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Telltale names Clem’s friend in The Walking Dead Season 3’s E3 2016 trailer

Earlier tonight, Telltale Games unveiled the E3 2016 trailer for The Walking Dead Season 3. Now, they’ve given a name to Clementine’s mysterious friend, and revealed he’ll be a second playable character in the game.

First things first, the character’s name is Javier, and he’s a survivor just like Clem. In many ways, The Walking Dead Season 3 will be a completely new story, and Javier’s role is a way for players to “jump right in without feeling lost at all.”

What else is going on in The Walking Dead Season 3 trailer? Here, I’ll let Telltale explain it:

For a start, who’s that guy with Clementine? His name is Javier. Yes, Clem returns and will play a key role, but this is a new story as much as it is a continuation of Seasons One and Two. Players completely new to the Telltale series will be able to jump right in without feeling lost at all, and those familiar with previous seasons will perhaps find some even deeper meaning, as we’ll be working to ensure save file decisions will carry over from the last two games if you’ve played them in the past.

When it comes to Clementine, players’ relationships with her have very much evolved over the course of Seasons One and Two. In Season One, it was all about playing a more paternal role and helping a little girl find her feet and the courage to survive in a world gone to hell. Season Two was about Clementine developing her skills and becoming more independent of the people around her. In this next season, she’s in her early teens, and has grown to be a person who is clearly capable of handling herself – someone very much on the same level as Javier, a fellow survivor who has been through hell, and has managed to remain alive as long as Clem.

Clem has also been through a lot since we left her at the end of Season Two… and depending on the paths players may have taken with her in the past, she may or may not be exactly the same person we knew back then. You’ll play as both Javier and Clementine through the course of the season, but exactly how that works is one of the exciting details we’re not quite yet ready to reveal.

The first episode in The Walking Dead Season 3 will be released for the PC, consoles, and mobile devices this Fall.

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Here’s your first look at Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 3

After unmasking the first four screenshots from Batman: The Telltale Series this morning, Telltale Games is back with a first look at The Walking Dead Season 3.

The short clip above reintroduces us to a teenage Clementine, as well as an unnamed new character, and the promise of a Fall release date. Hopefully we’ll hear more about The Walking Dead Season 3 as the 2016 E3 Expo continues.

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Telltale announces the cast for their Batman game and unveils four new screenshots

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The first two games in the Arkham saga will get a second life on the PS4 and Xbox One this Summer as part of the Return to Arkham collection, which will debut on store shelves just ahead of the first episode in Telltale’s upcoming Batman series. While we know all about the Arkham games, Telltale has decided to unveil their Batman project during this week’s E3 Expo.

But first, the developer wants to introduce us to the game’s voice cast, which includes Troy Baker as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Travis Willingham as Harvey Dent, Erin Yvette as Vicki Vale, Enn Reitel as Alfred Pennyworth, Murphy Guyer as Lieutenant James Gordon, Richard McGonagle as Carmine Falcone, and Laura Bailey as Catwoman/Selina Kyle.

“We’ve been hard at work at Telltale creating an all-new iteration of the iconic Batman story that puts players in the suit of billionaire Bruce Wayne, just as much as it will put them behind the mask, deciding how to carefully navigate a complex drama, rich with action, crime, corruption, and villainy lurking around every corner of Gotham City,” said Kevin Bruner, the Co-Founder and CEO of Telltale Games. “The complex life and fractured psyche of Bruce Wayne has lent itself to becoming a bold evolution of the signature Telltale role-playing experience, and we couldn’t be more excited as we prepare to debut the series to players across the world this summer.”

Five episodes in Batman: The Telltale Series will be produced, and the first will be released for the PC, consoles, and mobile devices this Summer. You can also spy a look at Batman’s comic-influenced art style after the break in the first four screenshots from the game. (more…)

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Minecraft continues its quest for world domination after selling 100 million copies

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Two years ago, Microsoft spent $2.5 billion to acquire Mojang and all rights to Minecraft. I think it was a wise investment… as Mojang announced today that more than 100 million copies of Minecraft (106,859,714 to be exact) have been sold since the game’s original release.

According to a nifty infographic on Mojang’s blog, the mobile version of Minecraft appears to be the most popular around the world. But over on the game’s official website, we can see that exactly 23,540,997 have been sold for the PC. That leaves console editions for the PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One to pick up the rest of the slack.

All told, more than 40 million people play Minecraft at least once a month, and that number probably won’t slow down anytime soon… more than 53,000 copies of the game are still sold each and every month.

