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‘Battlestar Galactica’ multi-player online game coming

“Battlestar Galactica” is finding new life on the Web.

A year after the cult and critics’ favorite science-fiction show left the air, a multi-player online game is being developed that further explores the “Battlestar” universe, which is also continuing in Syfy’s “Caprica” television show. The game, which will be introduced at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, is set to be released worldwide in August or September.

Despite the crossover between the science-fiction and video game audiences, there has never been a major video game based on “Battlestar Galactica.” In 2007 there was a poorly received downloadable starship fighting game with the name but little direct connection to the series.

“We’re picking a point in the chronology of the series that fans are very familiar with to tell new stories,” explained Bill Kispert, vice president of digital platforms for the partnerships and licensing department of Universal Pictures, which owns the “Battlestar Galactica” rights and made the game deal. “There will be space combat as well as missions and exploration.”

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Unlike traditional online multi-player games such as World of Warcraft that ship on discs and cost $50 to buy plus $15 per month, Battlestar Galactica is part of a new wave of games playable entirely in a Web browser for free.

In such games, which are hugely popular in South Korea and China and growing fast in the West, players can choose to purchase additional items such as weapons, costumes and access to new levels.

The Battlestar Galactica game is being published by Bigpoint, in which Syfy parent company NBC Universal is co-owner of a majority stake.

“With a browser game, you just get started when you launch,” said Nils-Holger Henning, chief communications officer of Bigpoint. “We can constantly add features and content for people who are playing.”

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ben.fritz@latimes.com


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