Westworld, American Gods, Firefly, The Expanse, Stranger Things and more, all reimagined as MMO Games.
Which Hit TV Shows Would Make the Best MMOs?
There are now countless hit TV shows that have been made into video games and video games made into TV shows. What's more, already, some of the best TV shows have been turned into MMOs – our favourite genre. So, we won't bother including titles like Star Trek or Star Wars in this list thanks to existing titles like Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and while it lasted, Star Wars Galaxies.
Still, in the golden age of the silver screen, there are countless lore-filled series ripe for expansive adventuring. And we couldn't help but wonder which of these hit TV shows would make the best MMOs.
So, here's our countdown of the TV series and Netflix shows that would make the best massively multiplayer online games. Starting with…
The "Vikings" MMO Game – A Crafting and Raiding Action MMORPG
Thanks to Assassin's Creed Valhalla, we know how good a high-budget Viking RPG can be. But would turning it into an MMORPG be an improvement? Boat-building, weapon-smithing, armour-smithing, and farming would fit seamlessly into the mould. And that's not to mention "raiding".
Vikings the show, while historically semi-accurate, does explore fantastical elements too – granting the scope for a little creative magic usage and mystery. The historic Vikings and the show travelled to locations as geographically separate as Paris, Iceland, Northern America, Northern Africa, and central Russia – granting all the diverse biomes and equipment that us MMO gamers love.
What might make a Vikings MMO particularly intriguing would be its real-world setting. As exciting as exploring new fantasy lands can be, the prospect of an MMORPG set in places we all know could be a compelling change of scene.
All of a sudden, you’ve gone from a desert valley dryland biome to a snow-capped feudal Japan – your enemies have swapped out their revolvers for thick armour and katanas, and you’re looking awful out of place!
"The Walking Dead" MMO Game – A Horror-Survival MMORPG
With The Day Before delayed by almost a year, we're all left longing for a graphically gorgeous, atmospheric zombie MMO. The Walking Dead did not reinvent the undead wheel, its IP doesn't add anything particularly revolutionary to the zombie genre. Though as the Telltale series proved, it can make a great setting for stories of human survival.
Talking of which, were The Walking Dead turned into an MMO it should absolutely be a hardcore crafting and survival MMORPG – a la V Rising. Players would scavenge, salvage, and craft as they explored the iconic locations from the series – the prison, the farm, Alexandria, and Hilltop to name a few. Beyond the normal zombies, there have been plenty of human foes that would make compelling enemies – like the barbaric followers of Negan or the stealthy Whisperers who could ambush players by tactically redirecting hordes.
The "Lost" MMO Game – A Mystery Survival MMORPG
Talking of survival MMORPGs, let's take a blast from the past and wonder whether Lost could make a good one. It would have to be small and restricted to the island. But as any followers of the show know, that little island held a lot of mysteries. Most of them, even after the show's "finale", remained unsolved. Perhaps an MMORPG would be the way to tie up all of those loose ends and truly get to the bottom of that gosh darn smoke monster.
Unlike most MMORPGs, it would likely need to be combat light with the island's environment holding much of the PvE threat. Though considering the island can spawn polar bears at will, the devs could really get creative with the threats they do throw at you. As we've said many times, much of the magic of MMOs should come from the joy of exploring and finding secrets in unexpected places. We imagine a Lost MMO game would look much like survival hit The Forest but with a heightened focus on cooperation against the harsh elements and rival factions.
The American Gods MMO Game – A Superpowered Narrative MMORPG
Never mind the Alliance and the Horde, what about New Gods vs Old Gods as your faction choices? Will you become a pawn of Odin or Mr World? Neil Gaiman's amazing story of deities and doomsdays could make an incredible MMO setting. While set on earth, fantastical realms and powerful magic are only the click of a godly finger away.
With creative gods ranging from Technical Boy to Mexican Jesus, players could choose which god to become an acolyte of rather than choosing traditional classes and races. Meanwhile, as players meet colourful NPCs galore, an overarching narrative will determine the fate of humanity's faith.
The Game of Thrones MMO Game – A Classic Fantasy MMORPG
There are a bunch of Game of Thrones games of varying quality, including an MMORTS, but never a successful MMORPG. Unlike the rest of the games on this list, a Game of Thrones MMORPG could seamlessly follow the tested MMO formula. A vast world, a looming threat, factions with distinct personalities, politics, exploration, large-scale PvP, castle sieges, and deep dungeons. Oh, and dragons. Did we mention the dragons?
There are also plenty of unexplored realms, only hinted at in the TV show and novels, which would make excellent expansions. Many of which we'll see in the upcoming prequels and sequels. We'd love to see some of the classic classes of mage, fighter, and barbarian reimagined as Red Priests, Stark Bannermen, Dothraki. And yes, we'd also love a dire wolf pet. Obviously.
