‘Rango’ range extends online

Funtactix game goes day-and-date with Par film

Helmer Gore Verbinski’s new animated film “Rango” is the latest to get an online game treatment.

Funtactix, a global developer and game publisher, announced Thursday a partnership with Paramount Digital Entertainment to create “Rango: The World” in conjunction with the film, which bows March 4.

The game will become the first online social game, or “world,” to release day and date with its corresponding film.

“Rango: The World” will utilize Funtactix’s WORLD technology, which allows for maximum reach for high-quality visuals and integration of animated assets. Much of the content in the game is based on assets created for the film by special f/x house Industrial Light and Magic.

“What often happens is (social game graphics) get diluted down to flat 2D animation,” said Funtactix CEO Sam Glassenberg. “We’ve made a huge investment to make an experience that’s just as easy to get into, but the quality and authenticity is much higher.”

Glassenberg said the advantage of Rangotheworld.com and “Rango” bowing the same day is that the film becomes an “opening sequence” for the game.

“The story that takes place (in the world) is a direct extension of what happens in the movie,” said Glassenberg. “Players can go watch the film and then jump into ‘Rango: The World’ and create their avatar, go on quests, hang out with their friends and become the hero of the universe.”

Paramount Digital Entertainment also is publishing “Rango The Videogame,” available on console platforms including PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS and Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment systems starting March 1.

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