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

REUTERS/Tuomas Forsell
Reuters

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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

Eeeeooowwww! Cardi B Just Shattered Two of Beyonce’s Biggest Records

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Cardi B has her finger on the pulse of her success. Fresh off her debut album drop, a Saturday Night Live pregnancy reveal, a special co-hosting gig on The Tonight Show and a Coachella performance that was straight fire, the 25-year-old is finding new ways to outdo herself. This time, she shattered two of Beyonce’s Guinness World Records. Truth.

The Invasion of Privacy rapper now holds the titles for most simultaneous Billboard Hot 100 entries by a female and the most simultaneous Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Top 10 entries by a female. (Get it, Cardi B!)

Queen Bey previously held the title with 12 tracks all charting at the same time following the release of Lemonade in 2016. Cardi B now has 13. Eeeeooowwww!

So, Nicki Minaj, what’s good?

On another note, Cardi B’s rise is bustling beyond Friday night playlists, too. Even Bernie Sanders is a fan. Cardi recently weight in on Social Security during an interview with GQ, telling the mag she felt President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was “the real ‘Make America Great Again,’ because if it wasn’t for him, old people wouldn’t even get Social Security.”

Sanders tweeted about it.

So again, Nicki, what’s good?

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Avicii Is Dead at 28, Here’s What We Know

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Swedish artist, DJ and producer Avicii, real name Tim Bergling, died April 20 according to a statement from his rep. He was 28.

“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” the statement reads. “He was found dead in Muscat, Oman this Friday afternoon local time, April 20th.  The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given.”

Avicii retired from live performing in 2016, citing health reasons. He had suffered from health problems for several years, including acute pancreatitis, in part due to excessive drinking. He had his gallbladder and appendix removed in 2014.

Last year, Avicii posted the following message to his website:

“WE ALL REACH A POINT IN OUR LIVES AND CAREERS WHERE WE UNDERSTAND WHAT MATTERS THE MOST TO US.
For me it’s creating music. That is what I live for, what I feel I was born to do.

Last year I quit performing live, and many of you thought that was it. But the end of live never meant the end of Avicii or my music. Instead, I went back to the place where it all made sense – the studio.

The next stage will be all about my love of making music to you guys. It is the beginning of something new.

Hope you´ll enjoy it as much as I do.”

Gone too soon, his music will live on for generations. Here’s one of Better than the Weekend’s favorite Avicii hits from back in the day, blasting all day in honor of his contribution to music.

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MTV Is Bringing Back ‘YO! MTV Raps’ In a Big Way

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Thirty years after its premiere on MTV, “YO! MTV Raps” legacy continues to have a lasting influence on hip-hop and pop culture.  To celebrate this milestone anniversary, MTV will reinvent the franchise for a new generation as a both a linear and digital series across its platforms. To kick things off, show alumni, artists and fans will gather for the “YO! MTV Raps: 30th Anniversary Experience” on Friday, June 1st at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, which will be live streamed by MTV.

After its debut on August 6th, 1988, “YO! MTV Raps” became the premiere source for all things hip-hop.  The advent of the series was crucial to the rise of hip-hop, and created a worldwide appreciation of the genre, which has since become one of the most influential in mainstream music.

The “YO! MTV Raps: 30th Anniversary Experience” will bring together an all-star line-up of the series’ alumni and hip-hop legends including Big Daddy Kane and the Juice Crew, Eric B & Rakim, Doug E. Fresh, KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions, Fat Joe, Yo-Yo, Onyx, EPMD, Flavor Flav, YBT Tap the bottle reunion, Black Sheep, DAS EFX, Special Ed, Pharcyde, Brand Nubian, Nice & Smooth, Melle Mel & The Furious Five, Kid Capri, DJ Skribble, Red Alert, Chuck Chillout, Fab 5 Freddy, Ed Lover, Doctor Dré, T-Money and others for a night to remember.

The event will also feature special tribute videos from Eminem, Method Man, Redman and more.

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