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Indie Steampunk adventure game Echo Bazaar becomes Fallen London

Dev makes "ethical" decision to dump need for Facebook and Twitter account.

UK indie Failbetter Games has rebooted its Steampunk adventure game Echo Bazaar as Fallen London and ditched the need for gamers to use their social media account to play.

Failbetter has implemented email sign-up so players can play all the single-player content in the Victorian London adventure game without the need for a Facebook or Twitter account. You now only need one if you're interested in collaborating with other players.

Failbetter's Paul Arendt told Eurogamer the move was about implementing "ethical social gaming". "We've never really been happy to be labelled a social game," he said. "We feel that the practices of more aggressive companies tar the reputation of the whole field.

"Players can be reluctant to experiment with anything that looks like a social game because they expect a shallow experience and fear their accounts will be subverted and turned into a marketing channel."

Arendt said other social game makers may earn greater trust from their players if they followed Failbetter's lead.

The reboot includes more than just a switch to ethical social gaming, however. To accompany the new title is a raft of new features, an updated interface, new illustrations and more than 700,000 words of interactive stories. The developers reckon this amounts to months of free play.

Browser game Fallen London is described as part choose your own adventure, part RPG. Failbetter boss Alexis Kennedy said it settled on the new name because it better conveys "the flavour of the setting instantly". New screenshots are below.

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Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


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