Firefly’s Browncoats Get Their Own MMORPG?

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Multiverse Network, Inc., announced today that it has executed an option with 20th Century Fox to develop a massively multiplayer online game based on the defunct sci-fi television series Firefly. Multiverse plans to hire an independent production team to develop the project, and plans to make it available through the Multiverse Network sometime in 2008.

Firefly was a short-lived "space western" Fox television show developed by Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. Although only fourteen episodes were produced—and only eleven were broadcast back in 2002—the show developed a tremendous fan following and sold enough DVDs to justify Fox greenlighting a feature-length movie, Serenity (written and directed by Whedon), based on the series and starring the original cast. Firefly fans call themselves "browncoats," a nod to the series’ defeated independence movement.

"Fox’s Firefly series is set in an incredibly rich and exciting universe. It’s going to make a very compelling and unique online experience filled with adventure, humor, and mystery," said Corey Bridges, Multiverse co-founder and Executive Producer. "It’s our hope that Firefly’s passionate and dedicated community of fans will enjoy the chance to become part of the story as they develop and explore the worlds of Firefly."

Multiverse was founded in 2004 by former Netscape employees with the aim of creating a platform for massively multiplayer online games and 3D virtual worlds. Multiverse licenses its tools and client software for free, with the company only taking a cut of revenues if publishers charge for their games or goods available in their virtual worlds.

According to reports, the online version of Firefly will steer clear of the show’s original characters, and instead expand upon the universe outlined in the Firefly universe, including backwater planets with an old West flavor, high-tech cities, an oppressive central government, freedom fighters, smugglers, shady characters, and—of course—the shows boogiemen, the terrifyingly depraved Reavers.

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