SyFy Defiance Transmedia
“Defiance” is a transmedia project produced by Universal Cable Productions which premiered on April 15th, 2013 on SyFy. It is the first time a massively multiplayer online game and a TV series are influencing each other to create an interconnected world. The series is shown on Syfy, the game is developed by Trion Worlds and available for XBox360, Playstation3 and PC.

The series, consisting of 12 episodes, is set in the near future where humans and seven newly arrived aliens races have to cope with sharing the earth. Hence the series seizes up on the discussion about immigration, so to speak. The game is a multiplatform shooter.

SyFy Defiance Transmedia

The series focuses on the area of St. Louis whereas the players of the game operate on the new frontier to the San Francisco Bay area. The city of the TV series is built upon the ashes of St. Louis. Only the town’s landmarks remained.

The groundbreaking implementation of this transmedia project includes that events which happen in the game can affect the plot and storylines of the TV series and vice versa. So, people playing the game can actually effect the ongoing of the TV show.

Fans don’t necessarily have to play the game to understand the show, but playing it will add certain layers of meaning to the storytelling and the experience of watching the show will be enriched. Gamers receive extra background information and get to discover different context layers.

SyFy Defiance Transmedia

The considerable integration of gamers actions could even lead to mentioning players who solved certain clues on the show. For example, if a user finds a cure for a mysteries pandemic decease which threatens the defiance universe by playing the game, he could be mentioned on TV or he could even become a walk-on-character in a future season of the TV show. Also, certain events that take place in the TV series effect the game: when it rains on the show, it rains in the game at the same time.

For this series, it was necessary to find investors at an early stage of the planning process. NBCUniversal has invested around $100 million in this transmedia project and car manufacturer Dodge became an important advertising partner of this show. Modified Dodge vehicles – with pipes and machine guns attached to it – are placed prominently in the game and in the series. A burnt-out Dodge dealership functions as one of the shows venues.

SyFy Defiance Transmedia

The series is set just a few years from now so that advertising partners’ products can be incorporated into the storyline without creating certain credibility problems related to the series being set in the future.

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