EA uses social app to promote upcoming console title

With EA moving further and further into the social gaming sector, it should come as no surprise that they’ve recently launched a social game that serves not only as a stand alone game, but a teaser for an upcoming console title: Dante’s Inferno.

GoToHellHailing from the Visceral Games branch of EA, the social (read Facebook) game launched yesterday, and serves two purposes. ‘Go To Hell’ makes use of the famous poem’s nine circles of hell. The game itself is nothing really we haven’t seen already done. I.e., gameplay is a well worn – don’t like so and so? Send them to the ‘anger’ ring of hell. Mad at an ex-lover? Send them to the ‘lust’ ring. You get the idea. However, the game is not limited solely to the Facebook platform, as users can share play data across other online platforms including MySpace, iGoogle, and Twitter.

Players can choose to punish or absolve other players and see how the community reacts to such actions. For stats trackers, the ‘Go To Hell’ app also includes a ‘Hell Browser’ that serves up a daily snapshot of all activity in Hell. This ‘Hell Browser’ serves is a pushed leader board, thereby encouraging others to play for dominance, without forcing them to an external area to check stats.

“This app is awesome! Not only will it be a blast to see who the world sends to hell, but it’s also a great opportunity to take Dante’s notion of the 9 circles of hell and make it current and relevant for people who may not be familiar with the poem,” said executive producer Jonathan Knight. “Let the damning begin.”

Again, the app itself is nothing special, but rather, it signifies an interesting move for EA. While Dante’s Inferno still hasn’t received a PEGI classification, and isn’t due out until February 9th, 2010, launching a stand alone app that serves as a teaser – and this far out- is noteworthy. Keep in mind that both the Xbox360 and PS3 contain social networking input/output exchanges – wouldn’t that be something if these consoles one day allowed Facebook apps to run on them. Perhaps EA knows something we don’t?

Go To Hell can be found at http://apps.facebook.com/gotohell while non-facebook users (is there such a thing?) can play the browser based version at http://gotohell.dantesinferno.com with other social networking API’s in place. A free iPhone version of the app is expected soon.

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