By Aj Glasser From Inside Social Games
CSI: Crime City developer Ubisoft announced several social games based on the CSI, NCIS and House TV series in addition to a publishing deal with Cloudforest Expedition developer Loot Drop for unnamed project.
The new games based on TV shows — CSI: Miami, House, M.D.: Critical Cases and NCIS: Major Crimes — are all due out in late 2011 or early 2012 with possible sequels to follow in the form of NCIS: Los Angeles and CSI: New York to come later in 2012. Each game follows the procedural nature of the show on which its based with players identifying victims, patients, or crimes and then investigating via exploring environments or questioning non-playable characters. Social features involve friends helping one another discover clues or treat patients.
In addition to these titles, Ubisoft is still on track to release a Facebook companion game in the Ghost Recon series called Ghost Recon Commander, where players can play the game on Facebook and make progress in both the console-based Ghost Recon: Future Soldier game and the PC-based multiplayer Ghost Recon: Online game and vice-versa. Ubisoft VP of Digital Publishing Chris Early previously discussed the company's strategy behind this title with us, outlining the experience gained from launching a similar companion Facebook game for the Assassin's Creed franchise last year.
The Loot Drop project was not discussed in detail. As far as we know, this means that the developer now has three projects underway — the still-not-quite-live Cloudforest Expedition, a second game to be published by RockYou, and now a third game to be published by Ubisoft.
As for Ubisoft' existing social games, CSI: Crime City and The Smurfs & Co, The developer is still continuing to support these titles on Facebook. The Smurfs lost some of its momentum after the film of the same name left theaters, but Ubisoft is counting on new content, user acquisition activities, and the December DVD release of the film to restore some of the game's growth. Additional tweaks to the early gameplay experience may also be forthcoming.
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