Though her show =ended over five years ago, Buffy Summers isn’t going quietly into that good night after all. A new virtual world is being created based on the popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer series that aired from 1997 until 2003.
Joss Whedon, executive producer of both the Buffy the Vampire Slayer film and TV series, created the Buffy character to turn the stereotype of the helpless little blonde girl getting killed in horror movies on its head. Buffy was a seemingly ordinary suburban high school girl who was empowered to fight vampires and protect humanity from evil. The supernatural series proved so popular that it inspired dozens of comics, a slew of toys, fan fiction, and a successful spin-off, Angel.
A Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) based on the show is being launched within “Multiverse Places,” a new virtual social environment from Multiverse and is expected to enter Beta testing later this year. Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising has teamed up with The Multiverse Network, Inc to bring the Buffy MMOG to cyberspace sometime next year.
The new MMOG is part of a groundbreaking revolution in virtual world technology where players will be able to either fully immerse themselves in a 3D environment or play a 2D flash-based version. Players from either platform will be able to interact with one another. The Buffy virtual world is intended to attract both fans of the show as well as newcomers, allowing players the opportunity to play integral characters.
Corey Bridges, Multiverse’s co-founder and Executive Producer, thinks Buffy is an ideal fit for a Multiverse project. He said, “As a brilliant storyteller and world-maker, Joss Whedon crafts stories that expand perfectly into the new medium of virtual worlds.” He continued, “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.”
The announcement was made by Jon Landau during a speech at the Virtual Worlds Conference and Expo in Los Angeles. Landau, an Academy Award-winner for visual effects and an advisor to Multiverse, believes there will be many more virtual worlds based on popular movies and TV shows in the future. He said, “It all goes back to the idea of creating a brand. And whether it’s an Avatar brand or a Buffy brand, you want that in perpetuity and you want these virtual worlds to continually refine and change what your consumers are looking for.” Stay tuned!