Duncan Jones to Direct “Warcraft”

Duncan Jones, director of science fiction films Moon and Source Code, will be taking over as director of the film adaptation of Warcraft.  Sam Raimi, director of the Spider-Man trilogy and the upcoming Oz the Great and Powerful, was originally signed as the director, but he detached himself from the project in favor of Oz.

Blood Diamond screenwriter Charles Leavitt will pen the script for Warcraft with production planned to begin this fall.  Warcraft is expected to release in 2015.

 

Source:  Hollywood Reporter

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XSEED Releasing Several Titles Stateside in 2013

Confirming the rumors that XSEED would localize Killer is Dead for North American audiences is a press release from Kadokawa Games.  The press release states, “KADOKAWA GAMES today announced a partnership with XSEED Games to bring ‘KILLER IS DEAD’ to North America… ‘KILLER IS DEAD’ is expected to launch worldwide in Summer 2013 for PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360.”  Killer is Dead will be released in European territories by Deep Silver.

In addition to Killer is Dead, XSEED will be releasing Pandora’s Tower (the last of the three “Operation Rainfall” games) for Wii, Rune Factory 4 for Nintendo’s 3DS, Ys: Memories of Celceta and Valhalla Knights 3 for PlayStation Vita, and remakes of the first two Ys games for PC this year.

Source:  Joystiq

GTA V and Fuse Delayed

Rockstar’s highly anticipated fifth (numbered) installment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise has been delayed from its initial planned release of spring 2013 to September 17.  The press release states, “The September release date moves the launch back from its original projected release window of spring 2013 in order to allow additional development time.”

Insomniac’s first multi-platform game Fuse has also been delayed to the second quarter of 2013.

 

Source:  Joystiq–GTA, Fuse

South Park New Season Format

Comedy Central’s popular animated series South Park will be presented in shorter seasons going forward.  Since season 8 of the series, each year consisted of 14 episodes divided into two runs of seven episodes.  Future seasons of South Park will consist of 10 episodes that will air weekly without a break.  South Park has been renewed until 2016.

Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park, have stated that their reasons for this change in season formatting is due to the variety of ways in which viewers access new episodes (e.g. watching on Hulu or South Park Studios’ website) and manageability with Trey Parker stating the new format is “more manageable and ensures that it will be something we are proud of.”  Reducing the number of episodes in a season and completing its run in a single shot may also give the series’ c0-creators more time to work on other projects such as the upcoming videogame South Park: The Stick of Truth.

Season 17 of the show will premiere September 25, 2013.

 

Source:  IGN

Grasshopper Manufacture Acquired by GungHo Online Entertainment

Goichi Suda’s (Suda51) game development studio Grasshopper Manufacture has been acquired by Japanese game publisher GungHo Online Entertainment (GOE).  Grasshopper Manufacture is known for the No More Heroes franchise, Killer 7and Shadows of the Damned among others.  Their most recent retail release was 2012’s Lollipop Chainsaw.  Grasshopper is currently developing Killer is Dead for release in Japan this year with Xseed Games rumored to be localizing the game for American audiences.  GOE’s acquisition of Grasshopper will not affect the development of titles currently being made by Grasshopper with the official press release stating:  “Titles already in development at the studio before the acquisition will not be affected by the deal and will continue under their current publishing terms.”

 

Source:  Kotaku

Crytek USA and Homefront 2

With THQ recently selling its assets and closing its doors, some intellectual properties and studios were left in the cold in the sale.  One of the studios that was left untouched in the sale was Vigil Games–the developer of the fantastic Darksiders games.  While I’m surprised that this studio wasn’t purchased by a an interested buyer, there’s some good news in the whole ordeal:  Crytek, the developer behind the Crysis franchise, has opened a new studio in Austin, Texas.

Crytek’s new studio, Crytek USA Corp., is composed of 35 former Vigil employees and will be headed by David Adams, the former general manager for Vigil Games.  It’s nice to know that the talented folks who gave us Darksiders and its sequel have found new employment so quickly.  I’m eagerly looking forward to what projects spring forth from Crytek USA and wish them all the best.

Crytek was the purchaser of the Homefront IP in THQ’s asset sale–the property was purchased for $544,218.  Crytek had been developing the Homefront 2 for THQ and feared that their work on the game might be lost with THQ’s closure.  Crytek’s general manager, Nick Button-Brown, stated that it’s “beneficial for us [Crytek] to have control over the IP’s destiny.”  No information was given on the potential release date of Homefront 2.

Sources:  Gamasutra, Joystiq

Future Star Wars 3D Re-Releases “Postponed”

star-wars-logo

An official statement from Lucasfilm informs readers that the planned re-releases of the Star Wars films in 3D have been postponed.  The posting specifically states Episodes II and III are the films being postponed with no mention of the films in the original trilogy.  With the statement that Lucasfilm will “focus 100 percent of our efforts on Star Wars: Episode VII,” it is entirely likely that the 3D re-releases of the original films has been altogether canceled.  Given that there has already been a lot of work done on converting the remaining prequel films to 3D, it’s a safe bet that, despite the delay, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith will make their ways back to the big screen.

 

Source:  Star Wars

Box Office Actuals

1/N Par. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters $19,690,956  *NEW*

2/1 Uni. Mama $13,088,145 ($48,875,585) -53.9%

3/2 Sony Zero Dark Thirty $9,700,132 ($69,803,979) 38.6%

4/3 Wein. Silver Linings Playbook $9,444,039 ($68,908,666) -12.2%

5/N FD Parker $7,008,222 *NEW*

6/7 Wein. Django Unchained $4,946,932 ($146,236,758) -36.2%

7/N Rela. Movie 43 $4,805,878 *NEW*

8/4 WB Gangster Squad $4,278,235 ($39,725,102) -50.5%

9/8 Uni. Les Miserables $4,221,055 ($137,546,205) -43.7%

10/5 Fox Broken City $4,019,558 ($15,289,547) -51.4%

Source: boxofficemojo.com 

Gears of War: Judgment Demo Coming in March (Update)

The upcoming Xbox 360-exclusive Gears of War prequel will be getting a demo of its new game mode dubbed “OverRun” this March.  Gamers who opt to pre-order Gears of War: Judgment at GameStop will be granted early access to the game mode demo beginning on March 15–the demo will become open to the public four days later on March 19.

OverRun mode sounds to be an evolution of the Horde and Beast combined with the traditional competitive multiplayer modes from previous entries in the franchise.  It consists of two timed rounds where players are attacking as the Locust Horde or defending against waves of the Horde as COGs.

Gears of War: Judgment releases in North America on March 19, 2013.

 

UPDATE:  From Major Nelson’s blog:  “As an added bonus, multiplayer experience points (XP) earned will carry over to the final game for players who purchase and play “Judgment” in the first week following its U.S. release.”

New Daft Punk Album Expected This Spring

 

If NME, The Verge, Clash Music, and Hollywood Reporter are to be believed, Daft Punk is likely to release a new album this spring.  This new album will be the first studio recording from Daft Punk since their TRON: Legacy soundtrack from 2010 and their first original project since 2005’s Human After All.

Daft Punk’s first three studio albums (Homework, Discovery, and the aforementioned Human After All) were released by Virgin Records.  Daft Punk recently left Virgin and signed on with Sony’s Columbia Records–this news was first reported by French newspaper Le Parisien.  This fourth studio album, the title of which is currently unknown, will be released by Daft Punk’s new label and is expected this spring.

Sources:  Clash Music, Hollywood Reporter, The Verge