Call Of Duty Franchise Joins Pokemon In Reaching 300 Million Copies Sold

The Call of Duty franchise continues to soar. Activision announced today that the shooter series has now cleared 300 million copies sold since it debuted back in 2003.

For comparison, the Pokemon franchise passed 300 million copies sold after the release of Ultra Sun and Moon back in 2017. Meanwhile, the Sonic the Hedgehog series reached 350 million copies a few years ago. Exact numbers for other franchises are tougher to track down.

The Call of Duty series premiered in 2003 with Infinity Ward’s World War II shooter Call of Duty. No mainline Call of Duty game was released in 2004, but a new entry has launched every year since, with development shifting around between Activision-owned studios like Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Games, with support from other owned studios like Raven Software and High Moon, among others.

Activision has not provided a breakdown of sales by individual title or brand, but the Black Ops and Modern Warfare brands are believed to be the most successful.

The next Call of Duty game is launching later this year, and it’s rumoured to be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 from Infinity Ward, which created the brand. The game will be announced in the coming months. On top of that, a new Call of Duty mobile game from Tencent is coming.

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New Call Of Duty Game, Rumored To Be Modern Warfare 4, Will Be Announced Soon

2019’s Call of Duty game from developer Infinity Ward is rumoured to be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4. Whatever it is, the game will be announced in the coming months.

During the Activision Blizzard earnings call today, management confirmed that the game will be revealed before the end of the current fiscal quarter, which means it’ll be announced before June 30. That makes sense, given new Call of Duty games are typically announced in May before getting shown off further at E3 in June. This year could be different in a way, however. Activision typically showcases the new Call of Duty game during Sony’s E3 briefing due to its exclusive content deal, but that won’t happen this year because Sony isn’t attending E3.

On the earnings call, Activision management says it feels “incredibly good” about how the new Call of Duty title is shaping up, and they’re excited to finally reveal it eventually.

Not only that, but Activision boss Coddy Johnson teased that Activision plans to support the game’s release with even more content after launch to keep players engaged.

“We need to do even more to maintain the breadth of our Call of Duty player base beyond the launch quarters,” he said. “The Call of Duty team is hard at work on that for this fall’s big content release, excitement for which is incredibly high around the organisation. We expect that both the launch and the post launch will bring game-changing experiences to our fans.”

Activision is able to create more content for this year’s Call of Duty game because it’s increasing development headcount across the board, including the Call of Duty team. Activision announced it was increasing aggregate headcount for its development teams by about 20 percent following its layoff of 800 people primarily from non-game development roles.

Little is known about the title, but Activision previously said the game will feature a campaign mode. That’s notable because 2018’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 did not include a campaign but instead added a battle royale mode called Blackout.

Additionally, it was confirmed that the Call of Duty series has sold more than 300 million copies since it premiered back in 2003.

Also on the call, Activision said interest in the new Call of Duty mobile game from Tencent is high; the game has more than 10 million pre-registrations on Google Play.

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Sonic Will Be Redesigned Ahead Of His Live-Action Movie’s Release

After Paramount and Sega unveiled the first official trailer for the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie, fans of the blue blur took to the internet to complain about the film’s design of the titular hero. In response, Sonic the Hedgehog director Jeff Fowler announced Sonic will undergo a redesign ahead of the movie’s release.

“Thank you for the support,” Fowler tweeted. “And the criticism. The message is loud and clear… you aren’t happy with the design and you want changes. It’s going to happen. Everyone at Paramount and Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be.” Fowler did not clarify what this redesign would entail, nor if the effort to do so will push Sonic the Hedgehog past its scheduled November 19 release date.

Criticism for Sonic’s design in the movie has been aimed at pretty much every part of the speedy blue hedgehog. Most of the dislike seems to stem from the movie version’s legs, torso, teeth, and eyes. Most of the changes to Sonic’s design in the coming movie currently make him appear uncannily human, which some fans have found unnerving. Most likely, the planned redesign will make Sonic look closer to his original cartoonish appearance.

