LOS ANGELES--Ubisoft is trying a few new moves with its key franchises, offering gamers a new way to play the company's top titles.
These new initiatives underscore Ubisoft's efforts to bring a new spin to its popular franchises. The company has for years refined its games, of course, but the company said it hopes these new features will help to make the games even more attractive.
The game maker on Monday unveiled a new entrant in its Assassin's Creed game series called Unity. The series, which tells the story of two battling factions across various historical events such as the Italian renaissance and the American revolution, is entering its seventh year. In the new iteration, set in 18th century revolutionary France, gamers can play with up to three friends to progress through the game. The game is scheduled to be released October 28.
While gamers can play together, Ubisoft said the game still offers a detailed and varied experience. "Unity is about carving your own unique path through an immersive city," said Alexandre Amancio, creative director at Ubisoft's Montreal group.
Ubisoft is putting a new spin on Just Dance as well, connecting up gamers to play over the Internet. The series historically has used a controller or camera connected to a video game console to track players as they dance along with onscreen characters as popular music plays in the background. With Just Dance Now, gamers can download a free app to their smartphones and connect to an accompanying website using their tablet, computer or smart TV to play the game.
In a third new game, called Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege, players can work in teams of five against one another. One team can play as the police, for example, breaking into a home where a hostage is being held by terrorists. The other team attempts to stop them. That game will be released in 2015.
Ubisoft also showed off new franchises it's planning to release, such as The Crew, a sprawling driving game it's planning to release November 11, and Tom Clancy's The Division, a post-apocalytic action adventure game. The company also announced an update to its popular FarCry adventure series, also due in November 2014.
The company also showed some new games, including Shape Up, a fitness app made for Microsoft's Xbox One, encouraging gamers to work out using the Kinect Motion sensor. Another new title was Valiant Hearts: The Great War, an artistic puzzle game set during the first world war.