Hard-core Facebook game: U4iA brings ‘Offensive Combat’ to social network

FarmVille this is not.

U4iA expanded its browser-based first-person shooter “Offensive Combat” to Facebook today, aiming to broaden its audience and bolster the social network’s lineup of hard-core games.

The video-game company, which has operations in Bellevue, Wash., and California, was founded by two game industry vets — Dusty Welch, the former senior vice president and head of publishing at Activision; and Chris Archer, the former studio head and director of development at Sony Online Entertainment who previously spent 13 years at Activision. The company’s name is pronounced euphoria.

Offensive Combat offers extensive customization of characters, with gameplay that embraces some of the more irreverent traditions that are practiced by gamers but not officially supported in other video games. A big part of U4iA’s goal is to bring PC-style gaming to the web browser, and the Facebook launch is an extension of that.

The company says it saw a six-fold increase in active users in a limited test on Facebook over the holidays. Welch says in a news release, “Hundreds of millions of gamers are clamoring for competitive gaming action they can play with all of their friends, and Offensive Combat is delivering that experience.”

The free-to-play game is available on Facebook here.