SyFy is developing their new science fiction drama Defiance, which will get a simultaneous release as a massive multiplayer online video game. The two properties will share a level of connectivity that has never existed between a television show and a video game. This isn’t another case of a game based on a show, but the two will occupy the same world at the same time. Events in the series will immediately impact game play, and there will be crossover going the other way as well. The goal of SyFy and Trion Worlds games is to create a different way to experience a work of speculative fiction. You can login, create a character, and actively participate in the world, or you can sit back on your couch and experience things in a more passive manner.
Set in a world where humans and aliens exist side by side, the action of Defiance is split between two cities. The show takes place in St. Louis, or at least in the city built on the ruins of St. Louis, though the signature St. Louis Arch remains. When you play the videogame on your Xbox or PC the action goes down in San Francisco, now described as a “frontier” city. There are post-apocalyptic elements to Defiance, as well as invasion narratives, and pseudo-western threads. St. Louis is described as a melting pot, and the show as an “immigrant drama,” that will give producers room to explore deeper themes, and an intermingling of human and alien cultures.
Defiance is a visionary enterprise in collaboration with Trion Worlds, with the Syfy series and Trion’s multi-platform shooter MMO poised to debut simultaneously. Set in the near future, Defiance introduces a completely transformed planet Earth, inhabited by the human and alien survivors of a universal war. Forced to co-habitate, the disparate group struggles to build a new society among the devastation. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story.
I don’t play video games, and I’m sure you won’t have to play to enjoy the show, but this sounds like a fun new way to create a more interactive experience. Fans will get a whole other level of connection to the show. Defiance sounds like a cool concept for a series anyway, but if nothing else this will be an interesting experience to watch.
Defiance stars Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Jaime Murray, and Tony Curran, and SyFy aims to get the whole thing up and running by April 2013.