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MMO Firefly

Firefly Reborn as Online Universe on Wired News (thanks Shacknews) has word that Firefly, the late lamented science fiction television series, is going to be making a return in the form of an MMORPG from Multiverse. The official announcement is expected tomorrow, but in the meantime, Wired is wired with some details on the game, which may be released as soon as 2008. Here's a bit:

What made the show special was the wry, often self-deprecating humor of its characters, from the captain with the checkered past to the unwittingly sexy engineer, the dull hunk of a mercenary with a girl's name, and the mysterious young woman passenger with special gifts.

The online version will move away from those central characters -- after all, there's only one Mal Reynolds. In an MMORPG, "everybody has to have their own story," says Multiverse co-founder and executive producer Corey Bridges.

"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," Bridges says. "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 universe of Firefly and its spinoff film, Serenity, featured everything from Old West-style towns to futuristic urban environments, gritty spaceships and pastoral retreats -- freedom fighters, oppressive government agents, smugglers, outlaws, mercenaries, trader, townsfolk, futuristic geishas and a race of corrupted humans known as the Reavers.

Bringing those environments and character types to life as an online game will be a challenge: Multiverse is not a game developer, but rather a platform provider whose product is still in beta. Instead of making the game itself, the company will hire a development team that will craft the virtual galaxy using Multiverse tools.

"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," Bridges says.

Because the underlying technology is already in place, "I feel confident that we'll see something the public can play sometime in 2008," he adds.

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