Ubisoft is crafting a free-to-play online version of its popular "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon" shooter videogame.
"Ghost Recon Online" is a deviation from the French videogame titan's roots making packaged titles for videogame consoles and comes with the rocketing popularity of online "social games" supported by ads or in-game transactions.
"The online market is an exciting new frontier for videogames and for gamers," Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot said in a press release.
"With 'Ghost Recon Online,' and other major upcoming projects, Ubisoft is creating online experiences that allow our fans to stay connected to their favorite brands and to continually receive new content and game play."
The third-person shooter game based on Clancy's hit espionage novels is being developed by Ubisoft Singapore for online play using personal computers.
Limited testing of the multi-player game was to begin in coming weeks. Information about taking part in the "closed beta" test can be found online at GhostReconOnline.com.
"Our development teams are dedicated to making 'Ghost Recon Online' a truly unique, top-quality online title," said Ubisoft senior producer Hugues Ricour. "This game was designed from the start to be a free-to-play experience."
Ubisoft said it will back the game with services including regular events and updates, customized content based on community feedback, and live support.
While game play will be free, players will be able to purchase "premium items and fully personalize their experience."
"Ghost Recon" will be the first Ubisoft shooter game offered in the free-to-play format.
"This direct link with our fans will allow us to create new and ever better experiences for them," said Guillemot.
Explore further: Watching others play video games is the new spectator sport