maybe even some amalgamation of the two. Of course, if it is going to be comparing itself to such shows, whether in tone or production value, it has obviously set itself some very tough acts to follow. So good luck.

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66 Comments »

  1. Flakfizer says:

    To be authentic every second role would need to be played by a bot ..

  2. Evilopoly90 says:

    This has a lot of potential. An Eve show that can convincingly show the politics and intrigue of the different factions and corps could be a very fascinating show indeed.

    • DeVadder says:

      Very much so.
      Here is the fanfest 2013 cinematic trailer that preceded the announcement and now probably is kind of the teaser for the series?

      • particlese says:

        OoooOOOoOoOoOoooo, interesting! I had no idea what EVE’s back story was.

        That trailer reminded me of the intro to the Starship Troopers TV show (complete with a few chills, even without the Beethoven), but of course minus the aliens and plus some story. Probably the setting, general tone, and mostly-excellent CG. And I’m a bit tired. Still, I’m pretty sure this sounds like a good premise for a show, provided it’s done right. I generally hate politics and such, but there are exceptions…

    • running fungus says:

      I fully expect that priority to be its downfall. If it’s not character-driven, it’s going to be terrible.

  3. 1Life0Continues says:

    A show about spreadsheets?

    Wow, TV-land is reaching for material huh? :P

    • Shuck says:

      Wel, to be fair, right now they have some people who want to make it. What they don’t have is anyone who wants to air it. So we really can’t say anything about television. In fact, strictly speaking, the headline should read: “There Is Probably Not Going to Be A TV Show About EVE Online.”

  4. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Now all we need is Dwarf Fortress: The Series and the universe will have achieved its purpose and the stars can go out like in The Nine Billion Names of God.

    • Shepardus says:

      Every season, a new fortress to be doomed. I would so watch that, and I’ve never even bothered learning to play Dwarf Fortress.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        This week, on Dwarf Fortress: Deep inside Lobsterhead Fortress Urist must come to terms with the death of his beloved cow and the loss of its haunting moo, comforted only by Syrupwander, his masterfully crafted cat leather door. Meanwhile Enchantedboot the Kobold continues his stealthy raid as he tries to sneak out with an elephant in a cage, and the chief fishcleaner had been sentenced to thirty hammerings for assaulting a carp. Can the fishcleaner clear his name and find the dwarf who framed him?

        We now return you to Dwarf Fortress.

        • Davie says:

          Utterly sublime. Oh, for such a thing to exist.

        • AngoraFish says:

          Classic. :-D

        • Quickpull says:

          The only way to really capture the essence of dwarf fortress would be to procedurally generate the script 5 min before filming each episode.

        • Brun says:

          NEXT WEEK, ON DWARF FORTRESS:

          Urist has been very unhappy lately. He lost a pet to tragedy recently. He complained of the lack of chairs recently. He complained about having to drink the same old booze recently. He admired a fine door recently. He was comforted recently.

          BUT THEN:

          The Swordsdwarf slices the Thief’s lower body with her +steel short sword+, and the severed part sails away in a bloody arc!

          ALL SEEMS WELL, UNTIL:

          A vile force of darkness has arrived!

          WILL OUR INTREPID HEROES PREVAIL? TUNE IN NEXT WEEK!

      • sabrage says:

        This idea is so brilliant that it doesn’t warrant further discussion, for want of what could have been.

  5. Choca says:

    They’ll never be able to match all the drama !

  6. Rollin says:

    Why do they keep making TV shows out of terribad MMOs? Tap the awesome potential of Deus Ex, Fallout or some other award winning game instead.

    • Bilateralrope says:

      Probably because those games you list don’t get much option beyond telling the same story that was in the game, with fans that will be pissed off at any changes to the story. While also being pissed off at the lack of suspense because they know what’s going to happen.
      While people who aren’t fans get annoyed at things which worked in video games, but don’t work in a non-interactive medium that should have been changed.

