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Firefly to be reborn as MMORPG

by Brett Love, posted Dec 8th 2006 11:59AM
fireflyThe idea for a Firefly based MMORPG is one that has been floating around for a long time. When the show was first canceled, that was among the many ideas for ways to keep flying. Now comes word that Multiverse has struck a deal with Fox Licensing to make the game. Wired has the complete story.

In a nutshell, Multiverse is a company founded by a team of Netscape veterans. Their aim is to create a universal platform that independent developers can create games on. The advantage being that it will be easier for smaller teams to develop games, and consumers will have the advantage of using one client that is able to play the various Multiverse products. Reportedly, there are already 7000 development teams working with the platform. The Firefly game is the big feather in the Multiverse cap that will get them some much needed mainstream press. Like this.

Now that all of that is out of the way... what do you think about the prospects of the Firefly MMORPG? I think a lot of it depends on just what their expectations are. There is a line in the Wired article that I find just a little disturbing. "Firefly has become the Star Trek of 21st-century sci-fi fandom" Now, I love Firefly as much as anyone, and more than most actually, but come on now. Firefly is about 700 million dollars in box office, three successful spin-offs, and one alien language away from being Star Trek. There is a nice little fandom there, and it is a fandom that has proven they are willing to spend cash, but realistically, this isn't Star Trek or Star Wars we are talking about.

The other problem I see is who is going to write this? Not the code, but the overall story. So much of what made Firefly great was the writing of Joss Whedon. It was the stories he told that hooked all of these fans. And right now he seems a little preoccupied with Goners, Wonderwoman, and the X-Men and Buffy comics. As cool as it will be to go to the moon where people juggle geese for recreation, is that going to be enough to keep people playing the game?

I'll still be interested to see what comes of it. But rather than whooping and hollering about this news, I'm more cautiously optimistic. The folks at Multiverse think there could be something for fans to play with by 2008. I guess we'll wait and see.

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I am looking at this info from a different perspective.
I am not a blogger or a game person (I guess I just became a blogger). While I'm happy for those who enjoy both, I'm your average TV person. MMORPG could be Chinese swearing for all I know! In my little naive, hopeful heart I still want FOX to plead with Josh Weadon to resurrect Firefly and everybody's happy. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that half the appeal of Firefly is seeing Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin. You just can't get that in a game!

December 10 2006 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They should just buy Stargate Worlds and chat to each other in Chinese.

December 09 2006 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thank you for covering this development! I am quite happy to learn about the pending MMORPG and will definitely play it.

I just wanted to give my own clarification on the Star Trek comment. My interpretation of the comparison was comparing Firefly fans to the fans of the Star Trek TV show that was (in their opinion, at least) canceled too soon. Through devotion to the show and demonstrated willingness to spend money on the products, they were successful in resurrecting the franchise as we now know it.

While Firefly fans have not had the success that Star Trek fans did (as Serenity did not post Star Trek: The Motion Picture numbers), they have shown that they are willing to support this franchise and universe. Here's hoping the game will be the next successful step.

December 08 2006 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was just about to send you this link!

Your idea about the story is right on. At some point, though, the MM will take over, so there really only needs to be a very thin shell of a story. Browncoats vs. Alliance or Humans vs. Reavers. If they can get the rights, the story thus far will be enough to fuel game play with a quick and dirty sketch of what comes next and the players themselves fill in the action. However, they say they're not creating just another WoW skin, so there may not be any ultimate goal. That would trend the game play toward the City of Heroes model and ladder-play gets old. Perhaps even as old as asking, "Why was this show canceled?" over and over again.

I'm going to do my best to get a beta run. We'll see how it turns out.

December 08 2006 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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