E308: EA announces Rupture expansion, to mesh with Warhammer Online

Michael Zenke
M. Zenke|07.14.08

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E308: EA announces Rupture expansion, to mesh with Warhammer Online
You may recall that EA recently purchased Rupture, a social networking site for gamers. Previously in-development by Shawn Fanning and Co, Fanning is now a proud EA employee. At the massive press conference for Electronic Arts today, the company announced an expansion to the Rupture system, in the form of the identity system Nucleus. Players will have a persistent tag that they can carry across games, ala Xbox Live. More importantly, from our perspective, they hinting that Warhammer Online will be meshing with this new system, and providing new opportunities for unique social interactions. Players will be able to "subcribe to and track what their friends are playing". This is extended even further by the capability to set "customer challenges" for friends - essentially player-made achievements.

They single out the possibility of "asking a friend to level a Warhammer Online character to 30 before the end of the weekend." Any developer can choose to hook into the Rupture framework, allowing social achievements across EA games and beyond. As exciting as it sounds, though, we somehow doubt that Blizzard's going to bite. A shame: would have been fun to challenge your WoW friends to a leveling contest. The press-release information is below the cut.

EA Online Initiatives

EA Online announced new features to make games easier to use and more fun to play, including a new identity system described in today's press conference as "nucleus." This identity system stores a gamer's profile such as likes, dislikes, friends and achievements. The system carries a gamer's identity everywhere they go -- across games and platforms - so that the reputation a gamer establishes in their console can follow them regardless of what platform they play on - anywhere or anytime.

In addition, EA Online has built powerful backend tools that will make micro-transactions a bigger part of the gaming experience. For example, in the Battlefield Heroes(TM) store, gamers will be able to get new items such as weapons, maps and fatigues. The identity system is built into the new The Sims 2 Store, and will also be available in titles like Spore and across titles from EA SPORTS.

Complementing the capabilities of the online identity system, EA also unveiled new details about its recent acquisition of Three SF and its service called Rupture(TM). With Rupture, gamers will be able to track and challenge friends across all games and gaming platforms. Built around an entirely open, game-agnostic API, Rupture allows any game developer or gamer with some scripting knowledge to extend Rupture to support new games, game events, or statistics. More information about this can be found at www.rupture.com/developers.

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