Popular Web Series "The Guild" Picked up by Microsoft
Season 2 of the MMOG sitcom premieres tomorrow, for free, on MSN and Xbox Live.
After turning down offers for over a year, Felicia Day and her wildly popular online sitcom, "The Guild," has been picked up by Microsoft with sponsorship to be provided by Sprint. The second season, which is set to debut Tuesday, November 25, will be aired online through MSN Video, Zune Marketplace for mobile and in HD on Xbox Live.
Produced and created by Felicia Day ("Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog"), "The Guild" is a comedic sitcom that follows the exploits of an MMOG group learning to cope with one another in real-life situations. Over the course of its first season, "The Guild" boasted over 9 million hits across the web, won awards from YouTube, Yahoo and SXWS in online competitions and existed primarily due to viewer donations. On her personal blog, Day recollects her fear of having to dip into the generosity of her audience when filming "The Guild's" second season.
"I wrote the script and we started filming Season 2 on DVD proceeds and hoped that something would come along early in the shooting or we'd have to go to Paypal again," recalls Day. "Kim Evey, my producing partner and I had our fingers crossed. We had amazing people volunteer to come help us make the show, but any time you shoot it costs a lot, and I was just hoping for another washer/dryer commercial to come along."
When it came to striking a deal for "The Guild," Day had several stipulations in mind for their would-be sponsor. She needed to retain ownership and control of the show, expand their audience beyond the gamers of YouTube, translate the series into several different languages and a partner who was intimately familiar with the online video space. It just so happens that Microsoft meets all that criteria.
"Some people called me crazy for asking for these things, and I admit a few times I felt a little unsure, that I was dumb for walking away from working with this person or partnering with that company," says Day. "Well, the great personage at Xbox Live [Scott Nocas] loves the show, and decided that we could be partners. He came to us with amazing ideas, enthusiasm, and just incredible understanding of the show and the space. You can always tell when someone actually likes the show, or has seen past episode 1, at least."
For those who are seeking more of "The Guild" beyond the upcoming second season, Microsoft is also making season one available through Xbox Live, the first episodes of which are available now.