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Red 5 Studios, developer of the upcoming free-to-play MMO shooter Firefall, announced Friday that it has been working with acclaimed science fiction and fantasy writer Orson Scott Card in developing the game’s story. Piggybacking this announcement, the studios also revealed that daughter, Emily Janice Card, will be working with her father on a related manga novel in collaboration with UDON Entertainment.

“Orson understands us as a studio, what we represent and gets the vision we have for Firefall,” said Red 5 CEO Mark Kern. “I truly believe that gamers will be surprised by how rich and engaging the Firefall world is.”

Unlike recent shooters that have been adopting a straight-to-gameplay approach, Firefall lore has been a focus early on, as seen in the game’s blog. Now we know why.

At least from a storytelling perspective, this title is shaping up to have depth and richness of a RPG. This will only be strengthened by the manga which is reported to feature a storyline parallel to the gameplay. The manga will be penned by both Cards and drawn by artist Joe Ng (Street Fighter IV comic series). Said Red 5 art lead Adam McMahon, “[t]his just feels right, like a perfect match, and I can’t wait to share our collaborative creation with the rest of the world.”

Following the game’s free-to-play model, the Firefall manga will be available as a free download later this year. The game itself is set to release by the holidays 2011.

Orson Scott Card is best known for his novels Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead. His daughter, Emily Janice Card, is best known for her award winning work narrating such titles as Revolution, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott and Special Topics in Calamity Physics in audio book. UDON Entertainment is an award-winning Canadian-based art collective formed in 2000 specializing in video game comics, manga and art books.

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