The Firefly MMO Game – A Sci-Fi Salvage MMORTS
Alas, Firefly, we shall forever mourn your passing. The success of The Mandolorian proves that the western-in-space genre is one that won't quit. While Firefly had some of its lore expanded in the comic books, its cancellation meant we didn't get enough of a taste of the world to know how rich an MMO iteration could be.
There is, however, something compelling about the idea of exploring the outer rims of known space on a rust-bucket ship that's barely holding itself together. While there might not be any little green men to shoot down, the Reavers and tyrannical regime of The Alliance are more than enough of a threat. Combining its frank humour, dusty aesthetic, and psychic mutations would make a brilliant game – one that we imagine would work best wherein players never become OP, forcing retreat or cooperation against ruthless Alliance agents.
The Stranger Things MMO Game – An Adventure Horror MMORPG
One of our writers recently wrote a great piece weighing up the merits of the different D&D MMORPGs. If Stranger Things were to take the massively multiplayer plunge, then boy would that throw a curveball into the mix.
Unlike its rivals, the Stranger Things MMO would be best as child characters getting in adventures, finding clues, and solving mysteries around Hawkins. It's only when characters go into the hardcore PvP zone, the Upside Down, that things really get nasty. The various routes into the Upside Down would be the primary equivalent of dungeons, requiring a full team.
Instead of typical classes, players could customise characters loosely based off the show's child cast – each with their own weapon specialities, stats, and ultimates. The message of Stranger Things is that when united even the small achieve the impossible. A successful raid or excursion would require a party of characters with brains, endurance, and practical skills alongside someone with Eleven's psychic powers.
The Doctor Who MMO Game – A Planet-Hopping Adventure MMORPG
Fast travel, you say? How about the ability to travel through time and space? The scope for a Doctor Who MMORPG game is literally out of this world. Never mind different biomes, players could pop in their customisable Tardises (Tardes? Tardi?) and drop not only into historic settings but weird and wild alien planets replete with all manner of classic enemies to outwit. There is a never-ending array of threats which could see travellers go from dodging prehistoric predators to battling robotic humanoids at the end of time.
The development team would certainly have a task on their hands, but with Unreal Engine 5 looking set to revolutionise MMO game development, by no means an impossible one. Considering the first episode of Doctor Who came out 60 years ago, there is a lifetime of material to draw from. The only problem? Plot continuity – the Doctor is meant to be the last of his kind. Nothing a little narrative creativity couldn't solve, eh?
The Expanse MMO Game – An Operatic Sci-Fi MMO
We know for a fact that the EVE Online developers are huge fans of The Expanse. And it is this same galactic-operatic feel that would make The Expanse an incredible MMO. First, you have your choice of factions, each with their own subdivisions. Will you opt for the progressive diplomatic Earthers, the militaristic Martians, or the rough-and-ready Belters?
Beyond the galactic politics of the factions and the epic space battles over mining asteroids, the real PvE adventure opportunities come from the innumerable new inhabitable worlds that lie beyond the Ring. As we've seen from the most recent series and novels, all manner of ancient alien structures and powerful new species lurk beyond them, as are a wealth of resources that create a new space-bound Klondike between the main factions and plucky independent settlers.
We envisage The Expanse game to be one that combines spaceship combat with first-person exploration, and now we want to play it more than anything else ever. Except maybe…
The Westworld MMO Game – A Dramatic, Simulator MMORPG
Westworld, simply put, is born to be a high-graphics MMO. It is, after all, more or less the plot of the show. Much like the show, players would start in the Wild West – rustling cattle, scaring away bandits, doing odd-jobs for sheriffs…you know the drill. But as the player discovers other areas of the park, that's when things really get interesting. All of a sudden, you've gone from a desert valley dryland biome to a snow-capped feudal Japan – your enemies have swapped out their revolvers for thick armour and katanas, and you're looking awful out of place unless you find a way to blend in.
Every good MMO needs an overarching plot. The players could either start knowing the park's secrets and deciding whether to suppress or support the host rebellion, or perhaps they could start as a rogue host, slowing discovering the truth as they explore much further than they ever imagined.
The beauty of Westworld as an MMORPG is that infinite player respawns would make total narrative sense. As would the diverse biomes only walking distance away from each other. Heck, we can almost see the cowboy hat symbol in the corner of the screen that becomes white or black depending on the ethicality of your decisions.
There are plenty of other hit TV series that would make great MMOs, what about Attack on Titan, The Boys, or Watchmen? No doubt we've missed a brilliant idea or two, let us know which of these TV shows would make the greatest MMO games, and let us know your ideas on our social channels!