Launch Of An Icon: Firefly Series Gets In The Game
October 10, 2013
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Browncoats, a nickname given to Firefly series fans around the world, rejoiced this summer. At the San Diego Comic Convention in 2013, the upcoming version of Firefly Online was officially introduced. A fusion between rights holder Fox Digital Entertainment, QMx Interactive and Spark Plug Games, it seems this version of the game will become a reality. The game's producers are preparing to launch in summer of 2014.
The game will be available on both iOS and Android, as well as on a variety of mobile devices, which means it will be huge. However, it's been a long, troubling road for fans. Haunted by past promises of the game coming to life, many fans of the iconic Firefly series have wondered if it was ever really going to happen.
A Troubled Past
Fox owns the rights to the Firefly series. They canceled the show in 2003, after just one season. During the first season they changed the first air date and then the time slot, essentially killing the ratings. Yet the show rose from the ashes like a phoenix and developed a devoted fan base. Despite this, Fox continues to hold the Firefly series back.
Fox has added only one film to the franchise since the show was canceled. In the meantime, independent producers have been unsuccessfully working to create the online game that fans want.
The upcoming launch is the third in a series of failed launches:
- In December 2006, Multiverse began to create a Firefly series-based Massively Multiplayer Online game (MMO) platform. Much like the MMO promised for next summer, the players were to have their own adventures on their own ships. Although Fox Licensing and Multiverse were in partnership on this version, they lacked a developer.
- In September 2008, Fox announced the development of another Joss Whedon cult classic—Buffy the Vampire Slayer MMO. This effort left the Firefly MMO adrift in space. In January 2012, Fox conceded the financial failings of the enterprise and closed the doors on the project—taking both games with it.
- In 2009, a team out of Canada became the next potential producers. DarkCryo Entertainment was determined to create the ultimate online Firefly series game. Their game was set to be released for PC and Mac. In December of 2012—the original release date—funding ran out and the release was pushed back. Unfortunately, they also never received permission to create their version of the game. Claiming fair use, they continued work until February 2013, but they couldn't get it together and ultimately they canceled their launch to allow the Fox, QMx and Spark Plug Games project team, already licensed, to step up to the plate.
Preparing to Launch
QMx is the creator of science fiction fan fun from posters to plush toys. Spark Plug Games develops online application games. Teamed up they have the talent and experience to see this newest creation launch successfully. Along with the blessing of Fox, this seems like the perfect scenario. What could go wrong? As the Firefly history proves, much can go wrong even under the best circumstances. Should this Firefly-series game lose its thrusters again and fail to launch, be patient. The question is not whether the Firefly series will be a successful multiplayer online game; it is more a question of when.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons