Fans of SyFy's Defiance were disappointed when the show was cancelled late last year after three seasons of Earth-based alien conflict. But the TV show was only half of the battle. In the video game half of Defiance, season four just went live. Three years ago SyFy and game developer Trion Worlds launched Defiance, a transmedia science fiction experience that was half television show, half massively multiplayer online game. The television show would air as shows normally do, advancing its story season by season. The video game maintained its own parallel storyline, often incorporating elements from the show's current fiction into its regular updates.
Now it's all up to the video game.
I wasn't particularly impressed with either the MMO third-person shooter or the relatively dense television show. Both had enjoyable bits but felt bland overall. It was a very close-knit relationship in that regard. Still, both managed to gather a dedicated fan base. The MMO went free-to-play in 2014 a year after launching with a subscription model. The show was renewed for a second and then a third season. I was surprised it lasted so long. I was not surprised when the show was canned.
I figured the MMO would follow suit, but lo and behold, today Trion launched the Dark Metamorphosis update for Defiance the game, adding new missions, more story and basically giving fans a chance to keep on fighting the good fight now that the show's characters have stopped.
I'm sure somewhere in the middle of the radically transformed US the show's characters are still doing whatever it is they were doing once I stopped watching mid season two. Over on the US West Coast, where the MMO is set, players today have begin battling for the future of Silicon Valley.
What a strange relationship between television show and video game this has been. It's nice to see the interactive side soldiering on.