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FireflyCult hit "Firefly" coming to an MMORPG near you
Sunday 24 December 2006, by Webmaster
Fans of the short-lived sci-fi series Firefly and its movie incarnation, Serenity, will have yet another medium to enjoy the Joss Whedon creation in, as game developer Multiverse has announced that they are working on a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) based in that universe.
The game will not feature the main characters in the television series and movie, so anyone hoping to become the gruff Captain Malcolm Reynolds or the sensual Inara will be unable to live out their fantasies directly. Instead, players will create their own characters in the Firefly universe, completing missions for various underground factions while evading the ever-present law enforcement of the Alliance.
Multiverse are the makers of an MMORPG construction set that aims to lower the development and deployment cost of multiplayer online games. The company plans to contract out the majority of the game’s development work to a yet-unnamed third party. A playable beta of the game is scheduled for release some time in 2008.
So will the Firefly universe provide the inspiration for a good game? The answer will depend very much on the quality of the game itself, rather than the setting. After all, the most popular online game, World of Warcraft, does not have a particularly interesting or unique backstory, but Blizzard has managed to outdo all its rivals by simply paying attention to the myriad details involved in the game itself. In contrast, Matrix Online, which had an interesting setting that seemed tailor-made for the MMORPG treatment, has seen little success due to problems with its implementation.
The idea of skirting outside the law in a science-fiction setting is an appealing one. The Firefly universe is set in a single solar system with a large number of different planets, with the Alliance holding ground on the richer inner worlds while independent traders like Mal Reynolds ply their trade amongst the poorer outer ones. Restricting the action to a single planet would limit most of the possibilities that made the show what it is, yet as Sony found with Star Wars: Galaxies, it is difficult to launch a new game with multiple planets and travel between them already implemented-players of that game had to wait for an expansion pack to experience ship combat. Still, who wouldn’t want to gather a motley crew together and head out into the black for a chance to be bad guys? We’ll have to wait and see what Multiverse can come up with.
While the game’s chances in an increasingly-crowded MMORPG market are slim, fans of the show who have already bought the single season on DVD, seen the movie, and picked up the limited-edition comic book series, will certainly want to at least check out what Firefly is like in game form. It might even get them to make up their own new lyrics to the classic theme song:
Take my show,
Or maybe not.