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National Geographic Roars Into Videogames

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National Geographic is getting into the videogame business.

Through its for-profit unit National Geographic Ventures, the nonprofit National Geographic Society is set to announce Tuesday that it has created National Geographic Games.

The division's first game, Herod's Lost Tomb, was developed in-house and is a free download for PC, Mac and the iPhone. After that, NGG is coming out with games for Nintendo's Wii, Sony's PlayStation 3 and handheld devices.

Some will be developed in-house while others will rely on partnerships, such as National Geographic Panda from Namco Bandai and National Geographic: Africa from Sony.

Chris Mate, previously an executive with Take-Two Interactive Software and Bethesda Softworks, was named GM of NGG.

NGG is expected to focus on building games that further its theme of spreading geographic knowledge.