FUO, an MMO inspired by the television series Firefly, claims that at the moment, the leadership of 20th Century Fox is backing the development as long as it remains a fan tribute to the show.
The development team at Dark Cryo writes: “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.”
The game makers are also saying that communications with 20th Century Fox will remain confidential.
Dark Cryo is aiming to launch a campaign for Firefly Universe Online on the Kickstarter crowd funding service, getting fans of the television show to contribute in order to get the MMO launched.
An endorsement from the Yes Men has also been explained by Dark Cryo after some have claimed that their involvement proves that the FUO project is just a hoax.
The team says, “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.”
It’s unclear how close FUO can stay to the Firefly universe as long as it lacks an official license from Fox, but fans can presumably already drop the idea of seeing their favorite characters make appearances.
At one point in 2011, Fox announced that it was working with Multiverse in order to create an official MMO based on Firefly, but that project failed to get off the ground.
Despite running for just one season, with a movie added to wrap up the story, Firefly is one of the best known and most loved universes created by Joss Whedon.