Firefly MMO License Snapped Up

Firefly MMO License Snapped Up

Multiverse, maker of a free MMO-creation platform, has revealed to Wired that they have secured the rights to produce an MMOG based on the Firefly universe.

"We see virtual worlds as an extraordinarily promising new entertainment medium," said Adam Kline, Fox Licensing's vice president of media enterprises in an e-mail. "We believe Multiverse can deliver an experience that will remain true to the original series, while enabling a whole new level of personal involvement for fans."

Although it only lasted 11 episodes, fan support for Firefly has been massive, with a popular DVD release of the series and an eventual movie made based on it. An MMOG would seem like a natural next step for the franchise.

"Television series can be really good properties to turn into MMOs, because when you make a TV series, not only do you need great characters, but you need to create a full, rich, compelling place," said Corey Bridges, Multiverse co-founder and executive producer. "If you're doing science fiction, you have to really think it out and create an incredibly rich environment that is compelling in its own right, and worth exploring and going back to week after week. That's what Joss Whedon did with Firefly."

The Multiverse platform, which is still in beta, is offered for free to any developer who would like to use it, provided they pay if they decide to take their game to the commercial space. In regards to Firefly, the company has the rights but they do not have any developers just yet. "We want to find someone who wants to do something unique and fun and interesting, not just a re-skin of World of Warcraft or Star Wars Galaxies," said Bridges.

With an MMOG engine in beta and no developers signed on yet, Bridges is still optimistic that the game could come out in 2008.

Source: Wired

Permalink

Firefly MMO could be cool for sure.

Yeah, but what happens when they crash the servers, take my love, take my land and take me where I cannot stand? Seriously? And will it be free? Will they take the stars from me on patch day? So many questions.

I'm not sure how interested I am in killing rats with a six-shooter in the sewers of Persephone in the midst of a bunch of people with names like M4lR3yn0lds, JAYNE_1990, and xXxS1M0NxXx.

Then again, I'm not into the whole "MMO" thing.

Fletcher:
Yeah, but what happens when they crash the servers, take my love, take my land and take me where I cannot stand? Seriously? And will it be free? Will they take the stars from me on patch day? So many questions.

You're so banned.

Ajar:
I'm not sure how interested I am in killing rats with a six-shooter in the sewers of Persephone in the midst of a bunch of people with names like M4lR3yn0lds, JAYNE_1990, and xXxS1M0NxXx.

Then again, I'm not into the whole "MMO" thing.

Then allow me to go out on a limb and suggest that this may not be your bag. Although one has to assume that an ostensible goal of adapting a popular license like Firefly into an MMO is to lure non MMOGers into the space, and indeed, one of the stated goals of the Metaverse project is just that: to make MMOing as easy as browsing the web. I think one measure of success for the Firefly MMOG will be how well it does that. Which, of course, just adds all that much more pressure. Whichever design house accepts this challenge will be in for a wild ride.

Joe:

Fletcher:
Yeah, but what happens when they crash the servers, take my love, take my land and take me where I cannot stand? Seriously? And will it be free? Will they take the stars from me on patch day? So many questions.

You're so banned.

*sigh* I'll be in my bunk.

Fletcher:

Ajar:
I'm not sure how interested I am in killing rats with a six-shooter in the sewers of Persephone in the midst of a bunch of people with names like M4lR3yn0lds, JAYNE_1990, and xXxS1M0NxXx.

Then again, I'm not into the whole "MMO" thing.

Then allow me to go out on a limb and suggest that this may not be your bag. Although one has to assume that an ostensible goal of adapting a popular license like Firefly into an MMO is to lure non MMOGers into the space, and indeed, one of the stated goals of the Metaverse project is just that: to make MMOing as easy as browsing the web. I think one measure of success for the Firefly MMOG will be how well it does that. Which, of course, just adds all that much more pressure. Whichever design house accepts this challenge will be in for a wild ride.

I guess that's the question, isn't it? How appealing will the game be to people outside the intersection of the groups "into Firefly" and "into MMOs?" I doubt the intersection of the two groups is large enough to sustain an MMO project, though I could be wrong.

I'm gonna have to disagree there. Everyone I know who plays MMOs is into Firefly, and those who weren't (myself included) were after watching the pilot. Making the jump from Firefly fan to MMO player is a bit tougher, I'll admit, but WoW plays on an arguably weaker franchise and converted six million people.

This might be where the genius of the Firefly formula comes in. My brother and I were talking this over the other day and decided that it simply has everything: pirates, space, space pirates, cowboys, space cowboys, guns, ninjas, space guns/ninjas, zombies, hot chicks, lesbians and explosions. If the MMO captures all of that ... well 6 million would be the ground floor.

Joe:
I'm gonna have to disagree there. Everyone I know who plays MMOs is into Firefly, and those who weren't (myself included) were after watching the pilot. Making the jump from Firefly fan to MMO player is a bit tougher, I'll admit, but WoW plays on an arguably weaker franchise and converted six million people.

