Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising and The Multiverse Network today announced the development of an original Buffy the Vampire Slayer MMOG.
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 new MMOG will allow gamers 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.
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.
Since Multiverse's launch over four years ago, more than 25,000 development teams-ranging from garage developers to Fortune 100 companies to Hollywood legends-have registered to use the company's platform technology. In addition, several hundred pre-qualified customers have already begun building MMOGs and non-game virtual worlds with the Multiverse Platform.