California’s Great America Adding a Mass Effect Attraction

California’s Great America announced today that they are going to be retrofitting the Action Theater (originally the home to the Days of Thunder ride back during the Paramount era) to feature a new attraction based on Electronic Arts’ immensely popular sci-fi game series, Mass Effect.  CGA sits about 20 miles down the road from the headquarters of video game giant Electronic Arts, so it makes some sense that the two would partner on an attraction.    The ride will still involve guests sitting in motion seats with 3D glasses (like another sci-fi based ride, Star Tours).  A live performer will guide riders on a quest to save the Galaxy, presumably following a portion of the plot of the original Mass Effect trilogy, although a new game in the series with a new story is scheduled to come out in late 2016.  Not too many other details were revealed about the ride improvements, but the announcement from Cedar Fair mentioned the 3D video and motion seating will be “combined with high tech sound and other 4D effects” which implies there may be some practical effects in the experience as well.

EA and California's Great America team up to create a first-of-its-kind guest experience. (PRNewsFoto/California's Great America)

EA and California’s Great America team up to create a first-of-its-kind guest experience. (PRNewsFoto/California’s Great America)

“This combination of technology and creative video game content is sure to usher in a new wave of entertainment innovation at amusement parks,” said CGA’s Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg in the press announcement.  As far as I know this is the first time a ride has been based on an EA franchise, and I wonder if it could be the start of a new trend towards video game partnerships, in the same way rides are frequently themed on comics and movies.  Carowinds teased a possible Plants vs Zombies ride back in August, also an EA distributed game, so it looks like there could be a larger partnership between Cedar Fair and Electronic Arts.  More details on that attraction should be coming next month, so we’ll know for sure.  If it is what we think it is, I’m very curious if additional Cedar Fair/EA dark rides will be coming to other parks.

The Mass Effect ride is expected to be unveiled early in the 2016 season, which begins the last weekend of March.  Hopefully we’ll get some more details about it as we get closer to that date.

Are there any game franchises you’d love to see turned into a ride (Mass Effect is a pretty good choice, but that may be because I’m a big fan of the series)?  Let us know in the comments!