Trion World Network has partnered with the Sci-Fi Channel television network to simultaneously develop an MMO and TV show which will evolve together over time.
"This is the Holy Grail for us, without a doubt," Dave Howe, president of the Sci Fi Channel, told the LA Times. "This is groundbreaking, and I don't say that lightly."
The title of the show and MMO has not yet been announced, but will be reportedly set 80 to 100 years in Earth's future. Both are scheduled for launch in 2010.
Trion CEO and co-founder Dr Lars Buttler said that the game will live entirely online and that vistas will open as the television series takes the characters throughout their world. "Footage" of players in battles or other mass MMO gatherings will be incorporated into the series, which will match the game in its look.
"A television show that is on once a week isn't enough," Howe said.
"The fans today want the experience to go beyond that. For example, we can tell them that there will be an alien invasion at a certain place in the game, at a certain time, and to be there with all their friends and be ready. The outcome depends on them. And then that battle will be part of the universe in the show."
The MMO will give Trion hard data about which characters, settings and story lines stir the most interests - allowing the television show producers to adjust story lines to audience tastes.
"This will be a state-of-the art game and it will be a strong television show, and watching how those two things interact will be fascinating," Buttler said.
Trion was founded in 2006 Buttler, former VP for global online at Electronic Arts, and Jon Van Caneghem, former founder and CEO of New World Computing and creator of the Might and Magic and Heroes of Might and Magic game franchises. It has studios in Austin, Texas and in Redwood City and San Diego, California.