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Skylanders BattleCast has officially launched for mobile devices

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It looks like Activision is launching more than one big game today, as the megapublisher has announced that Skylanders BattleCast is now available to download for iOS and Android devices.

Skylanders BattleCast is a free-to-play collectible card game where players will be able to build their decks by purchasing 8-card Booster Packs and 22-card Battle Packs. But in a twist, players will be able to buy these packs either digitally or as actual physical cards that can be scanned into the game:

In Skylanders BattleCast, players simply download the game from their mobile app store and can begin their quest to become the ultimate BattleCaster. To enhance gameplay, players can purchase Booster Packs and Battle Packs from local retailers or digitally from the game. The special card packs bring Skylanders BattleCast cards to life in a magical way as players scan their physical cards with their mobile devices to watch cards spring to life through augmented reality. Amplifying the experience, the game also allows players to add cards to an in-game digital spell book. By collecting more cards, players will have more pieces to customize their deck for battle!

Designed by “a team of experts across video game design, physical card game design, pro card players, and top card artists,” Skylanders BattleCast has a little something for everyone, including online PvP play and a large single-player campaign. And now that it’s officially launched, that single-player campaign also includes a new realm (Kaos Island) and a big new boss fight with Kaos.

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Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius will be available for mobile devices this Summer

PS4 and Xbox One owners are preparing themselves for this Fall’s release of Final Fantasy XV, but Square Enix plans has more to come from the long-running series in 2016. Set to launch this Summer, Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius will be the first “full-scale” Final Fantasy adventure designed exclusively for mobile devices (iOS and Android).

Adventurers will follow two knights of the kingdom of Grandshelt, and a young girl who suddenly appears before them, as they begin their quest to pursue a highly sought after crystal. Players will make their way through various types of dungeons to search for items, collect gil, uncover hidden paths, and venture new routes.

Already available in Japan, Brave Exvius is a traditional turn-based RPG that features “streamlined battle mechanics and intuitive touch controls” designed to work well with mobile devices. To make Final Fantasy fans feel more at home, Square Enix has also filled the game with familiar characters (The Warrior of Light, Cecil, Vivi, and Terra) and summons. To see just how developer Gumi shrunk the Final Fantasy series down to mobile size, you might want to check out the Announcement Trailer embedded above.

Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius will be free-to-play and interested players can pre-register at the game’s official website to receive special in-game items at launch. The game will also be playable at this year’s E3 Expo, so expect to learn more about it next month.

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Disney shuts down all console development and cancels Disney Infinity franchise

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Two months ago, the Disney Infinity franchise was put on hiatus by Disney Interactive. Yesterday, the Walt Disney Company announced the end of Disney Interactive with the cancellation of all console development and the closure of the entire division.

Speaking during the company’s quarterly financial report, Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said, “During the quarter, we took a charge of $147 million in connection with the shutdown of our Infinity console games business. Going forward, our console games strategy will focus solely on licensing our great portfolio of content.”

This closure extends to developer Avalanche Software, and Disney Interactive General Manager John Blackburn thanked them for all their hard work on the publisher’s official website:

Our goal for Disney Infinity was to bring the best of Disney storytelling to life in homes around the world, and with your support we accomplished that. We hope you had as much fun playing the game as we had making it.

And as we turn to the next chapter in our story, I want to thank everyone who helped bring Disney Infinity to life, particularly Disney’s Glendale-based production and publishing teams, our external development partners, and of course the incredible Avalanche team for their tireless dedication to this project.

Avalanche will complete work on the remaining Disney Infinity content that is currently in development, including three figures from Alice: Through the Looking Glass (which will be available later this month) and a Finding Dory Play Set (coming in June).

With Disney’s console development future tied up in licensing deals, we should probably expect to hear about more third-party partnerships, like the one the company struck with EA to create Star Wars: Battlefront, soon.

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Handicapping the 2016 World Video Game Hall of Fame Finalists

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We’re just a few days away from learning which games will be inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame this year. In 2015, Tetris, Super Mario Bros., Pong, Doom, World of Warcraft, and Pac-Man were selected as the inaugural class by the institution’s induction committee. The Hall’s Class of 2016 will be announced on Thursday, May 5, and five or six games are once again expected to rise above the other finalists.

But which of the 15 finalists will be honored this year? Using the Hall’s induction criteria as a guide, I can think we can determine the odds of which games will make it in and which will have to wait until next year. (more…)

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