Epic up for a Gears of War Facebook game

"From a theory perspective, absolutely."

Epic Games is in theory up for following in BioWare and Ubisoft's footsteps with the release of a Facebook game designed to tie-in with a triple-A game.

More and more publishers are experimenting with brand extending Facebook games in an effort to expose their home console games to more people.

In recent months we've seen Facebook games such as Dragon Age: Legends and Assassin's Creed spin-off Project Legacy emerge with the promise of unlockable items.

One popular triple-A series that's yet to branch out into the world of Facebook, however, is Gears of War. Would franchise director Rod Fergusson be up for having a crack at it?

"We don't have anything I can announce or say we're planning, but from a theory perspective, yeah, absolutely," he said.

"Much like why we do a comic book and the novels, these are brand extensions that introduce people to the intellectual property in the hope that something hooks them and will bring them to the game."

The explosion of social and mobile gaming has provided game publishers with new avenues to broaden their video game brands.

Nowadays most big video games launch alongside specially created mobile versions.

As far as Fergusson is concerned, brand extensions are essential to the success of any intellectual property and it's something Epic Games should be "tapping" into.

"You have to look at why you're doing it," he said. "There are things like the Armory iPhone app for World of Warcraft, which is an extension of the game. So you're like, OK, I want to play that same game but remotely in a different way.

"Then there are other games, like the Dragon Age Facebook game, which is meant to be like, I want to introduce you to the intellectual property, and that's a completely separate game that eventually we hope you'll come to see the main game. So there are two different ways to think about it.

"Just by the pure popularity of social and mobile gaming now, those are audiences we can be tapping. I like to see that as the farm team or the place to go where you're growing casual gamers into more mainstream gamers, that they can eventually come to your product.

"It's about getting people exposed to your IP. For Epic, we're new and on the cusp of that, and we're just starting to dabble in those sorts of things."

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