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‘Walking Dead’ zombie game seeks Pokemon Go-style success

REUTERS/Tuomas Forsell



Finnish game studio Next Games said on Friday it will launch a new augmented reality smartphone game in the coming months based on AMC Networks’ hit TV show “Walking Dead”.

The game, in which players fight zombies that are superimposed onto the real world on smartphone screens, is tapping into the trend of augmented reality (AR) which gained mass adoption last year with the release of Niantic Inc’s Pokemon Go.

Next Games said the “Walking Dead: Our World” game, which it hopes will mirror Pokemon Go’s success, will be available for test users on Apple’s App Store and Google Play in selected regions by January before a wider release later next year.

The TV show tells the story of a world overrun by zombies, and the new game will use AR technology to let players battle the zombie characters in real world environments.

Based on the same show, Next Games has previously developed a mobile strategy game which has been downloaded by more than 16 million users.

“I have an optimistic view on (the new game’s) potential. I expect this game to reach similar levels of revenue to their previous game,” said analyst Jerker Salokivi at Evli brokerage, with a “hold” rating on the stock.

Shares in the company, which was listed in March, jumped more than 100 percent in August after the company released its first video trailer of the upcoming game.

The stock fell more than 7 percent on Friday as the company reported a loss from the first nine months of the year due to investments in game development.

Its sales from January to September rose 30 percent from a year ago to around 26 million euros ($30 million).

This year, Google and Apple have both released augmented reality applications for their devices to compete for the attention of customers and software developers building such games.

Pokemon Go, which has players walking around real life neighborhoods to catch and train creatures, has more than 750 million downloads.

“AR games … need to give the player a reason to look through their cameras, to change their surroundings into something else. With zombies, you don’t luckily get to do it any other way,” Next Games CEO Teemu Huuhtanen told Reuters in September.

In another recent AR initiative, Mattel and tech company Osmo launched an augmented reality version for “Hotwheels” toy car game.


(Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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Pop Culture

First Look at Epic Trailer For Elton John Biopic ‘Rocketman’



There are moments in a rockstar’s life that define who he is. The movie “Rocketman,” about the life of Elton John, will take audiences to some of those moments in summer 2019.

The film’s star, Taron Egerton, tweeted before the trailer was dropped to say that he was looking forward to people seeing it, adding: “Words cannot describe how proud and excited I am.”

That’s because the trailer is fucking brilliant. Check it out.

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Kanye West Wants To Arrange Meeting Between Kaepernick and Trump



WARNING: Kanye West has a new album to promote, so expect BIZARRE behavior.

Kanye West’s new album, “Yhandi,” was promised to drop during his Sept. 29 appearance on the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live.” That didn’t happen. Instead, the release date was changed to Nov. 23, a.k.a., Black Friday. In less than 48 hours, his outlandish conduct has included: controversy over wanting to abolish the 13th Amendment (which ended slavery), the filming of a music video in the grass by the parking lot outside of TMZ’s HQ, and announcing he’s trying to organize a meeting between Colin Kaepernick and President Donald Trump. More bat-shit craziness is likely to come.

Trump has been extremely critical of Kaepernick, strongly pressuring NFL owners to fire all of the “sons of bitches” who don’t stand for the national anthem.

But West wants to bring them together. During an interview Monday on “TMZ Live,” West said he’s reached out to Kaepernick to try to make that happen. Unless you’ve been trapped in human trafficking circles, you likely know Kaepernick was under intense scrutiny from Trump after kneeling during the national anthem at football games to shine a light on police brutality against black people.

He didn’t say if either side was open to the idea, but Trump has praised West for being a brilliant leader.

Meanwhile, Kim:

On a positive note, West did premiere a new song on “Saturday Night Live” that might just be his best song this decade. Check it out:

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Cardi B Turned Herself Into Police After Strip Club Fight



Cardi B turned herself in to New York Police police at the 109th Precinct in Queens Monday morning over charges stemming from a fight at a strip club.

Sources told TMZ that Cardi B has “long-standing beef” with a bartender at the club, with whom she allegedly started the fight. The rapper was at Angels Strip Club back in Aug. 2018 to watch her husband, Offset, perform with Migos on the night of the incident, and she allegedly told her crew to attack the women with bottles and chairs after rumors swirled that one of them had slept with Offset.

The new mom was involved in another fight recently. In September, Cardi B was left with a welt on her head after she was involved in an altercation with Nicki Minaj at a New York Fashion Week party.

Joe Tacopina, the attorney representing the two female bartenders, released a statement to CNN stating: “Cardi B ordered and committed violent assaults against my clients, and is being called to justice for her crimes. Apparently, she thinks her celebrity status puts her above the law, since she has bragged to multiple people and on social media that she orchestrated these vicious attacks,” Tacopina said. “But reality is setting in, as justice does not care whether her name is Cardi B or Carly B, and she will now answer for her crimes.”
“We’re aware of no evidence that she caused anybody any harm on that night,” Jeff Kern, an attorney representing Cardi B told press outside the police precinct. “We expect that the matter is going to be resolved expeditiously.”

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