Most Recent: Etcetera

Activision is working on at least three movies in a connected Call of Duty Cinematic Universe

Activision first began discussing the possibility of a “Call of Duty Cinematic Universe” shortly after opening their film division, Activision Blizzard Studios, a few years ago. Earlier this week, a new profile in The Guardian has revealed that the studio is already working on three separate films:

“We have plotted out many years,” [Co-President Stacey] Sher tells the Guardian. “We put together this group of writers to talk about where we were going. There’ll be a film that feels more like Black Ops, the story behind the story. The Modern Warfare series looks at what it’s like to fight a war with the eyes of the world on you. And then maybe something that is more of a hybrid, where you are looking at private, covert operations, while a public operation is going on.”

According to The Guardian, Activision would like to start filming the first entry in the “Call of Duty Cinematic Universe” sometime next year, with a theatrical premiere planned for “a couple of years after” that.

Sher and her Co-President, Nick Van Dyk, also have ambitions beyond traditional motion pictures. The pair has already partnered with Netflix to produce Skylanders Academy, and they’re also envisioning a Call of Duty-branded series that focuses on historical conflicts such as World War II and the Vietnam War.

Sher also wants fans to know that, above all else, Activision Blizzard Studios wants to make good movies: “If you just chase the empty blockbuster, and have nothing to say in the genre, forget about it.”

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New Mega Man series headed to Cartoon Network in 2018

Capcom, in collaboration with DHX Media, Dentsu Entertainment, and Man of Action Entertainment, have announced that their in-development Mega Man animated series will debut on Cartoon Network in 2018.

The series will go into production this Summer, and it’s designed to introduce Mega Man to a new and much younger audience. The Mega Man series appears to be in good hands, as all three companies have proven themselves in children’s entertainment before. Dentsu Entertainment is responsible for localizing the popular Yo-Kai Watch series, and DHX Media has a long history of producing successful kid’s shows such as Degrassi and Teletubbies. Meanwhile, Man of Action Entertainment is most famous for the creation of Ben 10 and characters from Big Hero 6.

However, Mega Man fans have already taken issue with the upcoming show, citing Mega Man’s new aesthetic, and his “Aki Light” alter ego. According to DHX Media, Aki Light is a happy-go-lucky robotic child, who discovers that he has secret protocols that allow him to transform into Mega Man (basically, a robotic schoolboy version of nearly every mainstream superhero). Throughout the series, Mega Man will struggle with saving Silicon City from imposing threats, while trying to maintain his day-to-day life, and preserve his secret identity.

While this is definitely a break from the traditional Mega Man storyline, including that of the popular Mega Man cartoon from the mid 90s, it’s still an interesting reboot. Given the success of the companies involved with the new show’s production, this latest Mega Man cartoon is worth keeping on your radars, even if just to check it out once.

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It looks like Udon will publish a Shovel Knight: Official Design Works artbook in August

We’re still waiting patiently for the release of those children’s books based on Shovel Knight (they’re currently scheduled to arrive in stores on April 18), but it looks like you’ll be able to purchase yet another tome featuring the titular knight later this Summer.

According to a new listing on Amazon, Udon Entertainment will publish Shovel Knight: Official Design Works on August 29. The artbook will include 184 pages of images from the game, as well as new information about Shovel Knight from the development team at Yacht Club Games:

Shovel Knight: Official Design Works collects the fun and original artwork behind this landmark title. Inside you’ll find key art, character concepts, enemy designs, sprite sheets, unused ideas, and an all-new Shovel Knight tribute art gallery! This epic tome is also packed with creator commentary, as well as exclusive interview with the Yacht Club Games team.

Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, the newest expansion to Shovel Knight’s side-scrolling adventure, will be available to download for the PC beginning tomorrow. If missed its Nintendo Switch launch last month, you might not know that it’s an AMAZING addition to the franchise.

Posted in 3DS, Etcetera, Mobile, News, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Vita, Wii U, Xbox One | Tagged

4/1: Blizzard offers “Choose Your Own Adventure” version of BlizzCon on their website

If you can’t make it to BlizzCon this year, don’t worry, Blizzard is offering a backup plan that promises to be just as good.

The BlizzCon Textual Adventure is now available through the convention’s official website, giving non-attendees the chance to “Choose Their Own Adventure” and experience this year’s BlizzCon without the hassles of a long plane ride, noisy crowds, and the latest games:

Experience BlizzCon for FREE! Exercise both your reading ability AND your perceived free will. You decide exactly how epic your BlizzCon will (or won’t) be!

Blizzard definitely did their homework for this April Fool’s Day gag. The first time I went through it, I was greeted by a random pair of aliens (a common occurrence in the real Choose Your Own Adventure books), and I’d assume there’s at least one ending where you die horribly.

