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One of the most popular properties in fandom is Joss Whedon's Firefly. It's a huge thing that spans an audience in comic books, movies and video games. And speaking of video games, the star of the show, Nathan Fillion, explained why Firefly would make a great video game.
In an interview with Game Informer, Fillion talked about how he got into gaming, what his first real gaming system was, and how he's become immersed in the culture. This also included ruminating on why Firefly as a video game would make perfect sense, saying...
You got space ships, horses, guns, an evil government, smuggling, crimes that you can commit. You've got people you can help and you got the Reavers -- the baddest of them all. That TV Show is screaming for a video game.
He's not wrong. Firefly did have all those things and that's why there was an announcement for Firefly Online, but I'm not really sure what became of it. We heard about it for a while and then it just disappeared. There was also a Firefly board game, but that's not really the same thing as an interactive video game.
The thing is, a lot of times when it comes to recognized LPs there's always this stigma in the publishing sector where they feel they have to pump $100 million into it or not bother at all. Sure, there's a certain level of quality expected from a recognized brand but everything Fillion mentions about Firefly could also be done on the cheap for a few hundred thousand dollars (barring the cost of paying for the original cast to come back and do voiceover work).
For instance, Firefly would work perfectly running on the same kind of modular design platform as a game like Planet Explorers, where a few asset alterations and mods could even allow for a total conversion into Firefly. And keep in mind that Pathea Games' Planet Explorers was kickstarted for just under $140,000 and it's already gone on to move nearly 280,000 copies, according to Steam Spy. Just imagine what a little advertising and brand recognition could have done for a game like that had it been Firefly?
Mid-budget games don't exist much outside of the mid-tier indie sector, and it's a shame because they would be perfectly suited for the exact kind of game that Fillion is talking about.
Then again, even the show itself had a problem finding the right audience on the right network. Fox was quick to bury it after the first season, but Whedon managed to revive Firefly in the form of the movie Serenity. It's become its own little cult classic and heck, maybe sometime down the line we'll get a mid-budget developer or publisher to attempt to acquire the license and make the sort of game that fans have been desiring for a while now.
On the upside, Fillion mentions in the interview that even though a large scale video game hasn't been made of Firefly it's become quite popular in the tabletop arena with the board game, and he's happy to see the property live on 14 years later.