      Eve Online has lots of stories that only a few players experienced, due to its sandbox nature. If they get altered when translated to TV, few people will notice. Fewer will care.

      That doesn’t mean this won’t suck. Just that the writers have much more freedom to make interesting stories for TV.

      As for awards: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eve_online#Awards
      How many other games manage to keep winning awards over an 8 year period ?

      Then there is the museum of modern art:
      http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2012/11/29/video-games-14-in-the-collection-for-starters
      Being featured there seems a much bigger deal than other awards.

    • Acorino says:

      What are those other TV Shows based on MMOs you’re speaking of?

    • PoulWrist says:

      Except there’s nothing terribad about EVE. If they wanted to make WoW the TV series I would agree. But then, WoW, and its ilk, have evolved beyond the realms of player interaction and become nothing resembling what MMOs were originally about.

    • solidsquid says:

      A Deus Ex or Fallout tv show would either involve re-telling the same story as the game or writing tangential plot which isn’t directly linked with what happened in game. Because Eve is largely about emergent gameplay it should be possible to write about actual in-game events without it being a re-hash of previous plot lines

      • Gap Gen says:

        With Deus Ex I’d actually forget the game’s narrative, and focus on the world and its issues, which has a lot of scope for exploration. Following a mostly-silent guy through air vents might be compelling, but they couldn’t be the sole protagonist. Instead, I’d perhaps make Denton/Jensen a side-character, given that they have a lot of impact on the plot but don’t have a clear personality that is crucial for drama. By contrast, you could make a whole damn show about David Sarif and what makes him tick, given that he’s at the forefront of the issue driving the game’s universe (augmentation) but at the same time his character is conflicted and his actions morally grey.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I think the strength of EVE would be in the metanarratives (corporation backstabbing, espionage, human drama, etc) rather than the workaday life of a grunt in a fleet. There’s a danger in adaptions that the attraction of a game is in its mechanics, not its passable story that exists simply to carry the gameplay along, which has sunk most film adaptions of games. With EVE, I think there are enough compelling stories already in existence to draw from as inspiration. The fact that it’s established helps; developing Defiance in parallel with the show doesn’t help because you’re gambling on something interesting happening.

      I also remember the interview with The Mittani where he admits that he only really plays the game through an IM client, i.e. he only views the game through human dramas. If a game doesn’t have the ability to do this and is all about clicking, I’d be pessimistic about its value as a TV show/film.

  7. Lokik says:

    This could be interesting if the drama, plotting and politics of the EVE world are well done in the show.

  8. ShEsHy says:

    For the love of all that is holy/unholy, please tell me this is a delayed April fools prank and that people have learned not to try to mix gaming with TV/movies.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Since proper MMOs are about interplayer relations and the stories that generates, not about grinding quests or seeing some dumb storyline to end, as people who play WoW, TOR, various other “modern” “mmos” etc., will have you believe, they are spectacularly great for providing story material. Since it’s all organically created powerfantasy, not predetermined blargh.

      • honuk says:

        none of which meshes with anything about TV in the slightest.

        • Quickpull says:

          I don’t play EVE, but I have read a lot of the stories that have come out it. They are intense and fascinating and I don’t see why you couldn’t tell those stories in the medium of a TV show.

          Of course it’s still down to the quality of the execution, but the potential is definitely there.

          • Snakejuice says:

            I’ve read a book that played out in the EVE universe. It was decent, much better than expected!

  9. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    Eve already had one of the better Machinimas out there. Clear Skies was great to watch, even though it was quite silly. It doesn’t need to be Game of Thrones.

    This might be interesting :)

  10. honuk says:

    the chances of this not being terrible are about zero percent

  11. voorsk says:

    I was expecting it to be produced like a fly on the wall cop show…
    Lots of shaky footage of spaceships exploding, interspersed with interviews with talking heads, saying things like “we activated the scrams, but the perp had stabs. We needed an HIC, and we needed one NOW!”
    *closeup of head’s teeth*
    *shaky closeup of a spaceship*
    *cut to break with HTFU as the theme tune*

  12. Visualante says:

    Would’ve gone with teEVEe for the pun.

