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January 06 2013

Firefly MMO claims to have Fox's blessing for an "inspired" title. DarkCryo wrote on their Facebook page "With the well wishes of Fox Entertainment Group, we have reactivated the FUO MMORPG Facebook page in preparation for our upcoming Kickstarter campaign." Further comments clarified that it was for an "inspired" title and it would be launching on the 20th on Indiegogo. ETA: And in a surreal turn of events, Kotaku seems to think it's all a Yes Men stunt.

Notice how they're still trying to oversell the support by saying that if the "inspired by" content launches well, actual "derivative" content could follow. So, it's still not an actual licensed Firefly game but they're trying to sell you on the possibility of it becoming one.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2013-01-06 00:28 ]
Also the funding seems to be coming from Indiegogo and not Kickstarter.
There's a big difference between "well-wishes" and an actual license. Especially when the news of said well-wished come from the already questionable company, rather than Fox itself. I'll believe it when I hear it from Fox.

[ edited by RayHill on 2013-01-06 00:44 ]
I checked in with Fox about this as I saw a Kickstarter was planned; I have been told they have no permission (in any way) for this.

I'd love a Firefly game, official or not, but whenever the first step is asking for lots of money from Firefly fans without permission, it never works.

[ edited by gossi on 2013-01-06 00:47 ]
It's really the most shameless and brazen manner of operating.
I hope this doesn't turn into a Facebook debacle like the other thing I can't quite remember right now, the one to fund Firefly back on television.
A new year and they are back. sighs...
gossi, do you mean in the past few days, or the last time they surfaced last year and shut down in order to finally talk to Fox?
It's really the most shameless and brazen manner of operating.

Here's hoping and wanting, that always plays a point. Remember, think with the glass half-filled. Disappointed often, but it does the blood pressure good.
After deleting my comment* asking for the Fox communications verbatim, they posted an update that reiterates the "inspired by" thing and makes clear it isn't "endorsed". They also say (as I expected) that the communications are to be kept in confidence, meaning no one has any way to judge for themselves their characterizations of the Fox discussions.

*Or at least rendering it invisible to the public, since no one can see it and I can't even post to their FB threads anymore at all.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2013-01-06 06:38 ]
If you're interested, I blogged this up, including what they're saying on their forums, which you have to sign up for, and how it differs a bit from the tack they are taking publicly.
Maybe we should make browncoatbaiting an official category--there's certainly regular enough items to fill it up.

"Well wishes" sounds like code for "As long as you don't cross this line, we can't sue you. But we'd still like to in the future, so good luck!"
The Facebook page is called FireflyUniverseOnline and uses the Firefly logo font and likeness, and the game is set in the Firefly universe, so, er.. It wouldn't take a genius to say Fox might be interested in this one when money starts to flow. They're even using Nathan's face.
Kotaku now thinks this is a The Yes Men stunt, which would be hilarious to me if true, but DarkCryo has been at this for at least a year and a half now, and I don't think Kotaku takes that into consideration.

ETA: I think Kotaku might just find it easier to believe in conspiracy than to believe DarkCryo really is this... mistaken.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2013-01-06 19:00 ]
Kotaku's entire argument rests upon this image indicating The Yes Men's participation as some sort of goal reward for the upcoming crowdfunding campaign.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2013-01-06 19:39 ]
Kotaku would appear to be sadly misguided on this one. I wish they were right.

The Darkcryo website has, on it's account creation page, this table (screenshot). The numbers to the right appear to be the number of fans who have signed up to the different packages. The first is free - the other 3 appear to be $20, $100 and I haven't got a price on the highest ("DC Martyr+"). This is what kicked off the original Fox intervention, which was previously covered on Whedonesque here.

[ edited by gossi on 2013-01-06 19:46 ]
Kotaku just started walking back the assertion.
The numbers to the right appear to be the number of fans who have signed up to the different packages.
Those are actually just view counts, like on the forums threads. The number of times people have viewed those links.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2013-01-06 19:44 ]
Oh really? Phew.
And then Simon tweeted this link to a late Monday update from DarkCryo, in which they hilariously back off crowdfunding due to the Kotaku debacle.
I remember, HNBF. They are still there on Facebook. Frightening.
HNBF's "new" URL is down though. I did check when the MMO started making headlines again. Because I enjoy pain? I don't think they're really active anymore. Thankfully.
Last night I learned that DarkCryo had banned me from their products for life, like a year ago. If I knew that, I'd forgotten.
Help Nathan Buy Firefly's Facebook page is still alive, but has seen a slow decline in numbers. It looks like HelpNathanBuyFirefly.com and UnstoppableSignals.com are down. Previous attempt from years back FireflySeason2.com (the one registered in Fox's name, but wasn't actually anything to do with Fox it turned out) has turned into a search landing $$ page by the looks of it.

The problem with these campaigns -- and I kinda hate writing about this stuff as it just leaves me feeling like a bad person -- is the base. Were Fox going to make another season of Firefly? No. Would collecting money from fans on Paypal lead to another season? No. Would Nathan be able to buy Firefly? No. Did Fox seek to endorse a Firefly video game from these guys? No. Could a business be formed to resurrect Firefly? No. Therefore, the entire campaign becomes noise and upset for everybody involved (including the organisers) (especially the organisers). The core foundation of the thing is only going to collapse on everybody.

The people who follow on social media don't necessarily know all the details, they've just hit like and found out whatever the page creators tell them - Help Nathan Buy Firefly's Facebook was always fun, as is the Firefly Universe Online Facebook page. So you end up, like now, with Firefly fans who think this fell apart because Kotaku killed it. That is not true. They're also begging to send money to somebody. They just want a Firefly video game. As do I. Hopefully, one day somebody buys the license to it and makes a kick ass game, because I honestly think it could be fine.

Fan campaigns can do wonderful things, and make everybody feel good about things. The Saving Angel campaign springs to mind, placing billboards outside Warner Bros. Also the folk here who sent cake to the Dollhouse set after they got officially cancelled. And the fans who did the save Firefly campaign, putting an advert in Variety (which ended up on the DVD). Money was involved, yes, but the goals for that money were were set, achievable and achieved.

[ edited by gossi on 2013-01-08 19:34 ]

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