Firefall studio shutting down beta, canceling E3 trip in SOPA protest

Red 5 Studios closing trial and website for upcoming free-to-play shooter for 24 hours, scuttles plans to attend ESA-backed E3 2012 in stand against what it calls "misguided" legislation.

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In the past week, Epic Games, Runic Games, and Riot Games have publicly denounced the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Now, Firefall developer Red 5 Studios has joined the list of dissenters, but the studio isn't limiting its stance to words alone.

Speaking to the GameFly-owned Shacknews recently, Red 5 Studios' CEO Mark Kern revealed that the developer will shut down the ongoing beta for its free-to-play shooter Firefall, as well as its website, on January 18 for 24 hours in protest of SOPA. Red 5 Studios will join social news website Reddit in closing its operation on that day to demonstrate disapproval of the legislation.

Red 5 Studios' stance against SOPA does not end there. Kern noted that Red 5 Studios has canceled its plans to attend the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo, which is put on by the Entertainment Software Association, a group that openly supports SOPA.

"We will not attend E3 unless ESA reverses their stance," Kern told Shacknews. The CEO called SOPA "misguided legislation" and said the studio is "ashamed" of the ESA for pledging its support to the controversial measure.

"This bill, and its 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," he told Shacknews. "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."

Companies that support the bill--including the National Football League and GameSpot parent company CBS--argue that it offers necessary protection to content creators. Opponents of the bill, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argue that SOPA infringes upon First Amendment rights and will ultimately deprive the Internet of non-infringing content.

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Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

74 comments
Apollo4x
Apollo4x

SOPA and it's sister bill are BOTH the scourge of all the internet stands for and all that the internet is supposed to be. If our freedoms are taken away and we can be locked up for putting a video up that has a copy righted song or a copy right video that happens to be playing then that's it we have all lost. Let's not lose and let's do some thing about this. Sorry GameSpot but I will not watch your video of E3 unless the ESA changes it's stance, and I hope every one else follows.

laser00
laser00

I threw SOPA on the ground...I ain't gonna be part of the system

sknight175216
sknight175216

Also, people can just bootleg games and music the same way that movies get bootlegged, so this bill is just stupid. Crime will ALWAYS exist. Get over it. Products that are worth the money and well developed sell. So instead of focusing on trying to "combat piracy" by taking away rights, why not make better products with features that people are willing to support instead of marking up prices and ripping people off. That's my 2 cents.

sknight175216
sknight175216

If this passes I'll just move to like Canada or something ha ha. :P

Downloadpilot
Downloadpilot

Go Red 5! I'm totally playing your game when it comes out; thanks for being on the right side of the law (unlike the lawmakers) :D

kais112
kais112

Anything against Google will surely fail...

starduke
starduke

"It is difficult to make our material condition better by the best law, but it is easy enough to ruin it by bad laws." -Theodore Roosevelt

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

Weird Al's "Don't Download That Song" comes to mind... lol Slightly out of context but whatever

XeonForce
XeonForce

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

NoodleFighter
NoodleFighter

The future of the world if SOPA was passed *me in jail* Me:Hey what are you in for? Criminal: I murdered and molested hundreds of children! You? Me: Oh I uploaded a Battlefield montage with some song on youtube. Criminal: People like you make me vomit!

supertom221
supertom221

@mat989 Gamespot does not support SOPA. CBS does.

mat989
mat989

gamespot, don't tell me you actually support SOPA..? *sigh* Regardless, I'll post a saying I make up myself for you and for the users: "A man's mind can't be broken A man's body can't be convinced But, if corrupted by power and money A man can lose his soul And deny his deep desires"

nyran125
nyran125

actually @mimicry this bill affects the USA more than the rest of the world..you should actually read it. Justa bout every second paragraph is USA related and barely touched on the rest of the world. Like a $10 million fine if you are from the US and talk about comapny secrets online lol. I can see some people in a conversation on the net being mistaken for spies and being fined with corrupt pretences.

Mimicry
Mimicry

I got to say fellow Gamespotters from the US - I am sure glad I am not in your shoes right now. For what it's worth here's hoping you can prevent the gaming industry in the US from becoming a fascist state.

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

SOPA isn't misguided, it has its own goal "Steal consumers of their rights that they gain when they pay" in another words its pure theft.

deathshead023
deathshead023

Gamespot cant do or say anything against what Daddy CBS believe. What daddy says goes! or else! They are guilty themselves for that kind of action. Remember what they did to Jeff Gerstmann. He got sent packing after expressing his true review of a certain game. Now look at him, he's over there at Giantbomb happily expressing his first amendment rights!

Clockout1
Clockout1

While maybe not the best solution, it's good that they're doing SOMETHING.

renegade_magnum
renegade_magnum

Well I'll be. Red 5 Studios just got themselves another customer. Bravo gentlemen. Continue the fight against SOPA.

packtop
packtop

@rarson time have changed sadly before they was able to do that without being scared of losing a job because even if they did lose their job they just had to go to the other side of the street and get another jobs but it isn't like that anymore. Now if you do something like that somewhere your chance of finding another jobs is quite small...

armorninja49
armorninja49

SOPA shall not pass! Kudos to Red 5 and the others for opposing this awful bill!

mijahi
mijahi

@tachsniper: Thank you for that link. I learned that both of my states' senators support SOPA. I also used the link to write both said senators as well as my State Rep. asking them for a reason as to why they would support a bill that so egregiously tramples upon the First Amendment. Not that they'll respond... @alexLmx6: Your post bleeds of truth. And only serves to sadden me even more.

alexLmx6
alexLmx6

@mijahi - The best way to get a law like this passed is to do it behind the scenes, because they know that even hillbillies without internet are smart enough to know it's a bad idea. So if you support the bill, the best way to support it is to not say anything, and do your best to make sure people don't learn of it's existence.

mijahi
mijahi

How can I find out if the Congressman & woman from my state as well as my State Representative are supporters? Is there an official list somewhere? I just checked all 3 of their personal sites and there is no mention of SOPA or PIPA anywhere. I am angered that I am just now learning about SOPA. I generally don't spend a lot of time online and am more of a traditionalist when it comes to getting my news. Suckered and blinded yet again by mainstream media. Disgusted.

bdous
bdous

I wonder if Gamespot would be against SOPA if it wasn't part of CBS.

