COMMENTARY: Teen Titans Go! Has Licensed Toys Ready to Go

Phil.TeenTitans1.RobinFunkoIt’s been a good year for superhero comics on TV, what with the success of DC Comics’ Arrow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., not to mention the planned fall arrivals of The Flash and Gotham. But let’s not forget the animated side of small screen super-heroics, as the second season of Teen Titans Go! premieres next month. The series resurrects Teen Titans, which aired during the mid-to-late 2000s, as something wackier and anarchic. Both shows are based on the long-running comic book of the same name, which is centered on some of the best-known teenage characters in DC’s pantheon.

Along with everyone’s favorite young sidekick, Robin, the cast includes Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy. While adept at defeating evil-doers, Teen Titans Go! more often depicts them hanging out unsupervised at their team headquarters, at which point trouble worse than any super-villain tends to break out. The series is a fun romp, not to mention a good antidote to the spate of more serious, live-action superhero adaptations of late. Teen Titans Go! is currently licensed by a number of toy companies, with items for collectors, young kids, and everyone in between. But in all cases, the property’s lighthearted attitude shines through. [Read more...]

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Blasts Off to Outer Space Adventure

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, the third installment of the Lego: Batman video game franchise, will be available this fall under multiple platforms. The game is being developed by TT Games and will be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will take Batman and Robin outside of the title city to join the superheroes of the DC Comics Universe in an effort to stop the evil Brainiac from destroying Earth. Players will be able to unlock over 150 characters from the DC Comics universe, including members of the Justice League, as well as villains such as Killer Croc and Soloman Grundy. Fans can play as heroes and villains alike with new gadgets and abilities. [Read more...]

WBIE Names David Haddad New Executive VP of Publishing

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) has announced a strategic management realignment to position it for growth, with changes designed to increase top-line global revenue and manage the continued digital transformation. This realignment was announced today by Martin Tremblay, president of WBIE.

As part of the management realignment, David Haddad was named to the newly created role of executive vice president of publishing operations and will report to Tremblay. Haddad will be responsible for driving all revenue activities across WBIE’s live and console game businesses as well as supporting the digital transition. Worldwide sales and distribution for console and digital games, digital publishing, live publishing, and business intelligence now report to Haddad.

Haddad most recently served as senior vice president of digital publishing at WBIE, and has held leadership roles at Etoys, Mattel, and The Walt Disney Company.

Lego The Hobbit Dwarfs All Previous Lego Games

LegoHobbitThe new Lego The Hobbit game–inspired by the two films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, as well as the collection of Lego The Hobbit construction sets–is available now across North America for the Xbox One and Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, and Nintendo 3DS. The game will be available for the Nintendo Wii U on April 22.

Lego The Hobbit features key locations from the film, including Bag End and High Pass over The Misty Mountains. In addition, this will be the first Lego game to utilize a loot system, in which Lego studs representing a variety of materials can be for crafting items. Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developed by TT Games, Lego The Hobbit will be available on all platforms.

A main new feature of the game allows players to utilize dwarves’ combined abilities such as buddy fighting, two-player attack, staff climb, mace swing, and belly bounce to help them fight Orcs and fouler things. There’s also an easy access drop-in, drop-out gameplay option available on the consoles. Together players will navigate 16 levels, unlock more than 90 playable characters, and partake in treasure quests–the most diverse number of any Lego video game to date.

Lego Ninjago Sequel Coming to Handheld Systems

Lego.NinjagoWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, and The Lego Group will release the second installment of the Lego Ninjago franchise, Lego Ninjago: Nindroids, to the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita this summer. Hellbent Games developed the sequel in partnership with TT Games.

The game will feature 30 fast-paced, action-packed levels that follow key plot scenarios featured in the Lego Ninjago Rebooted animated series. Players get to use vehicles such as the Kai Fighter, special moves, combo attacks, and secret weapons like Technoblades to solve puzzles and defend New Ninjago city.

Warner Bros. Throws Down Gauntlet, This Time for Digital Game Service

GauntletAn updated action-RPG version of the classic dungeon crawler, Gauntlet, will be available this summer via Steam for PC. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, it will lead the launch of WB Games Vault, a direct-to-digital portfolio that will deliver paid games based on popular Warner Bros. and Midway brands across multiple digital networks.

Developed by Arrowhead Game Studios, Gauntlet lets players select from four classic fantasy-based characters: Warrior, Wizard, Valkyrie, or Elf. Each character has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Meanwhile, gameplay is set within dungeons where the object is to fight through the chambers, slaying evil creatures and completing challenges.

Lego Legends of Chima Goes Mobile

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, The Lego Group, and WB Games Montréal have launched Lego Legends of Chima for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. Playable with a Wi-Fi connection, the game is free to play and both extends and complements Lego Legends of Chima products, including construction sets and vehicles.

In the online Chima universe, players take on the role of an animal warrior in the Lion, Eagle, Gorilla or Bear tribe. After creating and customizing their character, players explore massive environments, uncover hidden secrets and treasures, build weapons and gadgets, and collect studs and gold bricks that will help expand their outpost.

Lego Legends of Chima is currently downloadable at the App Store.

COMMENTARY: Lego Friends Video Game Appeals to Boys and Girls

Lego Friends box art.jpgRight in time for the holidays, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has released Lego Friends, a video game based on the construction toy line of the same name. While the game is all-ages-friendly, the target demographic appears to be young girls in particular: The box art features many of the characters that appear in the game—fresh-faced ladies of various hair colors, skin tones, and hobbies.

I first heard of Lego Friends, developed by TT Games and Hellbent Games for Nintendo 3DS and DS, months before, and even then I was interested in how it might differ from titles intended for more of a boys’ audience. Eventually, I got to demo it alongside Lego Marvel Super Heroes, a game that if not specifically for boys, is certainly a more testosterone-heavy affair. The art direction and color palette for Lego Friends are cuter and brighter, respectively. But do those factors alone—and that the main avatar and supporting characters are all female—qualify calling it a video game for girls? Could it still conceivably appeal to other audiences? [Read more...]

Warner Bros., TT Games, and Lego to Create Lego The Hobbit

WBIE_Color_LowResWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, and The Lego Group are making a new addition to the Lego videogame series: Lego The Hobbit. The game will bring filmmaker Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and the upcoming The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug to life as players are taken on quests and adventures throughout Middle-earth, joining Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Grey, and Thorin Oakenshield and Company.

Players will even visit key locations from the films, including Bag End, Bilbo’s Hobbit-hole in Hobbiton, as they solve countless puzzles, partake in treasure quests, and battle with orcs, trolls, and other foul things.

Lego The Hobbit is currently being developed by TT Games and will be available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vista, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Windows PC and Mac, next year.

Nintendo Brings Holiday Fun to Malls Across the U.S.

NintendoBetween November 25 and December 22, Nintendo will visit 23 malls coast-to-coast so the public can test drive video games for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS systems.

The expected lineup for the Wii U includes Super Mario 3D World, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Wii Fit U, Wii Party U, Wii Sports Club, The Wonderful 101, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Sonic Lost World from Sega, Disney Infinity from Disney Interactive, and more.

For Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo is scheduled to show Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Super Mario 3D Land, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Skylanders Swap Force from Activision, and more. [Read more...]