Sonic the Hedgehog sees Sonic partner up with a state trooper to stop Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik, a mad scientist and skilled roboticist working with the government to uncover the secrets of the blur blur. In the movie’s trailer, we see the sassy Robotnik devise contraptions to capture Sonic, only for the mad scientist to become more deranged as the hedgehog continues to escape as a result of his super speed.

In the movie, Sonic is voiced by Ben Schwartz, a seasoned actor who’s been seen on Parks and Recreation and House of Lies, and also voiced characters in the new Duck Tales Show and BoJack Horseman. Dr. Robotnik is played by Jim Carry, an actor well known for portraying that exact archetype in numerous films throughout his career. In an interview, Carry said, “I made sure that there are some winks and nods, and edgy things that are still acceptable to [all] age groups.”

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Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew Passes Away

Actor Peter Mayhew, who is best known for his portrayal of Chewbacca in the Star Wars series, has passed away. Mayhew died on April 30 in his home in North Texas, USA. He was 74.

His passing was announced by his family in a statement posted to Twitter.

Mayhew played Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens in a role shared by Joonas Suotamo. Mayhew did consulting work for The Last Jedi to help Suotamo feel capable in the role.

Outside of his film career, Mayhew did a lot of charitable work for groups like Wounded Warriors, Make-A-Wish, and the 501st Legion. He also created his own Peter Mayhew Foundation that supports individuals and families in need.

Mayhew is survived by his wife, Angie, and three children. “His kindness, generosity, and care will live on in the Peter Mayhew Foundation with Angie taking the helm as his voice,” his family said in their statement.

Mayhew’s first big movie role was in 1977’s “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger,” which was released in the same year as A New Hope.

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Ubisoft and Genba aim to thwart key resellers with silent key activation

Ubisoft and Genba Digital have partnered on silent key activation, a more secure method of selling games through third-party stores that aims to prevent keys from popping up on unauthorized resellers. …

from Gamasutra News

New Xbox One Backward Compatibility Games Out Now

Xbox One players have two more games they can now play on their console. Microsoft’s director of programming for Xbox Live, Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb, took to Twitter to announce that the Xbox One now supports two more Xbox 360 titles via backward compatibility.

Both Team Ninja’s Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and RedLynx’s Trials Evolution join Xbox One’s forever-growing backward compatibility list. These titles are available to download starting today.

Developed by Team Ninja for the PS3, Wii U, and Xbox 360, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is an enhanced Ninja Gaiden 3 port that includes the original DLC, as well as a variety of performance enhancements and improvements. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge released nearly a year after the initial game’s March 2012 release date and brought alongside a host of changes like increasing the speed of kunai climbing, introducing new weapons like the lunar staff and kusarigama, improving enemy AI, and more.

Trials Evolution was developed by RedLynx. Released for the Xbox 360 in April 2012 before speeding to iOS and PC in 2013, Trials Evolution–the fourth mainline entry in the Trials franchise–tasks you with facing and overcoming a variety of motorcycle trials in a bid to claim the top spot on the leaderboards. Trials Evolution includes two course editors (Lite and Pro) that allow you to create and share courses online.

In our Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge review, we called the update “a welcome gesture, and one that makes for an improved action game–yet a hundred small fixes are no substitute for a game built from the ground up to be a challenging, fluid, and fulfilling action extravaganza.”

In our Trials Evolution review, we said it’s “a great game that not only tests your skill and patience, but keeps you laughing at the ridiculous scenarios.”

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Game Of Thrones Season 8: Reviews, Easter Eggs, Lore Explainers, And Everything You Need To Know

The final season of Game of Thrones is upon us, and it’s wrapping up plot threads and offing characters left and right. Season 8 is only six episodes, but it has a lot of heavy lifting to do in acting as the culmination of everything that’s happened in the show up to now. We’re halfway through Season 8, we’ve seen the Battle of Winterfell, and there’s still a lot of ground to cover.

