Trion Worlds’ Nick Beliaeff has been working on Defiance, the online game and television show “transmedia” project, for the better part of five years. The game is set to debut on April 2, two weeks before the April 15 launch of SyFy’s television show. Making the massively multiplayer online game has been a harrowing journey for Trion’s team, but it has sent the first version of the game off to manufacturing so retailers can begin selling the disks on time.
So Beliaeff is a little tired. But he doesn’t have time to rest, as Trion still has many episodes to do, and the the game is going run as a continuous service alongside the TV season. Both the show and the game reinforce each other as a single entertainment property.
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“We’re so excited this labor of love is about to see the light of day,” he said in an interview with GamesBeat.
In our video interview with Beliaeff, he was breathing a sigh of relief about finishing the launch part of the game. But he is still preoccupied with all of the details that still need attention in the ongoing project. Trion raised more than $150 million and hired more than 500 people across its studios to make dynamic MMOs like Defiance, which is a cross-platform shooting game. Defiance itself occupied the time of more than 150 people, and SyFy has had more than 150 working on the TV show.
The first two weeks of the game follow two of the characters in the San Francisco and Marin County regions of Earth,after seven alien races have crash-landed on the planet. The two characters, Joshua Nolan and Erisa, will move from the game into the beginning of the TV pilot, which is set in St. Louis, in a seamless way. That will be the first of a number of crossover points between show and game. Trion has generated enough content for hundreds of hours of gameplay. But the development has seen a distinct hand-off between the first two weeks of the game and the start of the TV show.
Beliaeff’s team has completed its first patch and the content update that happens with the start of the TV show. But he’s also got to get his team moving on the game content to go with the second season of the TV show.
In the meantime, Comcast and NBC Universal (owner of SyFy) are building a crescendo of marketing noise so that everyone on Earth knows about Defiance. Here’s our video interview with Beliaeff.