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Ubisoft Goes for War World…and Girls

Game publisher Ubisoft has announced it’s bringing its 3rd person shooter War World to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade. Scheduled to be available “later this summer”—c’mon folks, there’s more than one hemisphere—War World hopes to redefine thenotion of an “arcade shooter” by combining tactical game play, fast action, and next-generation visual effects. In the game, players take on the roles of one of 10 “mechanoids” (think two-leggedbattle robots), each with their own unique strengths, and take them on a string of havoc and mayhem in a 100-level single-player campaign. Or, if that’s not challenging enough, War Worldwill also offer a four different multiplayer games through Xbox Live, supporting up to 8 players. War World is rated T for “Teen” by the ESRB, but neither Microsoft nor Ubisoft havereleased any pricing infomation.

And on an utterly different note, Ubisoft also announced at this week’s E3 conference in Santa Monica that it plans to launch a new line of video games specifically intended for girls aged 6 to 14, after conducting “extensive lifestyle research” into that audience. Video games specifically aimed at girls have so far failed to make serious dent in the traditionally male-dominated, shoot-and-blow-things-up world of video gaming, although there have been some noteworthy efforts from Sierra and other publishers.

Ubisoft’s new line of games will be called Imagine, with the first games titles Imagine Fashion Designer,Imagine Animal Doctor,Imagine Babyz, and Image Master Chef. The first games will ship in October 2007 for the Nintendo DS, with subsequent titles (including Imagine Figure Skater) to follow in 2008. Imagine Fashion Designer and Imagine Babyz both offer unique online components which (respectively) let them share their designs and exchange baby pictures and parenting tips.

“Ubisoft is excited to finally offer young girls a line of games that give them the chance to explore their hobbies and interests in interactive and creative experiences,” said Helene Juguet, Ubisoft’s senior director of marketing, in a statement. “Our consumer research revealed that the young girls’ market has been relatively overlooked. We are happy to introduce a variety of titles relevant to what girls in this age group have indicated they are most interested in.”

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