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By Alex Villafania

MANILA, Philippines — Game publishing company Asian Media unveiled a new casual game that will be the company’s first free-to-play.

Asian Media sealed a partnership with Korean game developer NCSoft to launch the game Exteel in the Philippines.

The game is an anime-themed, third-person shooter. Players control “mechanaughts” or armored robots over huge futuristic maps.

The mechanaughts can be armed with various weapons including swords, spears, submachine guns, rifles, rocket launchers, among others.

The mechanaughts’ features can also be customized with booster packs, body armor, and even warpaint.

Despite Exteel being identified as a casual game, its graphics can be compared to many hack-and-slash type online games. Exteel requires a minimum 800 Megahertz processor, 256 megabytes of memory and a 128 Mb videocard.

In an interview, Asian Media Chief Operating Officer Ronald Allan Aquino said they might start closed beta test of the game in Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia by the first quarter of 2009.

He also explained that the decision to go free-to-play was due to the huge market for such games. In contrast, Asian Media started out selling boxed games and pay-to-play of Lineage II.

For now, Aquino said the local website for Exteel is still being developed, though enthusiasts can visit the game’s official site.

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