I'm on the flip side of your coin, and my own experience has definitely been the opposite. I know (and have personally converted) a fair number of Firefly fans. Not one has ever played an MMOG, not even the ones who game as much as I do. I do know a few people who are both Firefly fans and MMOG players via forums, but none personally. I don't actually know very many people who play MMOGs, which is probably a large part of why they don't interest me.

But also, consider Star Wars Galaxies, which leverages one of the strongest franchises of all, but hasn't attained the level of WoW. I think the example of WoW shows that the game itself is much more important than the franchise to which it's linked. If the Firefly game is fun and addictive, it'll take off, but if it isn't, it won't, despite the Firefly license.

Fletcher:
This might be where the genius of the Firefly formula comes in. My brother and I were talking this over the other day and decided that it simply has everything: pirates, space, space pirates, cowboys, space cowboys, guns, ninjas, space guns/ninjas, zombies, hot chicks, lesbians and explosions. If the MMO captures all of that ... well 6 million would be the ground floor.

You'd definitely think so, yeah. I mean, it really does have everything. But then, why weren't the show and movie more successful? We can blame Fox for the show, I guess, what with shuffling it around and never really giving it a fair shake, but I don't think the movie has made its production costs back yet -- even in DVD sales.

OTOH, it probably won't cost US$39 million to make the MMOG, so maybe this time it'll be enough.

Now I miss my DVD box set. I loaned it out a while ago...

Serenity actually did break even, but that's still not successful, really. And part of the problem is trailers really don't do shows/movies like that justice. Firefly, on the first pass, is a stereotypical show (it has every nerd-god archetype, like Russ said) with b-list actors floating through space and shooting revolvers. You can't really elaborate on what makes the show special in a 30-second trailer. It's the same reason I never watched Buffy or any of Whedon's other shows: TV can't sell long tail.

But MMOs are a long-tail business. Telling the story of your space ninja lesbian chopping apart a reaver while you were robbing a bank on an outlying planet is going to draw people in over time.

I'm not saying it's a surefire hit. You're right. If the game sucks, people won't play it. But to say people won't like or follow the franchise is to ignore groups of people who actually use "shiny" in everyday conversation.

Yeah, I'm definitely not saying it's going to tank. I'm just not convinced that Firefly fans who aren't already interested in MMOGs will be drawn in en masse. It's possible, but my intial reaction is definitely skepticism. I agree with your first two paragraphs, though.

I wonder how they'll handle travel? I mean, it takes weeks or months to get anywhere in the 'verse, because there's no faster-than-light travel. Maybe each world will be its own server.

Now THAT'S an intriguing problem. The travel downtime is where a lot of the show's dialog was. But I don't really see the MMO community capable of keeping up witty repartee for more than a few seconds, if the Barrens chat in WoW is anything to go by.

I figure they have a couple options: either let people move around when they're not online and then do random encounters/social missions when they're online and traveling, or just speed up travel so engineers just have time to prep engines and weapons between fights. I think a lot of it depends on how much time you're going to be spending out of your ship, and whether or not your crew is actually human.

And then there's the game vs. world argument. WoW went game and pulled in 7 million people. SWG went world and nabbed 350k, if memory serves. I'd like to see a world, but I think certain aspects of the universe require game-like design.

Joe:
Now THAT'S an intriguing problem. The travel downtime is where a lot of the show's dialog was. But I don't really see the MMO community capable of keeping up witty repartee for more than a few seconds, if the Barrens chat in WoW is anything to go by.

I figure they have a couple options: either let people move around when they're not online and then do random encounters/social missions when they're online and traveling, or just speed up travel so engineers just have time to prep engines and weapons between fights. I think a lot of it depends on how much time you're going to be spending out of your ship, and whether or not your crew is actually human.

And then there's the game vs. world argument. WoW went game and pulled in 7 million people. SWG went world and nabbed 350k, if memory serves. I'd like to see a world, but I think certain aspects of the universe require game-like design.

You can't just say WoW vs SWG with the world argument for the numbers it isn't fair. But what you guys are starting to discuss is just how much bending the the Firefly mythos is going to have to do to be a viable game.

For example if the go the space route, ultra long travel isn't really an option. But if they cut out space and just put the game on one planet you lose a big part of what makes Firefly, Firefly.

So I think the thing we all really want to see is just how the developers of this game are going to balance gameplay with the Firefly universe.

As far as WoW and the like go I have to admit I've never been a big fan. Of course, I'll admit that I've never tried them (Furcadia way back when, the Palace, and Second Life rarely are about it), so I've barely dipped my toes in the water, but I'd give it a try because I am a big fan of the Firefly universe.

It'll be interesting to see how things go with the whole thing. Though, as someone else said, it just wouldn't do to be stuck on Persephone the whole time when there's so much more to Firefly.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here