We’re in for a whole lot more of this kind of thing, I suspect. Assassin’s Creed 2 did it, Mortal Kombat’s doing it, and now Dragon Age 2 is planning it. As the web becomes ever-more important to marketing games, viral techniques are springing to the fore. And what’s more viral than a video you can embed all over the internet?
In this case, it’s to be a live-action, six-part online TV show set in Bioware’s Dragon Age universe. Both writing and starring in it is actor Felicia Day, a perennial Joss Whedon favourite and creator of WoW player-beloved MMO sitcom The Guild. So it probably won’t be a cheap affair, but what kind of tone will it take?
Well, that’s the thing, isn’t it? I don’t really want to see Dragon Age’s grim and gritty beast-bashing go down the peppy, punny Buffyesque route (much as I enjoy that in other contexts), but then again there are few things as embarrassing as something high concept fiction that takes itself too seriously. Day has done plenty of more dramatic stuff, at least in her acting, so there’s no reason to presume it’s going to be Guildesque. Then again, of her Elven assassin character she told USA Today that:
“Tallis is headstrong, she fights dirty, and she has a really sarcastic sense of humor. I wanted to bring a modern sensibility to a fantasy character in a fantasy world.” Hmm. Mind you, Dragon Age: Origin’s Alistair had a certain amount of that, so it’s hardly unprecedented.
Furthermore: “I am an organic gamer and I love games, and I particularly love this franchise. I put every single effort into making this something that gamers will be proud of. Even though we were constrained a lot as a Web series, none of the people who were involved took that as a constraint. They took that as a challenge.”
She is, apparently, convinced that it won’t be awkward, low-budget gibberish either. “They are going to take this a step above what we have seen on the Web before,” she told USA Today. She’s working with important people who contributed to the likes of Independence Day and Lost, so there’s at the very least a budget pedigree there.
Bioware’s lovely Dr Greg is in accord: “We are really, really excited to work with people like her who have a passion and appreciation for the content and a really good history of quality.”
No specific release date beyond ‘this year’ as yet, but it’s to be called Dragon Age: Redemption and she’s promising to tweet a whole bunch of extra stuff about it today.
I’m looking forward to the first image of a dude dressed as a Darkspawn.