Author: Abby Oladipo

Activision’s Skylanders Products Are a Force to Beat

Activision Publishing has announced that the Skylanders figures outsold all action-figure properties in the U.S. and Europe year-to-date in 2013–and the Skylanders property outpaced all toy properties overall in the U.K. year-to-date as of June 30. As of July 31, the Skylanders franchise has generated more than $1.5 billion in worldwide retail sales in both North America and Europe. Skylanders Giants was also the best-selling console and hand-held game overall in dollars. Skylanders Swap Force Skylanders Swap Force is being developed by Vicarious Visions and is the newest game in the franchise. Skylanders Swap Force builds upon the franchise’s signature gameplay and collectible toy experience, adding a new dimension to the “toys to life” innovation. The game introduces a play pattern—dynamic swapability—that lets gamers transform 16 Swap Force inter-action figures into more than 250 characters by swapping the top and bottom halves of the toys. Now Portal Masters can mix and match characters’ powers and moves to experience a level of choice never before seen in a Skylanders game. Fans  can also play Skylanders Swap Force with their entire collection of more than 100 characters from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and Skylanders Giants. In Skylanders Swap Force, Portal Masters embark on a new adventure in the mysterious Cloudbreak Islands, home to a mystical volcano that erupts every hundred years to replenish the magic in Skylands. During an epic battle, a brave group of Skylanders were caught in the volcano’s eruption, which blasted them apart...

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COMMENTARY: Oldies but Newer: Upcoming Video Game Sequels to Look Out For

With the impending release of the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One, it’s only natural to be on the lookout for new video games to try on these latest platforms. However, games from other consoles and devices shouldn’t be excluded either especially with the forthcoming distribution of newer versions of old classics. Whether it’s a sport, action-adventure, or fantasy game, there’s a game out there geared towards any gamer in any genre. The best part is that the timeless games players have grown up with are being revamped to ensure a different gaming experience than previous versions. Before eliminating these new editions to opt for a newer series, it might be worth it to consider what these current renditions have to offer. Here are some classic franchise games getting ready to put out their latest publication that might capture your interest. FIFA 14 The annual soccer game is back for another year filled with players across the world in various leagues and tournaments. The FIFA soccer video game series premiered in 1993, and is still going strong. This latest addition to the line will be available for a multitude of platforms including Xbox 360, PS3, and PC download on September 24 in the U.S. An early release version is also available for the PS3 and comes out on September 20. The game will also appear on the PS4 and other...

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Ubisoft and Sony Pictures Collaborate for Watch Dogs Movie

Ubisoft has announced that its film and television division, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, is collaborating with Sony Pictures Entertainment and New Regency on a film based on Watch Dogs, Ubisoft’s open-world action-adventure video game. Ubisoft and Sony will also release the Watch Dogs gameplay that will be available for PlayStation 4 this holiday. Watch Dogs centers on Aiden Pearce, a hacker inflicting his own brand of justice after a violent family tragedy. Using his skills, Pearce hacks into Chicago’s Central Operating System (ctOS), which controls the city’s infrastructure. In the game, Pearce turns the entire city of Chicago into his ultimate weapon. The game received awards at E3 2012, including Best of Show from GamingExcellence and three awards (Biggest Surprise, Best New Franchise, and Best PC Game) from IGN. The game also won GameSpot’s People’s Choice Most Exciting Game of E3 2013. Ubisoft Motion Pictures will oversee the project at Ubisoft, and at Columbia, Hannah Minghella and Sam Dickerman will oversee development while Alexandra Milchan and Andrew Calof will work on the film for New...

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From Up On Poppy Hill to be Released on DVD

Gkids in conjunction with Cinedigm is releasing From Up on Poppy Hill, the latest from Studio Ghibli, the creators of Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and other animated pieces, on September 3. Written by studio founder Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Goro Miyazaki, the film marks the first feature-length collaboration between father and son. From Up on Poppy Hill is hand-drawn and is set in Yokohama in 1963. Japan is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the Olympics. The mood is one of both optimism and conflict as the young generation struggles to throw off the shackles of a troubled past.  Against this backdrop of hope and change, a friendship begins to blossom between high school students Umi (Sarah Bolger) and Shun (Anton Yelchin)– but a buried secret from their past emerges to cast a shadow on the future and pull them apart. From a screenplay by Academy Award-winner Hayao Miyazaki, the English language version is directed by multiple Academy Award-winner Gary Rydstrom from a script adaptation by Karey Kirkpatrick (James and the Giant Peach, Chicken Run, Charlotte’s Web) and is executive produced by Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy.  The movie features a voice cast including Gillian Anderson, Sarah Bolger, Beau Bridges, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Fuhrman, Christina Hendricks, Ron Howard, Chris Noth, Emily Osment, Aubrey Plaza, Charlie Saxton, Alex Wolff, and Anton Yelchin. Cinedigm will release...

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All Things Equal Launches Klondike Bar Game

All Things Equal, maker of the Loaded Questions and Awkward Family Photos games, has partnered with Klondike for the new board game, What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar? The game dares families and friends to conquer hundreds of creative, courageous, and cockamamie challenges in the name of the slogan. The 300 head-to-head challenges require quick thinking, creativity, and a willingness to laugh at yourself and with others. Players will find themselves asking for a date while grunting like a caveman, coming up with a funny new use for bacon, quickly answering a provocative trivia question or completing an absurd trivial act for a chance to win one of the six Klondike bar flavors needed to win the game. The reward for besting fellow players is a take-home champion card and bragging rights. The What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar? board game is now available at Amazon.com, and will debut at Fred Meyer, select Target and Toys “R” Us locations, and specialty stores later this year....

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