Friday, 22 October 2010
It's fall and with the fall comes a slew of blockbuster titles for gamers to salivate over. For the FPS fans we have Halo: Reach, Medal of Honor, and Call of Duty: Black Ops. RPG fans will sink hours into Fable III and Fallout: New Vegas. Sports fans got NBA 2K11 a few weeks ago, and before long Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II will be, well, unleashed along with Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. So say goodbye to your paychecks.
I’ve always been a huge gamer and so by the time January rolls around I will have probably played all of these. For me, gaming is a social experience. I have my gamer friends and we talk on Skype, AIM, Facebook, etc, about gaming related stuff. It’s all very geeky but we love it. However up until now there was this divide. You played your games on an Xbox, PS3, Wii, or PC and then you talked about it on your social networking platforms(something which I hate saying). But it looks like that will be changing.
You can probably credit Farmville, as ridiculously stupid as it is, for this. Farmville and all of its clones proved that Facebook was a viable (notice I didn’t say good) platform for gaming. I feared that soon I would be digging graves for all of the soldiers I took out in Assassin’s Creed: Gravedigger or cleaning up after my horse in Red Dead Redemption: Pooper-scooper, but it is not to be so. Major console releases are getting involved in the social networking game and what they are doing may change the way we game forever.
Now to be fair, this has been done already to some extent. You can link PS3 and XBOX 360 achievements to your facebook, you can tweet mid game, you even have some contests run through facebook and twitter for upcoming releases. But this year Assassin’s Creed and Fable III are looking to top them all.
First out of the gate was Assassin’s Creed: Legacy. Through Facebook players could enter into an Abstergo Industries Templar training program, earning skill points and experience along the way. While you play you earn Uplay points, Ubisoft’s mini Xbox Live, that you can spend on un-lockables in any of Ubisoft’s games.
Not to be outdone, Lionhead came out with a different sort of add on experience for Fable III. In Kingmaker, which for now is only available in the UK (grrr), you use a smart phone app to find bags of gold around the country. They are randomly scattered and you can only gather them by getting close enough and being one of the first 100 to do so. Games use collection to inspire exploration all the time, but this is the first time I’ve seen one inspire people to explore the real world. Even better, the gold you earn is available in Fable III when you pick up your copy.
Social Networking is here to stay, gaming is here to stay. It seems logical that the two would meet at some point. I for one am thrilled. There is a reason I play games and to allow me to work on my characters or just stay involved in the universe even when I don’t have time for an all night play session gets me redicoulously excited. It also makes me think more about what Cliffy B said about the future of gaming being RPGs, but that’s for another post.
So what do you think, excited to see parts of your favorite games played out across Facebook, Twitter, and text messages?