Defiance is an MMO and a TV show

by Mark R

One of the challenges of franchises these days is to create a storyline that exists on multilple media. Some of you might remember how the Enter the Matrix game ties the last two Matrix movies together, but what if there was a game that worked with it’s related TV show.

This is the concept behind Syfy’s Defiance, which is both a game by Trion Worlds that will also be a TV show. As players play the game, their actions actually change the way the show will progress. The game itself is both an MMO and an FPS, which are two game genres that don’t really mix well.

I’m not certain how well Defiance will play out, but I will say that I am relieved. After all, most MMO games are all about characters going through missions to earn personal points, but most of the world that they can freely explore is completely immutable. For example, if there was a giant rock in front of them, and the player had some dynamite, they could not put a crack in the rock unless the game allowed it. Today’s games, especailly MMOs, are pretty expansive, but they have limits.

However, to have a player’s actions affect the show might give a good feeling to the gamer when they watch the Defiance television show. I can just see a scene where the characters are explaining that “such and such battle was a complete victory”. Then one of the players watching will turn to his friends and say, “hey, we were in that battle”.

And so the players can feel more immersed in their vicarious existence, more involved in a community, and all make a difference together. I’m looking forward to seeing both the Defiance game and TV show, but I hope it isn’t the next Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future. Go ahead and enter a comment if you know what that is a reference to.

By the way, I am at E3 in LA for the next few days. Expect a lot of video game related posts.

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