"Assassin's Creed" book plays off videogame

Ubisoft is merging the worlds of videogames and literature with the US debut of a book based on its blockbuster "Assassin's Creed" franchise.

The French videogame powerhouse announced a partnership with Penguin Group to make "Assassin's Creed Renaissance" available here beginning Tuesday as a "stand-alone adventure novel" incorporating videogame characters and storyline.

The book went on sale in Britain shortly after the November release of "Assassin's Creed II," a sequel to a 2007 videogame that has sold more than nine million copies.

"The book deal with Penguin, along with the recent 'Assassin's Creed Lineage' short film Ubisoft produced, is part of an ambitious strategy to bring the 'Assassin's Creed' franchise to multiple entertainment media," said Ubisoft senior director of consumer products Andy Swanson.

"We believe that these projects developed in tandem with the games themselves provide the player with a truly immersive experience into the 'Assassin's Creed' world."

The videogame sequel is a swirl of treachery, swordplay, history, and artistry set in scenic Renaissance Italy.

Players take on the role of nobleman Ezio Auditore Da Firenze, a descendent of the Altair character who starred in the original title.

Ubisoft backed its faith in the convergence of videogames and movies with the creation of "Assassin's Creed: Lineage" short films that tell a story of events setting the stage for the sequel.

"We're incredibly excited to be partnering with Ubisoft on a tie-in novel to 'Assassin's Creed II'," said Penguin Group USA president of mass market paperbacks Leslie Gelbman.

Penguin's collaborations with Ubisoft on books from videogames based on author Tom Clancy's works all hit New York Times bestseller lists, according to Gelbman.

"We're sure that Assassin's Creed Renaissance will be equally successful," Gelbman said.

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