Cyberespionage MMO Spycursion plans a hackable media system with blackmailable journalists


Earlier this spring, I was disappointed by the failed Kickstarter for Spycursion. Defun Games had put up an MMO intended to support a “living world, a player-driven economy, and realistic hacking using [a] fictional programming language,” which made it an original offering for the MMO genre. But it barely accrued a sliver of its $100K ask. The good news was that the studio said it’d continue work on the game, though at a “slower pace” and with no chance of hitting its original Q4 2020 release goal.

Indeed, judging by the updates on the official site, we can see things have slowed down. But the team’s latest dev blog is certainly an interesting one, as Defun discusses how bad actors “hack” the media in the real world – and how that’s being implemented into the game. It’s not as overt as fake news; it’s far more insidious.

“I don’t believe we’ve discussed it much, but we’ve designed a media system into Spycursion. It will be basic at first, like publishing stories about major hacks that players do, and other random events. The ability to blackmail journalists may come later. In order for that to be useful, you’d first need a good reason to do it — elections, stock market, laws, etc. All more advanced and ambitious features… but all incredibly awesome. 😉 You may even have the ability to play as a journalist, working for a news organization, deciding what stories to publish or not to publish… and being targeted by disinformation specialists.”

Well that’s a new one for an MMORPG.

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…why blackmail journalist, when you can just run fake news feeds on Facebook? O.o


Yeah. No need for blackmail, just need to choose the right network, TV or otherwise.

But I like the concept because it does hit close to home given the recent efforts by Russian entities to manipulate public chaos in the political arenas.