Spark Plug Games
Players would have assumed the roles of spaceship captains, assembling crews, completing missions, and trading with others. The game would have contained a central story alongside various branching stories, and players might have been able to create jobs for each other to complete. Players would have been able to customize their ships while playing, and view "in-universe guides" around planets which provide information on them. Furthermore, both space and planetary environments were planned to exist. The game would have contained over 200 worlds to visit. Players would have been able to assemble a crew, needing to choose crew members who possess the skills and abilities they need, such as engineering or weaponry skills.
Prior to the announcement of an official title, a fan made game titled Firefly Universe Online was being developed by DarkCryo. Fox gave their blessing to the game, but the studio ceased development following the announcement of an official release based on the Firefly franchise. Firefly Online was announced at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con for iOS and Android. It was later announced for Microsoft Windows and macOS. QMx Interactive joined Spark Plug Games to produce the game. Joss Whedon, creator of the series, was not involved with the development of the game but was aware of it. The development team was planning to add future downloadable content which might have included the ability to switch to the Alliance faction, involved the inclusion of "Reavers", and was aiming to incorporate cross-platform functionality. The PC versions would have been distributed via Steam.
Gameplay of Firefly Online was shown at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con. At that Comic Con it was announced that the original TV series cast was going to voice their in-game characters, along with a number of cast from the series, with Star Trek: The Next Generation 's Wil Wheaton providing the male voice for the player's avatar.
Originally planned for launch in Spring 2015, the developers were required to recreate large amounts of it after the original show's cast were brought on to provide voice acting. John O'Neill, CEO of Spark Plug Games, said that they were having to "change everything" and that they were deliberately not providing development updates to avoid "saying something that’s wrong again." The last post on Firefly Online's Facebook page dated March 2016 said, "We're still here. We're still flyin'. Game is still in development. Stay tuned."
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