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November 24 2008

The Guild, Microsoft, and Sprint. Microsoft "has an exclusive lock on the long-awaited second season of the Internet cult hit, which will be the first to be distributed worldwide simultaneously across Microsoft's triple platform of Xbox 360's Live Marketplace, MSN and Zune."

Lots of details about the deal contained within the article. The key component, creatively speaking, is that Felicia gets "to retain the intellectual property rights to 'Guild' while collecting an unspecified upfront licence fee."

(Note: URL changed from Reuters UK to the actual original Hollywood Reporter article.)

Ooh, that article said Dr. Horrible is syndicated for Xbox Live too. I checked to see if it was on the marketplace now but couldn't find it!
I'm a little fuzzy on bits of the article. Is it saying that it's exclusively on Xbox for four weeks, and then the rest of us get to view it in an MSN player embedded on The Guild website?

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2008-11-24 07:58 ]
That's what it sounds like to me. Guess I'll have to wait four weeks.
Bix, probably worth altering the headline to indicate Microsoft appear to have picked up Dr Horrible, too.

Point of note - Microsoft would be a good company to fund a new Horrible project.

Well done Felicia!
I suspect each episode will escape before then.

On a selfish level, admittedly, I'm unfond of being four entire weeks out of the loop on bits of my culture. At the same time, if this is the deal that nets Felicia control over her work, I think I'll survive.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2008-11-24 08:14 ]
It's a good thing Sprint has signed on as the sponsor as I had never heard of them before.
Is Sprint even in the UK? That's probably why you haven't Simon. :) It's a cell service.
It's a cell service.


I always wondered why that term never caught on here. We go with mobile phone provider.

I suspect each episode will escape before then.


But will Microsoft send C&D orders if they appear on Youtube etc.
I don't understand why we use cell instead of mobile in the US. Cell probably makes a kind of sense to the engineers, but "mobile" actually describes to the end user WTF the thing is.

I assume we'll get some clarification on the exclusivity issues and whatnot shortly. I presume this is why The Guild website is down for maintenance, to get ready for this news.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2008-11-24 08:36 ]
What this shows is:
1. Felicia and Kim ain't stoopit.
2. The Gunn Brothers ain't so dumb after all neither.
3. Joss Whedon is EVERYWHERE.


Only time will tell if XBox marketing will prove lucrative but I can't tell you how thrilled I am that of the few deals I've seen done in this area, creators retaining rights and ( mostly ) control of content have both been solid parts of them. This kind of encouragement is going to feed creative people worldwide.
Good for Felicia. She gave hints of a distribution deal before, but this is much huger than I was expecting. So glad she's retaining the rights. And a write up in the Hollywood Reporter--nice.

I was kind of confused by the article too. But I would guess that "will be the first to be distributed worldwide simultaneously across Microsoft's triple platform of Xbox 360's Live Marketplace, MSN and Zune" means non-Xbox users can watch on MSN. Wouldn't make sense doing a web show and not showing it on the web.
Yay for Felicia! Keeping the rights, that's where the money, and artistic control, is down the line.
One small step towards the road to making Big Studio extinct. The deal they screwed the WGA with may hasten their own demise.
Hasn't been Sprint been sponsoring some of the webisode thingies that NBC been doing with Heroes?
Anyhoo great accomplishment for Felicia.
They've got the trailer up. Hilarious as usual.
I don't understand why we use cell instead of mobile in the US. Cell probably makes a kind of sense to the engineers, but "mobile" actually describes to the end user WTF the thing is.

Marketing: Why not just call it a mobile phone rather than a cell-phone ?
Engineer: Well, it's not always mobile but, to a first approximation, it's always in a cell.
Marketing: Gaaaaahhhhhh ?!?

Makes perfect sense, for some values of 'sense' ;).

Yay Felicia, very happy for her and the Guild gang, from their perspective this is a HUGE deal with massive, multi-platform global distribution, sponsorship AND maintaining ownership - sounds like a genuine win-win. I agree with bix though, he really is selfish ... ;-) (i.e. from my own selfish perspective I don't wanna wait ! *throws toys from pram*. The part of my brain that lived through the 80s and 90s is also slightly ambivalent about getting into bed with Microsoft in any capacity but that's just a techie thing).
I have a 360 and love it to bits. We should get a Whedonesque gaming team going or something like that.
Well done Felicia et al.....
In Romania the word used for mobile phones translates as 'handies'....and they are :-)
Hmmm, I may now have to use my 360 for something other than Fable 2.

It sounds like a great deal to me! I'm not the biggest Microsoft fan either, but I'm very excited that Felicia might actually make some decent money out of this gig.
From the article,
"An added plus for going with Xbox is that "Guild" will be distributed day-and-date in nine languages in 26 countries where Xbox Live operates, reaching 14 million users. "Guild" found unintended international appeal late in its run, according to Day.


Yay for Felicia and people who can do international distribution, 'unintended international appeal' indeed :)
Well, we've been discussing gaming (PC and Console, both) off and on over at .org. Good for Felicia and co. for making this deal that will help them with exposure and finances and continuing to make art.
Well done Felicia et al.....
In Romania the word used for mobile phones translates as 'handies'....and they are :-)


When I open the bill, I feel like I should be getting a handie for what I pay.
Holy crap! This is an amazingly huge breakthrough/crossover deal for Felicia & team. Kudos Ms Day, kudos.