  13. Turkey says:

    A space capitalism soap opera sounds pretty awesome, actually.

    It could be like Dune, only with more of the house drama and none of the destiny stuff.

  14. MeestaNob says:

    TV shows need human interest, conflicts, and stories, even sci fi ones. Isn’t it going to be hard to get that when everyone is a clone and nothing really matters?

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      I’d consider it more of a writing challenge. The immortal capsuleers want for nothing, yet they still fight and strive and struggle amongst themselves for money, for prestige, for entertainment. They form factions at the drop of a hat, they pursue incomprehensible vendettas and feuds.
      What does humanity mean when death loses its meaning? How can trust be given when everyone is beyond any form of retribution? What is loyalty when it is given to a band of fellows? To a corporation? To an alliance? When the only thing of true permanence is your name, what will your name mean?
      These are questions of post-humanity that fiction should tackle.

    • iridescence says:

      I don’t see why they’d have to make all the capsuleers immortal on the show. I mean I assume it’s a story set in New Eden, not a literal representation of playing EVE. I think it could work actually. The game has some pretty interesting lore to begin with and involving the players in developing the plot in some way adds a cool new element to TV.

  15. abandonhope says:

    It can’t be worse than Defiance.

    • Ross Angus says:

      What if they made a hardcore MMO out of the other Defiance: steal food, save Jews, hide in the woods, make it across the border.

    • perfectheat says:

      Have a hard time seeing were all the cash went on this show. The acting is pretty bad, the writing worse and th CGI is only ok. They are promising it will get better so I’ll give it another couple of episodes.

  16. Azazel says:

    If this comes anywhere close to the realms of a big HBO production I will eat my feathered space trilby.

  17. Gap Gen says:

    It’s called TEVE, right? Because if not I’m burning down their offices.

    Oh and the Monaco ad is very pink. It’s kinda soothing.

  18. zaik says:

    i can’t wait to see how they represent hulkageddon, that alone is worth it.

  19. nitehawk says:

    Unless it is starring John Rorke and the plucky crew of the good ship Clear Skies, I am not interested.

    Ok, well I will be interested anyhow; but a professionally produced Clear Skies would be the most awesome thing ever. EVER.

  20. RakeShark says:

    Of course, the first season needs to be the “Murder For Hire” story, set to the style of Sci-Fi Mad Men. The Pan-Galactic wars aren’t very interesting and are full of confusing loyalties and sub-alliances, but the way one man or a very small group of people set out to screw over another single man or group of people are what make Eve special.

    After season one, they can do the super wars. They need to nail the gradual opening of the universal window.

  21. Cruzer says:

    I stopped playing EVE a long time ago but some of the things that went on while I was playing were interesting enough that I’d watch a TV show with those storylines regardless if it were an EVE show or not. The Great Northern War, some parts of the war in the south until Curse collapsed, almost everything Evolution ever did since they had such a flair for the dramatic. All TV worthy.

  22. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    This could work. CCP has always been good with trailers (which are a way of storytelling, maybe?) and EVE lends itself well to drama.

  23. Hahaha says:

    They will use their own stories over what players have been doing.

  24. P.Funk says:

    My question is, is anybody going to get laid? I don’t think any players in EVE Online have a story about getting laid via spreadsheet market domination. If its on HBO how will they generate reasons to show off space tits?

    “Darling, the way you masterminded that massive fleet action. I thought my heart stopped for a moment… then I realized it was the time dilation. Lemme ask you something honey… you ever do it during time dilation? Its incredible… its like it lasts forever….”

  25. Tetoro says:

    Adaptations of video games to movies have always been mediocre, do they really think they can change this fate, even if it is on tv?

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