Firefall shutting down beta in SOPA protest, Minecraft sites join in [update]

Red 5 Studios will shut down the Firefall beta on January 18, joining Reddit in its one day protest of the "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA). CEO Mark Kern told Shacknews that the "misguided legislation" would hurt smaller game companies that wouldn't have the legal resources to protect themselves in case of an "unwarranted shutdown."

"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 said, taking his protest of the organization that puts on the annual E3 event one step further. "We will not attend E3 unless ESA reverses their stance."

"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."

Despite the ESA's support of SOPA, some members have spoken out against the political lobbying group's stance. Non-member developers have also started speaking out this week, including League of Legends developer Riot Games and Torchlight's Runic Games.

Update: Markus Persson has stated Minecraft.net and Mojang.com will join in the protest.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.