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Breaking barriers

india Updated: Oct 05, 2010 01:01 IST
AFP
Highlight Story

French video game titan Ubisoft is expanding the world of Assassin’s Creed to Facebook, breaking down the barrier between play on consoles and at the hot online social network. Project Legacy, available free for play at Facebook, is Ubisoft’s first “companion game” crafted to let gameplay achievements at a social network pay off in console versions and vice versa.

“It’s basically a back-and-forth mechanism for passing value between games that are complementary in the same universe,” said former Microsoft executive Chris Early, head of Ubisoft’s freshly-created digitalpublishing team.

“By tying the games together, we have people extend their experience.”Accomplishments in Project Legacy result in virtual money or experience points that can be sent to a player’s guild of assassins in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood being released November 16 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 videogame consoles.

Project Legacy play can unlock special features in the soon-to-be-released third title in the blockbuster Assassin’s franchise. Progress in Brotherhood will reward Legacy players with access to new content. Brotherhood will continue the Renaissance period tale of betrayed nobleman Ezio Auditore Da Firenze, a descendent of the Altair character who starred in the original title.

Ubisoft also announced it is building a massively multiplayer online (MMO) pet simulation adventure game spinning off of its winning line of 'Petz' video games.The Petz World MMO will be designed to reward families playing as a team, with prog-ress by parents or children resulting in rewards for each other’s in-world characters.

“Now, we are all members of the same family playing together in a way that complements each other’s play,” Early said during Ubisoft’s first Digital Day event featuring glimpses at new online game offerings.

Ubisoft last year launched a UbiFriends gaming portal on Facebook. The portal’s first offering was a TickTock game that playfully challenges Facebook users to show how much they know about their friends.

Videogame makers have been increasingly turning to digital offerings as game distribution shifts increasingly online and play at online social networking websites booms.

Inception, the video game?
The blockbuster film Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, may be turned into a video game, the director Christopher Nolan had revealed in a press conference in Rome to promote the film.

A video game version of the hit Hollywood flick Inception “has all kinds of ideas that you can't fit into a feature film,” Nolan said, according to entertainment publication Variety.

The complex effects in the sci-fi thriller lend themselves to a video game but it seems to be a ways off from retail shelves. Fans got a taste with Inception’s viral website campaign which offered a video game with players drawing a maze and running through it.

Conceived as a twist on classics like the territorial defense game Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper’s corridor monster hunting, RollerCoaster Tycoon, and especially influenced by the free indie game Infiniminer, Sweden’s Markus Persson’s brainchild, Minecraft has become a huge cult hit even before its official release.

Speaking to industry website Gamasutra in March 2010, Persson was pleased at having seen sales increase to 200 copies per day for a total of 6,400. Six months later, the daily figure for paid downloads is passing 10,000 and total sales are over 270,000. All that for something that’s available as a free browser-based game that isn’t even finished.