I'm no fan of the monster business partner in the deal, but it's one giant leap for indie entertainment. Loving the retaining of ownership part too.

So now that Felicia's a gazillionaire, I guess she'll be too good for the likes of us commoners... ;-)


Well, if there's any business in history that should respect the shrewdness of maintaining the ownership rights of its product, it's Microsoft.
The part of my brain that lived through the 80s and 90s is also slightly ambivalent about getting into bed with Microsoft in any capacity but that's just a techie thing).

Not just techies - having lived through the 80s and 90s reading the business press also gives certain residual shudders about Microsoft. But all our beds are belong to them now. Gotta make the best of it. And it seems like Felicia and her co-producers have done just that.
Cool news for Felicia, et al! Is it me, or does the "Season 2" font on the trailer look like Serenity? Maybe it's just good ol' Papyrus...
LOL King of Cretins.
And Congrats to Felicia and everyone on the Guild. This is exciting, but as I don't do any gaming whatsoever, I shall be waiting the four weeks as well. Rats.
I do lots of gaming, just not on the 360, which I never bothered to buy (if you've got twenty minutes I'll list the reasons why ;)). A lot of them can be summed up with the phrase "proprietary peripherals". I joke, but really a lot of fun can be had with any current gen console. Its good times for gamers.
Well done Felicia, sounds like a great deal. She's posted about it over at The Guild website.

I've always been a PC gamer, but I picked up a cheap Xbox 360 last week :). Not sure if I'll be able to get The Guild through Live as I don't have a hard drive, but it's available on MSN video anyway.

[ edited by NotaViking on 2008-11-24 17:21 ]
OMG. That teaser was just so creepy & yet funny at the same time. I'd like to report that coffee came out my nose & onto my lab coat for that.

I'm excited for Felicia. I'm glad things worked out & she was able to keep the creative rights. I'll have to wait 'til MSN, though. My brother sold his Xbox.

YAY! Guild! :)
Fweeee!

Only the joyous sound of taffy in flight can express the swell of pride and anticipation I feel at this news. So glad that (a) Ms. Day & Sundry are getting paid and (b) we all can still watch for . . . fwee!
Felicia tweeted that it'll be streaming on MSN simultaneously, so we non-Xboxers don't have to wait.

(Oh, also I'm very happy about the Guild gang getting sponsorship & FD keeping creative control, and I wonder if Tink is going to be using a Sprint phone this season.)

[ edited by jcs on 2008-11-24 21:00 ]
Finally, there's something to squee about. :)
Darnit! I was hoping to not have to buy a 360... but Felicia Day is forcing my hand! :)
I love the idea that I can now watch season 2 of The Guild on my XBOX 360! I also watched the latest Star Trek trailer and it looks awesome as well!
I think that the cell v. mobile thing comes from marketing; cell is very different, in very noticable to the user ways, from the old mobile telephone service. "This is not the old evil mobile radio telephone" was probably never actually used in advertisments, but there were some that were close to saying that. (Having had the *new* and *improved* (really, it was, both!) MotoMobile that was only the size of a thin attache case, I assure you, cell phone is very, very different.)
We had those in the UK too though. My first boss had one he was very proud of wherein the battery was literally about the size and weight of a car battery, damn thing was massive. People just accepted that they got smaller, as with all other electronics.

(that said, the early mobile phones were normally referred to as 'car-phones' over here because everyone knew they weren't really mobile. Even today there's a large chain of mobile phone shops called 'Car-phone Warehouse' in the UK - they sure don't sell many of the lumpen great behemoths of yesteryear though ;)
Firefly Flanatic wrote:
Ooh, that article said Dr. Horrible is syndicated for Xbox Live too.


I don't think that's so. They mentioned that Felicia was in "Dr. Horrible," then later this:

"Guild" and "Horror," which is sponsored by the Air Force, will be Xbox's first free programs.

"Horror" also will be pushed through all three Microsoft distribution points but won't move to MSN and Zune until after its Xbox run. [emphasis added]


Oh, and congratulations to Felicia et al. Maybe now Clara can afford a safer babysitter than Tinkerballa.
The original version (still available from Reuters) of the article claimed:
Its star, creator and writer-producer, Felicia Day, has become the face of the original Web production world, starring opposite Neil Patrick Harris in one of the few other success stories in online originals, "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," created by Joss Whedon. "Horrible" also is syndicated on Xbox's Independent Video.
But that's since been edited out without noting that it originally said that.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2008-11-25 05:47 ]
Just watched an interview of Felicia Day on G4. She said that the the second season will be available to download starting tomorrow! Nice interview if anyone gets a chance to catch the show again tonight.
There's a snippet from that same interview session on the G4 site.
Is it just me, or is this supposed to be available now, but isn't there?

I'm checking on MSN Video, but it's not up yet. http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&vid=69704ce9-eef1-4f98-8ea4-ecbf68e23192&from=MSNHP&tab=m1227544861972
Here we call it cell too Well, celular but is the same) however, in Potugal it's mobile (móvel). Maybe this is an European thing, or just Brazil use to change more easily his metropolis:)

And I believe that there are some phones more mobiles than others, even if they don't work.

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