Ascend: New Gods

Signal Studios announced today that its upcoming action role-playing game, Ascend: New Gods, will appear as one of the first free-to-play games on Xbox Live. This fall’s Happy Wars will also rely on microtransactions instead of the traditional model, which includes the cost of the full game and possible downloadable content.

Ascend: New Gods, which was revealed at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in June, will feature “parallel multiplayer” and cross-play between console and mobile versions.

“We want to create a game that delivers an experience beyond what people generally expect from free-to-play titles,” said D. R. Albright, the president and creative director at Signal. “Our business model is integrated into the gameplay in a very elegant way. There’s no begging or distracting pop-ups. Players can get through Ascend without spending a dime, but if they want to purchase items to augment their experience, we make it easy for them to do so. If they choose not to, that’s fine, too.”

The in-game currency, “souls,” provide players access to different items, abilities, upgrades, and character customizations. Players can gain souls either by progressing naturally or spending Microsoft Points through Xbox Live.

The developer plans to use “unique technology” to introduce fresh content more seamlessly into the game.

“Ascend leverages our proprietary dynamic content system to deliver on-the-fly updates,” said Brett Gow, the executive producer for Ascend. “By taking advantage of this system, we’ll be able to quickly make adjustments to the game to meet the demands of both the single-player story and the multiplayer experience. This will allow us to push new content and gameplay updates directly to players without the wait normally associated with console title updates.”

Ascend: New Gods is coming to Xbox Live in early 2013. It supports Microsoft’s Xbox SmartGlass technology, announced in June.