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Ubisoft announces Ghost Recon Online MMO

Free-to-play PC exclusive adapts Asian online model for Western audience

A new PC-based massively multiplayer online (MMO) game named Ghost Recon Online has been announced by publisher Ubisoft, with the game due for release in early 2012.

Like previous titles in the series the game remains a third person, cover-based tactical shooter, developed by the Ubisoft Shanghai studio. However, Ghost Recon Online will be offered free-to-play, with a closed beta program beginning this summer.

Although free-to-play the game will offer premium items for players to purchase, mimicking the business model typical of MMOs in South Korea and China.

A brief trailer of the game at the official website shows visuals and gameplay typical of the franchise, with Ubisoft promising three different classes of characters, customisable weapons and "a rich lobby platform for hosting social and persistent progression features".

The publisher is also planning to "back the game with a full set of services, including regular events and game content updates, customised content based on community feedback, and live support."

"Ghost Recon Online takes the best attributes of the Ghost Recon game franchise and brings them online, making the experience of being a Ghost accessible to millions of new players and fans," said Hugues Ricour, senior producer at Ubisoft. "This game was designed from the start to be a free-to-play experience. Our development teams are dedicated to making Ghost Recon Online a truly unique, top-quality online title." "The online market is an exciting new frontier for video games and for gamers," said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot.

"With Ghost Recon Online, and other major upcoming projects, Ubisoft is creating online experiences that allow our fans to stay connected to their favourite brands and to continually receive new content and gameplay. This direct link with our fans will allow us to create new and ever better experiences for them."

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David Jenkins