We know it’s a big undertaking to remember everything that has happened in Game of Thrones while readying to tune in each Sunday. There are any number of theories, callbacks, Easter eggs, and lore dives to keep in mind for each episode. That’s why we’ve got a massive rundown of all our Game of Thrones coverage–everything you need to know about each episode, what might be coming down the pike, and what’s important that has come before.

Read on for a mess of links bringing you everything you might want to know about Game of Thrones Season 8. We’ve arranged our coverage by episode, but keep in mind: If you’re not caught up, later stories are going to include spoilers!

Everything You Need To Know Right Now

First and foremost, here’s everything you should remember from past seasons, and where all the characters are at the start of the season. If you need a little backstory refresher, read up about Daenerys’s father, the Mad King Aerys Targaryen, and what his whole deal was.

We also have a complete rundown of who’s still alive through the show’s latest episode, and a running list of all the deaths in Season 8–but these take into account all the episodes of Season 8, so if you’re not caught up, beware of spoilers.

Meanwhile, if you’re thinking about what happens after Game of Thrones, here’s the latest on the show’s first spin-off. It’s also worth noting that a second one has been canceled.

Episode 4

The halfway point of the season means the Battle of Winterfell is behind us, but there’s still a lot going on. Check out these photos from HBO to give you a look at the next episode, and watch a teaser trailer for the upcoming episode. You might also want a refresher on a plot point set up at the start of the season: That meaningful crossbow that Qyburn gave to Bronn, with orders to use it on Tyrion and Jaime. There’s also an interesting theory about Cersei’s pregnancy. And don’t forget about Cleganebowl, the theorized showdown between the Hound and the Mountain.

Episode 3: “The Long Night”

The dead brought the battle to the realms of men in Episode 3, “The Long Night,” Game of Thrones’ longest and most-watched episode ever. Read our review of the episode, which Senior Entertainment Editor Mike Rougeau found to be disappointing, and watch Lucy, Ryan, Dave, and Tamoor’s Episode 3 breakdown video.

And here are all the Easter eggs and references you might have missed in the episode, plus 10 new theories about the show after “The Long Night.”

You might be wondering what happened to Jon Snow’s direwolf, Ghost, and his dragon, Rhaegal. Both were part of the battle, but both disappeared before the end. We can also give you some insight into who the Night King was and what his goals were.

You can also get a refresher on what Melisandre told Arya all the way back in Season 3, an explainer of what the battle plan actually, uh, was, and a look at what Gendry made for Arya. And there was a cameo in the episode you might have missed.

There were a lot of discussions flying around Episode 3 as well. Read Mike Rougeau’s take on why the deaths in the episode left him cold, and an explanation of why calling Arya Stark a Mary Sue is the dumbest Game of Thrones opinion on the internet.

Episode 2: “A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms”

The night before the Battle of Winterfell saw a number of big moments between characters at Winterfell as everyone prepared to die. It was also full of callbacks: Check out a rundown of all the episode’s Easter eggs, read our review, and watch our full and lengthy video breakdown of the episode.

The character moments were many and meaningful. Arya Stark and Gendry fulfilled a fan ship that had been simmering for years, and Brienne of Tarth made Westerosi history. The episode also included a deep cut from the books in the form of the song “Jenny of Oldstones,” sung by Podrick Payne–you’ll want to learn more about that one. And we saw the sneaky return of Ghost the direwolf.

You can also read about the fan theories that developed out of Episode 2, to see how they track with what took place in Episode 3, and watch a behind-the-scenes feature about “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” from the show’s creators.

Episode 1: “Winterfell”

The start of Game of Thrones Season 8 was all setup for the coming battles, both against the Night King and, eventually, for the Iron Throne. Read our review of the premiere, catch up on the list of Easter eggs hidden within it, and watch our big video breakdown. “Winterfell” is also full of visual references with Game of Thrones’ very first episode, so check out this list of all the callbacks and parallels.

You should also read about why Jon Snow riding the dragon Rhaegal is a big deal, prophecy-wise, and find out what happened to Ed Sheeran’s character in Season 7. There are also all the theories that the first episode of the season generated, many of which have since been dashed.

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