Category Archives: 2016
Stephen Toulouse, who was a Microsoft employee for 18 years before departing in 2012, has rejoined his former company. Toulouse will be joining Rod Fergusson’s team at Black Tusk on the next Gears of War project as the director of community engagement. The news was announced on Major Nelson’s podcast.
Toulouse served as Xbox Live’s director of policy and enforcement, setting the tone for the gaming division’s community standards. In that role, Toulouse instituted a policy change that allowed users to express their sexual orientation in their Gamertags. Prior to the 2010 revision, users were prohibited from doing so, touching off a widespread call for reform.
Since leaving Microsoft, Toulouse served as director of product management for Gaems (portable gaming entertainment cases) and has been with HBO as an infrastructure project manager.
[Source: Major Nelson]
The Gears of War franchise has a lot of life left in it, according to Microsoft Studios executive Phil Spencer. Speaking with Kotaku, Spencer said Microsoft is in “active” discussions about the future of the franchise, but stopped short of confirming a new entry in the series.
“I’m a huge fan of the franchise,” Spencer said. “I want to continue to work with Gears. I think there’s a lot of life left in that franchise. We had an internal discussion on it even yesterday. It’s something that’s active in discussion about what we can do with Gears.”
Gears of War fans eager for a follow-up to this year’s Gears of War: Judgment may want to get comfortable, as Spencer said “there’s nothing even pending that I’m holding to announce.” That said, he explained that the importance of the franchise to gamers is not lost on him.
“I understand the importance of the franchise to the Xbox platform and to gamers–I’d say gamers first. It’d be great to do something forward with that franchise.”
Since its inception, the Gears of War franchise has been exclusive to Xbox and PC. Spencer declined to say if this status would change going forward, deferring to Epic for that question.
“It’s Epic’s franchise,” he said. “You and I both know that. I can’t make any assurances about anybody else’s franchise. It’s Epic’s game and we have to talk to them about a partnership and what they want to do. As you know, you probably know right now they’re more focused on other areas of their business right now.”
Gears of War creator Epic Games has no announced projects beyond the PC-exclusive Fortnite. Gears of War: Judgment was principally developed by Poland-based subsidiary Epic Games Poland (formerly known as People Can Fly).
Also in the interview, Spencer discussed the Xbox platform’s status in Japan, a region where the system has never been hugely popular. He said Microsoft has closed deals for new titles, described as “full Japanese games” that are more substantial that downloadable projects.
We have signed some things in Japan that we haven’t announced that we’ll announce in… ’14 so that people get to hear about support in Japan,” Spencer said.
Spencer also teased that Microsoft is potentially interested in older franchises, including a reboot of Phantom Dust. “It’s a discussion right now; there’s nothing signed. But we’re talking. It does seem like there’s a lot of interest around that.”
Much like the spotlighted villain at the center of its movies, the Friday the 13th franchise is once again coming back from the dead. Paramount Pictures has announced that they will be releasing a brand new title from the long-running horror series on March 13, 2015.
But what exactly is this movie? Is it a sequel to the Marcus Nispel-directed reboot from back in 2009? Is it the continuation of the franchise that seemingly ended in 2003 with Freddy vs. Jason? The answer is none of the above. According to the reliable Exhibitor Relations Twitter account, the new film will be yet another reboot. What makes it interesting, however, is that the movie will be the thirteenth theatrically released movie in the series.
Marvel and Disney dropped a bomb on their fan nation with the news that two untitled superhero movies are scheduled to hit theaters in 2016 and 2017. These two films are bulking up the post-’Avengers 2‘ Phase 3 slate, but now there’s even more news. It’s been revealed that another Marvel movie has been added for a 2016 release!
Coming at us from Collider, we now know that another and equally mysterious movie is popping out of Marvel Studios July 8. We repeat, this is in addition to two untitled films already dated for May 6, 2016 and May 5, 2017, respectively.
We’ll keep you updated as more information is revealed, though we’re anticipating some huge announcements coming next month during Comic-Con 2013. So far, speculation on these titles has centered around the highly talked-about ‘Doctor Strange,’ ‘Black Panther‘ and even sequels to the previously established ‘Thor’ and ‘Captain America’ films. Also, now that we know Robert Downey, Jr.’s Iron Man contract has been renewed all the way up to ‘The Avengers 3,’ perhaps we’ll be seeing the superhero team’s third outing in one of these new slots.
So far, the currently slotted Marvel schedule includes ‘Thor 2‘ (November 8, 2013), ‘Captain America 2‘ (April 4, 2014), ‘Guardians of the Galaxy‘ (August 1, 2014), ‘The Avengers 2′ (May 1, 2015) and ‘Ant-Man‘ (November 6, 2015). Keeping in mind ‘Iron Man 3′ hit theaters this past May 3, you’ll notice Marvel’s trend of releasing two films a year. So expect at least one more movie, untitled or not, to join the 2017 title.
In other news, Disney simultaneously announced the release date for its upcoming, live-action adaptation of ‘Cinderella,’ hitting theaters March 13, 2015. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the film stars Lily James as Cinderella, Cate Blanchett as her wicked stepmother, Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera as her wicked stepsisters, Richard Madden as her Prince Charming, and the recently announced Helena Bonham Carter as her fairy godmother.