NEW YORK–CBS announced yesterday a new host certification program for all Star Trek Internet role plays, sims, and fan fiction websites. The course is expected to go live sometime this summer and to be required for all hosts leading Star Trek games in 2020 and beyond. The initial curriculum will cost $599 with an annual re-certification fee of $199. Role plays not in compliance after the January 1, 2020 deadline will be forced to cease operations.
“CBS has long been concerned about the quality of non-sponsored Star Trek online simming games,” said Michael Kohen, a lawyer representing CBS. “Under this new program, we can ensure a high-quality consistent product for all Star Trek fans who enjoy role playing and writing fan fiction on the Internet.”
Reaction from the online role playing and simming community has been largely negative.
Veteran role player Brian Bumsworth, host of the record-breaking USS Magnanimous sim, called the move a “power grab.” He continued, “It’s bull-[EDITED].”
“It’s the right thing to do,” said JJ Abrams, director of the three most recent Star Trek films. “I’ve always thought that Internet fan fiction took away from what I was trying to do on the big screen. I only wish Paramount had taken action on this years earlier.”
Details, including how to register for the program, will be published on CBS’s website as early as next week.