The actual BlizzCon will be held in Anaheim on November 3rd and 4th, though it seems unlikely that attendees will run into aliens or die a gruesome death. According to Blizzard, BlizzCon Tickets will go on sale soon.

Posted in Etcetera, News, PC |


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4/1: AMC and the creators of Breaking Bad are NOT working on a Grand Theft Auto TV show

It’s April 1st, which means you shouldn’t believe everything anything you read on the Internet today. For example… AMC did not hire the creators of Breaking Bad to develop a television adaptation of Grand Theft Auto V.

The trailer making the rounds today was actually created by IGN, but the narration from Steven Ogg (he played Trevor Phillips in GTA5) gives it that extra jolt of authenticity and might help fool a few people.

While this trailer is just an April Fool’s Day prank, Take-Two Interactive might actually be working on a film adaptation of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Earlier this year, CEO Strauss Zelnick told MCV that his company has “licensed a couple of titles for motion picture production.” The executive didn’t name Grand Theft Auto as one of the titles, but prolific film director Roger Corman has repeatedly claimed that a settlement he signed with Take-Two more than a decade ago prevents the publisher from adapting Grand Theft Auto for the silver screen.

Corman produced Ron Howard’s directorial debut, 1977’s Grand Theft Auto, and he’s been trying to remake it for years. But instead of a gangland drama like The Godfather or Scarface, Howard’s film is a road comedy more closely related to something like The Blues Brothers. But if Corman is holding up the creation of a Grand Theft Auto film, it’s never been publicly acknowledged by Take-Two.

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USC takes back its crown as 2017’s best Game Design program for undergraduates

After losing out to the University of Utah in last year’s ranking, the University of Southern California has once again topped the Princeton Review’s list of “Top Undergraduate Schools to Study Game Design” for 2017. The Princeton Review also found a lot to recommend about USC’s Game Design program at the Graduate level. The school’s more advanced course of study came in at #5 in Princeton Review’s ranking of Graduate programs.

“Game design is an exciting field and programs are springing up in colleges all over the world,” said Robert Franek, the Princeton Review’s Editor-In-Chief. “We want to help students find the best program for their needs and interests. The top schools on our lists have outstanding faculties and great facilities which will give students the skills and experience they need to pursue a career in this dynamic and burgeoning field.”

While the Utes at the University of Utah aren’t the top choice anymore, their program still ranked #3 in both the Undergraduate and Graduate rankings. Other schools that broke into the top ten on both lists include the Rochester Institute of Technology (#2 in Undergraduate, #4 in Graduate), the DigiPen Institute of Technology (#4 and #7), New York University (#7 and #6), and Rexel University (#9 and #8).

The Princeton Review’s full ranking of Game Design programs is available after the break. And more information about their survey methodology and how to apply to each of these programs can be found at PrincetonReview.com. (more…)

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Learn how The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came to be in a “Making of” Documentary and “Breaking Conventions” GDC Session

Nintendo is giving fans an unprecedented look at how they designed and built The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in a new documentary series.

The Making of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a three-part documentary that focuses on all aspects of Breath of the Wild including the initial work done in “The Beginning,” the seamless exploration provided by the game’s “Open-Air Concept,” and the epic saga of the “Story and Characters.”

This documentary sets nicely alongside “Breaking Conventions,” a Game Developers Conference session hosted by Game Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Art Director Satoru Takizawa, and Technical Director Takuhiro Dohta. The three developers dive deep into the development process for Breath of the Wild, and provide plenty of new insight into the notoriously secretive inner workings at Nintendo.

I understand that not everyone has two hours to devote to behind-the-scenes stories from Breath of the Wild’s development (that’s time you could be playing the game, after all). But if nothing else, stick around long enough to see the 8-bit prototype the team created, as well as footage of an early game concept that included an alien invasion of Hyrule straight out of Independence Day.

All four videos can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in Etcetera, News, Switch, Wii U | Tagged ,

Nintendo reveals Super Mario Pez Dispensers for MAR10 Day

“World Plumbing Day” is March 11th, but Nintendo has always preferred to celebrate the exploits of their mustachioed pipeslinger a day early.

A few years ago, the consolemaker declared March 10th to be “MAR10 Day,” and the 2017 edition of this special day began with the announcement (via Twitter) of a Super Mario series of Pez Dispensers. Set to be released this May, fans will soon be able to add Mario, Donkey Kong, Princess Peach, and Yoshi to their Pez Dispenser collection.

Sadly, the Super Mario Pez Dispensers won’t be ready in time for “National Hug A Plumber Day,” which takes place on April 25th.

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