Firefall dev shutting down beta in protest of SOPA

By Xav de Matos, Jan 12, 2012 5:55pm PST

Firefall developer Red 5 Studios has notified Shacknews that it will shut down its upcoming title's beta and website for 24 hours beginning January 18 in protest of the 'Stop Online Piracy Act' (SOPA).

Calling SOPA "misguided legislation," Red 5 Studios CEO Mark Kern said the proposed bill would hurt smaller game companies, "who will not have the legal resources or lobbying presence to protect themselves from unwarranted shutdown."

"We are extremely disappointed in this misguided legislation. We are also ashamed of the ESA for supporting a bill which is clearly not in the best interests of gamers or the game industry," Kern added.

The Entertainment Software Association recently came out in support of the bill, and by association with the group, a laundry list of major game companies are standing behind it as well. While some ESA members have spoken out against the bill, none have canceled their membership.

"No we are not, and now we never will be," Kern told me when asked if Red 5 Studios supported The ESA.

When asked if Red 5 Studios would appear at future E3 events considering the company's position against the ESA, CEO Mark Kern said: "No, we will not attend E3 unless ESA reverses their stance."

[Update: 7:35pm PT] "I just had my staff cancel our E3 plans," Kern added in a follow-up email.

Red 5 Studios is joining Reddit in protest of SOPA by going dark on January 18. We will be taking down our website, community site and Firefall beta for 24 hours on the 18th.

    We are extremely disappointed in this misguided legislation. We are also ashamed of the ESA for supporting a bill which is clearly not in the best interests of gamers or the game industry.

      This bill, and it's sister bill, Protect IP, will shut down live streaming, shout casting, user generated content and have a chilling effect on game innovation and social media.

        Most of all, it hurts the smaller game companies, who will not have the legal resources or lobbying presence to protect themselves from unwarranted shutdown.

          We issue a call to all our industry peers, including developers, publishers and game press, to join us in letting the ESA know they do not represent our views on this issue, and strongly oppose SOPA and PIPA.

            -- via Mark Kern, Red 5 Studios

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