Twentieth Century Fox and Multiverse announced the development of a MMO based on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show.
The virtual world will be based on the mythology and iconography made popular by the Emmy® Award-winning series. The announcement was made by Academy Award® winning producer and member of the Multiverse Advisory Board, Jon Landau, during his keynote speech today at the Virtual Worlds Conference and Expo.
The ground-breaking MMOG will offer a new experience for gamers, allowing them to play it either as a fully immersive 3D environment or as a Flash-based 2D game, where both types of players can interact. The game will be launched within "Multiverse Places," a new social virtual world from Multiverse. Currently under development, "Buffy" will go into "beta" testing later this year.
Landau, a Multiverse Advisory Board member, who is in production on Avatar—the widely anticipated Fox film from fellow Multiverse Advisor James Cameron—commented, "Multiverse has the vision and expertise to create the type of rich environment needed for the best possible game based on the 'Buffy' series. The resources are in place to develop a great MMOG."
Created by sci-fi and comic book legend, Joss Whedon, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" racked up critical and popular acclaim during its seven seasons on television. The series also inspired a line of top-selling comic books and successful merchandising lines with an avid fan base at retail. Fox Licensing & Merchandising (Fox L & M) continues to develop the brand for a number of targeted programs that reach its core market.
"Every once in a while a show comes along that lives long after its run on television, and ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ is that kind of show," commented Elie Dekel, Executive Vice President Licensing and Merchandising for Fox L&M. "We think that creating this virtual Buffy world is the perfect extension of the brand and will attract both fans of the show and newcomers interested in a great experience online."
"As a brilliant storyteller and world-maker, Joss Whedon crafts stories that expand perfectly into the new medium of virtual worlds," said Corey Bridges, co-founder and Executive Producer, Multiverse. "Not to give away too much, but when the 'Buffy' team finished the television series, they created the perfect launching point for an MMOG where everyone will feel like they're an important character in the ongoing story."
In related news, Fox's plans for the development of the previously announced Firefly MMOG have been delayed, but Fox looks forward to continuing its collaboration with Multiverse on this endeavor.