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MechWarrior Reboot Using CryEngine 3, Free-to-Play

The classic PC franchise MechAssault is finally making a long-awaited return, but it won't arrive as the next installment to the original series. Instead, developer Piranha Games is using Crytek's CryENGINE 3 to create the "premium" free-to-play MechWarrior Online.

"Here at Crytek we are incredibly proud that Piranha Games have selected CryENGINE 3 to power their forthcoming Mechwarrior Online game," says Carl Jones, Director of Global Business Development CryENGINE. "2012 will see a new segment in the games industry – as free-to-play games will step up to offer true AAA quality to gamers. Both Piranha and Crytek believe in the potential of this market and we look forward to helping them achieve their vision for an amazing game experience. With our own game, Warface and more than 20 of our current CryENGINE licensees also working on AAA quality, free-to-play games, CryENGINE is becoming the technology of choice for the highest quality online games."

According to Piranha, the online game will be set in the year 3049 and focus on four distinct pillars: Mech Warfare, Role Warfare, Community Warfare and Information Warfare. Participating gamers will be rewarded with experience points, C-Bills, unlocks, and recognition. They will also be able to upgrade skills and refine their role in gameplay using an all-new leveling system.

"Working with CryENGINE is a true pleasure," said Russ Bullock, president of Piranha Games. "It is definitely the best choice for us: Both the character animation pipeline with the procedurally and physics based animations and the destruction system fit our goals perfectly and allow us to develop a truly unique AAA experience based on the award-winning BattleTech Universe."

Piranha originally announced its upcoming MechWarrior free-to-play game for the PC back on November 1. Gamers will play a key role in a dynamic and ever-changing universe where their exploits impact the world. Daily story updates and frequent content additions will create "epic" changes to the Inner Sphere universe and its many inhabitants.

"MechWarrior Online lets players command at will: go head-to-head online alone or with friends in high-octane Conquest and VS modes," Piranha said weeks ago. "Band together and form your own Mercenary Corp, invite friends and battle other player-made Merc Corps for prestige and power. Pledge your allegiance to one of the five great houses and fight for control of precious Inner Sphere planets."

MechWarrior Online is set to launch in the second half of 2012 from newly formed digital publisher, Infinite Game Publishing.