Rovelius
Rovelius

This thing will never hold together !

rarson
rarson

ABC, CBS, NBC, and News Corporation (Fox) all support SOPA, so they're obviously not going to report negatively on it. http://bit.ly/wiAUrM

tachsniper
tachsniper

@mijahi Because most of the media has ties to or has been bought off by the RIAA and MPAA

mijahi
mijahi

Where is the mainstream media coverage of this SOPA & PIPA bill? I am angered that something so detrimental to an industry I love is not getting any coverage.

tachsniper
tachsniper

@Rocker6 I've been saying that all along, CBS supports SOPA therefore Gamespot supports SOPA by being a subordinate. As far as I know Gamespot has done nothing to try and change CBS's mind, schedule a mass walk out, a protest, something, anything to get CBS's attention that gamespot doesn't approve. To the best of my knowledge Gamespot has done none of that so yea they technically support SOPA.

Rocker6
Rocker6

@LtReviews Im only concerned that their voice of oposing SOPA means little if their parent company supports it,that's it...

rarson
rarson

"I frankly don't trust CBS not to fire otherwise good employees over this." That's the whole point of making a stand. It's amazing how sheltered people in this country have become, to think that the threat of losing their jobs is reason not to do something important. You know, there once was a time in our history where people faced the threat of losing their LIVES for their cause. Sometimes you have to make tough choices and take some risk in order to make a difference.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

The most important things you can do to fight SOPA: 1. Tell your friends, familes, co-workers, classmates etc. about the bill, and how it will affect them. 2. Let your Congressmen/ Senators know that they will NOT have your vote in the upcoming election if they support this bill, and take a few moments to try and find their stance on it. To find your congressperson and contact them, I recommend this site which can look it up for you by ZIP code: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml Threatening your congressmen/ senators with your votes is the biggest amount of impact you can make on their decision making process. Take a few minutes and let yourself be heard!

tachsniper
tachsniper

@Evenios maybe not but one thing it does do is get people angry at the cause, and the cause is SOPA. Angry people tend to "influence" their representatives.

tachsniper
tachsniper

Firefall, you now have a dedicated player when you release, way to go!

deth420
deth420

if you want to stop this kind of "legislation" contact your local rep! ...and really gamespot might not be able to come right out and say their against this, but i think they are helping attract attention to this. even if gamespot says hey we dont like it, its up to individuals to call their local government and express discontent!

Evenios
Evenios

No offence but these game sites shutting down for 24 hours and all that really doesnt do anything to convince legislators from passing the bill all it but who knows.

Jaxith
Jaxith

@Thatsmypunk That's my perception as well. I frankly don't trust CBS not to fire otherwise good employees over this. Then again, firing someone for taking a stance on a relevant political issue just can't be constitutional. Not that I expect CBS cares very much, given their support of SOPA...

LtReviews
LtReviews

@rocker6 how exactly are they forced to support it? I don't think everyone here understands the relationship between a company and a parent company..

mustained13
mustained13

Gamespot's article on SOPA is outdated as some of the major companies have withdrawn support from the current writeup of the bill. And just because Gamespot is part of the CBS tree doesn't mean they support the bill by default; I'm pretty sure many of the individual workers are against SOPA. They probably choose (or have) to stay neutral in this case and do what media folks are supposed to do: make the public aware and let us choose for ourselves.

rarson
rarson

Gamespot is guilty by association. If they really felt strongly about it, they'd tell CBS about it and cease coverage on anything but SOPA. But I guess I have to give them a smidgen of credit for reporting on it at all, which is more than the mainstream media is doing. Of course, if Gamespot isn't doing enough, then neither are all the people posting here, including me. You should be boycotting Gamespot (maybe I'll just boycott their non-SOPA coverage).

LtReviews
LtReviews

@illegalChronic John Davison is the VP at gamespot. He wrote this editorial article that is unilaterally against sopa. http://www.gamespot.com/features/sopa-the-bill-that-wants-to-break-your-internet-6346561/ A parent company is a company that owns enough stock that they can influence certain business decisions on the part of the company whose stock they own, simply because that is the lifeblood of the business. But as of now, CBS doesn't seem to have told gamespot to shut up about SOPA opposition, as you can tell from the article. /

shawnanthony
shawnanthony

Dear Google and all the other companies that dont currently give me money. I am the US government and i want YOU to bribe me... err... i mean lobby, so i will vote against the bill that will cause your business a lot of money. Thanks!

kakotan
kakotan

Well who can we contact to not see the SOPA and PIPA pass, I dont want the internet to change like this.

Rocker6
Rocker6

@Zipper761882 Yeas,Gamespot is owned by CBS,and since they support SOPA,so does Gamespot,they're forced into it.However,Gamespot editors spoke against SOPA,but still,if CBS supports it,their voice means little,sadly... But don't boycott the site,if Gamespot left CBS,they would fall apart very fast,so they don't exactly have much of a choice...