China Toy Fair


Watch Dogs from Ubisoft Breaks Industry Sales Record with Launch

WatchDogsscreenshotThe release of Watch Dogs has been the most successful title launch for Ubisoft to date. The video game has sold more than 4 million copies in its first week, and has positioned itself as the best-selling new IP launch across the video game industry. Watch Dogs has already broken sales records for a title in the first 24 hours following its release.

The launch of Watch Dogs on consoles and PC was accompanied by the release of a free companion app, ctOS Mobile, which allows gamers to connect with the Watch Dogs universe from anywhere, and is designed to enable dual-screen game play or a standalone experience without the main game. The app has already been downloaded and played by more than one million people.

Watch Dogs is set in Chicago, where players become Aiden Pearce, a hacker seeking justice following a violent family tragedy. Pearce will hack into Chicago’s Central Operating System (ctOS), which controls infrastructure and data about the city’s residents. The video game will also be released on the Wii U this fall.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Embraces Next Generation Gaming Technology

CallofDutyAdvancedWarfareThe next generation of the Call of Duty franchise will focus on one thing: power. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare by Activision Publishing Inc. will include a new advanced soldier, all-new exoskeleton gameplay mechanics, and film/TV star Kevin Spacey. Sledgehammer Games is currently developing the game for next generation consoles and PC.

The game is set in the year 2054, when a private military corporation has emerged with the power to rescue humanity and rebuild the world, which is struggling to recover after a global attack. Players will play as advanced soldiers empowered with new exoskeleton abilities, high-tech gear, technological advancements, and the ability to join the ranks of specialized units. [Read more...]

Madden NFL 15 Kicks Off in August

Madden15Electronic Arts Inc.’s Madden NFL 15 will be available on August 26 in North America and on August 29 in the EU for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

Developed by EA Tiburon, Madden NFL 15 features the most immersive defensive game play control in the franchise’s history. Fans will also experience a broadcast presentation with new camera angles, pre-game, and halftime features.

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Makes Heroic Debut This Fall

DIsneyInfinityMarvelSuperHeroesDisney Interactive and Marvel Entertainment are assembling a group of iconic super heroes for Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, which will feature more than 20 new interactive figures, as well as original storylines by Marvel comic writer Brian Michael Bendis. Developed by Avalanche Software, the game includes an all-new Toy Box mode, making it easier for players to create and share with family and friends.

The Avengers’ Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, and Hawkeye will debut when the game launches this fall for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360, and Wii U.

BioWare to Launch Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon AgeBioWare, a division of Electronic Arts Inc., will release Dragon Age: Inquisition in stores and for digital download on October 7 in North America and October 10 in Europe. Players will take on the role of the Inquisitor and lead a team of heroes to uncover clues about a potentially devastating event in this role-playing game.

Players can pre-order the game to unlock special bonus content. Dragon Age: Inquisition will be available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.

Atari’s New Minimum Features Maximum Customization

Minimum.TitansAtari will release a third-person perspective, multiplayer online combat game, Minimum, for PC. It will be available for early access on Steam this spring.

Set in a minimalistic, stylized universe, Minimum features session-based combat that pits teams of five against each other with craftable weapons. Each team has their own gigantic, robotic Titan that they power up, which helps them fight and destroy the enemy’s base. At the core of Minimum is an elaborate blueprint crafting system, where players collect resources to create customized weapons and armor that can be powered up.

Minimum was created by TimeGate Studios, which early on, engaged in discussions to cooperate with Atari on the project. Atari then worked with TimeGate to help extricate Minimum out of the TimeGate bankruptcy. Human Head Studios, a Madison, Wisc.-based developer, helped Atari to further develop the game.

Fans can visit www.playminimum.com to pre-register for game updates and receive free bonus in-game items.

Skylanders Trap Team Brings Digital Characters into the Physical World

SkylandersTrapTeamActivision’s newest installment to the $2 billion Skylanders franchise, Skylanders Trap Team, redefines the toys-to-life phenomenon with a new ground-breaking innovation. Unveiled today, the new game will reverse the magic of bringing toys to life by allowing kids to pull villains—including Kaos—out of the digital world and into the physical world.

In Skylanders Trap Team, Kaos continues his ongoing quest to rule over Skylands. He has discovered the location of the legendary Cloudcracker Prison—a fortress built entirely out of the magical substance, Traptanium, and home to Skylands’ most nefarious villains. In an attempt to build his own army of foes, Kaos blows up the prison, releasing the baddies and blasting shards of Traptanium to Earth in the form of Traps. Now it’s up to Portal Masters to recapture all of the escaped villains using powerful Traptanium Traps and defeat Kaos. The new adventure delivers a diverse and dynamic story-driven gameplay experience, filled with adventure, combat, puzzles, mini-games, activities, platforming, and drop-in/drop-out co-op play—all set within new compelling, breath-taking environments.

With Skylanders Trap Team, Portal Masters seek out and defeat the most-wanted villains in all of Skylands, pulling them out of the game and into living rooms by capturing them in the magical crystal traps. Players can then send the trapped villains back into the game where they will fight for good. The latest installment will include the Traptanium Portal, a new ring of magical energy that enables kids to not only bring their Skylanders to life, but also magically capture villains using the new traps. Once they’ve defeated the villain in the game, kids will be able to place a Trap into the new portal to capture it. They will also be able to hear the villain inside the Trap, furthering the magic of Skylanders in 2014. [Read more...]

New Ebook Further Develops Watch Dogs’ Cyberpunk World

Ubisoft will release a new e-book, Watch_Dogs  //n/Dark Clouds, authored by John Shirley and inspired by the highly anticipated video game, Watch Dogs. The e-book picks up where the game leaves off, allowing fans to further explore the world of Watch Dogs. It marks a first for Ubisoft, which conceived the e-book in-house and will release it exclusively via digital channels.

Shirley, the author of more than 30 books and short stories, is a known figure in the hacker community, as well as a pioneer of the cyberpunk movement. Watch_Dogs //n/Dark Clouds will be available in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish at the game’s release on May 27. It will be available as an upgraded e-book version with interactive elements, including videos and image, and as a regular e-book.

COMMENTARY: These New Japanese Toys and Games Aren’t Just for Kids, Part 1

Phil.April18.2014.1I may not be the biggest aficionado of Japanese pop culture, but I do consider myself a fan, having devoured lots of manga and anime over the years. What I also appreciate are the toys: Japan has some of the most exquisitely-made action figures and giant robots ever made, and in their native land, these items are generally aimed at adults.

Now when it comes to toys and games, Japan has long enjoyed a healthy foothold in North America—think of all the Pokémon, Hello Kitty, and Power Rangers products that have made their way over. So far in 2014, that trend has continued, with several new properties either just launching or expected to launch soon. But these are Japanese imports, meaning they’re sophisticated enough for grown-ups, even if they look like they’re for kids. [Read more...]

Puppy Parlour Is a Dog-Gone-Digital Mobile App

PuppyParlourAhead of the release of PS Vita Pets for the PlayStation Vita, a new mobile app, Puppy Parlour, lets players run their own puppy-pampering parlor. Each day brings a new dog, and players will be tasked with meeting their specific needs through a range of activities such as taking them for a walk, showering and feeding them, and playing games.

The games include Dream Chase, which is a race to collect golden bones, and Snack Balance, in which players tilt their device to keep the dog steady as it balances a tasty treat on its nose. Completing these games and looking after the dogs earns points that can be used to upgrade the parlor, as well as unlock new items and clothes.

Players can also unlock exclusive costumes that can be transferred over to PS Vita Pets when the full game arrives in June.