As if celebrities didn't have enough perks--free clothes, huge paychecks, daily droit de seigneur with the twentysomething of their choice--soon they may be playing games before everyone else. That's the precedent being set by Ubisoft, who is premiering Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow not at E3, but at the independent-event-turned-Hollywood-glamorama that is the Sundance Film Festival.
According to Ubisoft's press release, on January 18, an invitation-only "audience of celebrities, filmmakers, entertainment executives, musicians and influential trendsetters" will get to play Pandora Tomorrow in "a relaxed lounge environment" in the Motorola Lodge in Park City, Utah. Lesser beings will be allowed to purchase the stealth-action game March 16, when it ships for Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, and PC. Since Microsoft is a co-sponsor, the Sundance event will only feature the Xbox version of the game.
Ubisoft is playing up the fact the Pandora Tomorrow unveiling is the first time a game has been premiered at a film festival. "Movies and games have the same goal: to satisfy and mesmerize audiences," said Ubisoft vice president of marketing Tony Kee in a statement. He continued, "Whether or not the final product is a film or a game, a good one inspires strong emotions: tension, fear, elation and frustration. Clancy's Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow, with stunning production values, a compelling story, and incredible action, is a perfect example of the evolution of games."