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Microsoft, Ubisoft develop free-to-play Assassin's Creed: Pirates for browsers

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Ubisoft and Microsoft have teamed up to offer a free-to-play version of Assassin's Creed: Pirates over your internet browser.

The game is available in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer, with support for touch and mouse/keyboard input.

"Today, we're excited to announce a new partnership with Ubisoft to launch the first ever Assassin's Creed title on the modern web with HTML5, 3D WebGL graphics, and JavaScript. The Assassin's Creed Pirates web-based experience is available today for free play in five languages worldwide. New gameplay based on the popular iOS Assassin's Creed Pirates game allows you to step into the shoes of Alonzo Batilla, a young captain, racing his ship through the Caribbean seas, evading mines and other hurdles, amidst searching for treasure," said Microsoft in a statement.

The browser version of Assassin's Creed: Pirates is a stripped down version of the mobile spin-off title of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Assassin's Creed: Pirates for mobile was released by Ubisoft for $5 last December.

The graphics between the two versions are similar, but the pirate battles that are present in the version for smartphones and tablets is replaced by a simple ship race game, which pits the player's ship against other ships in a race to get the best time while avoiding obstacles.

If you will be playing on a device with a touchscreen, you can steer your ship through the course or unfurl its sails with the swipe of a finger. On Windows devices, the game supports split-screen browsing, allowing users to play the game while performing other tasks. 

Assassin's Creed: Pirates uses the Babylon.JS technology that was created by a team of Microsoft developers. Babylon.JS is an open source 3D engine that is based on JavaScript, WebGL and TypeScript, and it is designed to assist Web developers to easily add several effects and 3D scenes to games.

Justin Garrett, senior product manager for Internet Explorer, reportedly said that the company believed that the game is the perfect way to showcase the new technology. Internet Explorer is also encouraging developers to try out Babylon.JS in creating shaders for the game, with a contest that is giving away an Xbox One and a copy of the Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag Black Chest Edition to the winner.

"We wanted to see if a game like this could be possible on the web. It's difficult to really know where web-gaming is headed, but we can be sure that Babylon.JS and Internet Explorer today, in terms of gaming, are great platforms to demonstrate its potential," said François Bodson, Ubisoft studio manager.

Assassin's Creed: Pirates for browsers can be played for free on the game page.

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