Television shows based on a video game are nothing new. In the past, we have seen a few cartoons based on popular games, such as Super Mario Brothers, Kirby, and some others. These are usually geared towards children. Some kids played the games, some kids watched the shows, but many did both. With its debut tonight, Defiance, the Syfy Network and Trion Worlds hope to achieve the ultimate audience crossover, with a much older science fiction and gaming audience.
Defiance is interesting because of the fact that the game interconnects with the television show in what is being called a "transmedia experience". The show is not based on the game, and the game is not based on the show. They are happening at the same time, with events from one spilling into the other.
While the exact details of how much the show and game are connected are unknown, it is a very unique approach to storytelling. The show will serve to further the plot and give more detail to the events in the game. As a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, players of Defiance will expect a lot of lore. A television series seems like a great way to not only deliver that deep story, but to also attract an audience to the game that may not otherwise play an MMO. With many great science fiction and fantasy shows, fans can’t wait until the following week to find out what is going to happen next. Jumping into the game and playing until next week seems like a great way to fill in the gaps between episodes, as well as learn a bit more about the characters and events you’ve been watching.
The series has a very deep storyline, with alien races, languages, and technology that science fiction fans have come to expect in shows they enjoy. The alien languages are all working languages, developed by linguist David J. Peterson, who also developed the Dothraki language used in the HBO series Game of Thrones.
Defiance (the show) premieres tonight Monday, April 15, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/8:00 p.m. Central
Defiance (the game) is available now on PC, Xbox, and PS3.