Ghost Recon Online is a free-to-play shooter, closed beta 'this summer'

While Ghost Recon Online is decidedly a video game (unlike some of Ubisoft's other experiments of late), it's clear the French publisher is eager to invest in new markets like, for example, the free-to-play shooter market. Ghost Recon Online (GROnline?) is a third-person, cover-based tactical shooter –- that's what Ghost Recon games are, after all. The big difference in this Ubisoft Singapore-developed title is that, unlike its console-based counterparts, GROnline will be freely downloadable when it launches "in the second half of 2011." Too long to wait? A closed beta kicks off this summer.

Like most other free-to-play titles, Ghost Recon Online will allow microtransactions, giving players the ability to purchase "premium items" to "personalize their experience" (and enhance their abilities). "The online market has evolved into an important new frontier for video games and for gamers," Ubi CEO Yves Guillemot said in a press release. "With Ghost Recon Online, as well as with other important upcoming projects, Ubisoft is confident that we're creating high quality, innovative online experiences, and that our customers will benefit from the choice and creativity that Ubisoft brings to the market."

If you want to get in on that beta, head over to the Ghost Recon Online site and share that email! If you just want to watch a trailer for the game, that's okay too – you'll find it just past the break.
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UBISOFT ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF TOM CLANCY'S GHOST RECON ONLINE

New Free-to-Play Game Brings Best Qualities of Ghost Recon Franchise Online

SAN FRANCISCO – May 24, 2011 – Today, Ubisoft announced the development of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online, a new multi-player, third-person, cover-based tactical shooter that will be offered free-to-play online. Ghost Recon Online is developed by Ubisoft Singapore, and offers all the best qualities of the Ghost Recon franchise in a downloadable, dynamic, PC-based online game. Ghost Recon Online launches in a closed beta this summer and will be more widely available in the second half of 2011.

With Ghost Recon Online, Ubisoft is delivering the most social, connected and customizable Ghost Recon experience yet. The game offers players the ability to choose between three different classes of Ghost, customize their weapons, deploy cutting-edge military technology, and share intel with their team. Ghost Recon Online also features a rich lobby platform for hosting social and persistent progression features. The online features complement Ghost Recon Online's rich graphical environments and maps, which rival the quality of those traditionally seen only in retail console games. And while the game is free for anyone to play, players also can purchase premium items and fully personalize their experience.

"Ghost Recon Online takes the best attributes of the Ghost Recon game franchise and brings them online, making the experience of being a Ghost accessible to millions of new players and fans," said Hugues Ricour, senior producer at Ubisoft. "This game was designed from the start to be a free-to-play experience. Our development teams are dedicated to making Ghost Recon Online a truly unique, top-quality online title."

Ghost Recon Online is Ubisoft's latest entrant in the online gaming market and its first shooter to be offered in a free-to-play format. By delivering games as a service, Ubisoft is giving fans of its franchises the ability to connect with millions of their peers around the world, participate in game-driven communities and be continually immersed in their favorite game worlds.

"The online market has evolved into an important new frontier for video games and for gamers," said Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer at Ubisoft. "With Ghost Recon Online, as well as with other important upcoming projects, Ubisoft is confident that we're creating high quality, innovative online experiences, and that our customers will benefit from the choice and creativity that Ubisoft brings to the market."

Players can sign up for the closed beta and find more information on the game at www.GhostReconOnline.com.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.