A few months back DarkCryo pulled down the name of their intended Firefly Universe Online (FUO) MMOG at the behest of 20th Century Fox. Last week the developer posted a message to its Facebook page that indicated that talks were ongoing with Fox to perhaps secure or at the very least protect the rights of the Firefly IP and with Fox giving DarkCryo well wishes for an inspired title. DarkCryo pointed out that this was not an official endorsement so much as a compliment.
"We are humbled by the myriad of support being received for the FUO project, however we do want to ensure clarity for those who have not yet had the opportunity to visit our Forums and FaQ.
After numerous telephone conversations, both the Executive and Legal Staff of 20th Century Fox have given DarkCryo Entertainment their well wishes for an inspired - not endorsed - title at this juncture.
There is a huge distinction between the two regarding derivative works, and we are continuously working with the senior counsel of 20th to ensure their property remain protected.
Out of professional courtesy, our conference communications with 20th were asked to be kept in confidence. We do encourage everyone interested to visit our Forums and FaQ for greater detail, where we answer many of the questions below regarding FUO direction and future endorsement."
Yesterday Kotaku spotted a section of the DarkCryo website that contained an image and endorsement from the activists known as The Yes Men, who are known for their use of fake media to raise awareness about social issues. The author of the article makes it clear that he does not know if this is the work of the Yes Men but that he does believe that the game is a hoax, possibly drawing on the timing of the upcoming Kickstarter campaign by DarkCryo to help fund the games development (be it an official Firefly title or a Firefly-inspired one) and maybe even the current undertaking of the Yes Men with their own recently funded Kickstarter project from November.
DarkCryo responded to the story on their Facebook page yesterday admitting that the Yes Men had endorsed the game and would be appearing in it as elite NPC saboteurs. DarkCryo continued on to address the hoax claims.
"Firefly had its Blue Hands, FUO has its Yes Men.
DarkCryo has received a myriad of endorsement proposals with the idea of featuring such celebrities with ingame cameos. Much as Circa Paleo will be performing throughout the fringes of the FUO Universe, the Yes Men elite NPCs will be sabotaging Megacorp faction PCs whom are guilty of monopolizing ingame commerce.
In a user-generated environment, balance is everything. Every faction requires a creative boss to which we can relate, and the Yes Men were gracious enough to allow us the integration of their identities into gameplay.
What you are reading on a 3rd party forum is a single over-zealous Reporter that writes impulsively, unfortunately such activity inevitably places the reputation of the reporting site in grave jeopardy.
That being said, we prefer to let the article stand for two reasons. Firstly endorsement is a two way street, and we are more than happy to return the favour of publicity back to the Yes Men who have taken the leap of faith to endorse DarkCryo. Secondly, and more importantly, such articles redirect the undesirable demographic away from FUO to titles more befitting their personalities, and whose colourful tact is more appreciated by a like-minded gaming audience."
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