EP Daily Rundown for October 18, 2016

Today in the Rundown, Rockstar Games has finally announced Red Dead Redemption 2! We’ve saddle up all the details on that, along with some sad news about Sleeping Dogs developer United Front Games, the latest happenings at Netflix, some sugary news about a certain mobile game, and finally, save the world with Captain Planet!

It’s official: Red Dead Redemption 2 is on the way. Following the release of a pair of teaser images, Rockstar Games has officially announced that Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming to the PS4 and Xbox One next year. This is actually the third game in the franchise, but the title means it will be a direct sequel to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption, possibly focusing on the son of that game’s anti-hero John Marston. Rockstar says the new game will tell “an epic tale in America’s unforgiving heartland,” with a “vast and atmospheric world.” That sounds like a Red Dead game. They haven’t said exactly where it will take place, but it’s rumoured to be set in an old west version of New Orleans. Rockstar has also revealed that the game will “provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience,” which sounds like it will have a big, continuously updated online version similar to what Rockstar is doing with Grand Theft Auto 5 and GTA Online. It’s no surprise that they’d want to repeat that formula, given the fact that they’re still raking in the dough with GTA Online more than 3 years after its release. The first trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 will be released on Thursday morning, and you know we’ll be giving you our thoughts on that when it arrives.

We’re always excited about new games, but there’s also some very sad news coming out of the video game community. Vancouver-based developer United Front Games, best known for creating the 2012 open-world action game Sleeping Dogs, has shut down. Rumours of UFG’s closure began to surface yesterday, and although no official announcements have been made at the time we’re filming this, we’ve have confirmed the bad news with the studio. As one of the few independently-owned AAA developers in the industry, UFG had been struggling to stay afloat for years. One of their recent projects, an online game called Triad Wars, was cancelled last year, and they had also been working on playsets for Disney Infinity before that franchise was killed earlier this year. UFG’s most recent project, a multiplayer brawler called Smash & Grab, was released on Steam Early Access a few weeks ago, but it has since been removed from sale and looks like it may never see the light of day. Just last week we were able to play the game with UFG’s Travis Nordin right here in the studio, and everything seemed fine at the time so news of the closure caught all of us off guard. We have a lot of friends there so obviously we wish them the best of luck, and hope they find new opportunities soon.

The online streaming market is doing better than ever. Netflix says that 3.57 million new subscribers joined their service in the third quarter of 2016, a million more than they had expected, and bringing their total number of subscribers up to 83.3 million. CEO Reed Hastings says that their original shows and movies have helped drive the numbers up, and they expect an additional 5 million people to sign up before the end of the year. They’re planning to put all that extra money to good use. They previously stated that they hope to double the amount of original content they’re currently creating, which means a lot more movies and shows are going to be made. That’s good news for anyone who works in those industries, not to mention all the good stuff audiences will be able to watch.

And over on conventional television, one network wants to crush the competition with help from a popular mobile game. CBS is making a live-action game show based on Candy Crush. That’s right, the insanely-popular match-three puzzle game that many of us love to hate is coming to television. At least this makes more sense than a movie. Like other game shows, the Candy Crush show will have two teams competing against each other, and they’ll use massive, interactive game boards to recreate the Candy Crush gameplay on stage. Exactly how that will work hasn’t been revealed. Candy Crush owner King Games is working with CBS on the show, and although the game has millions and millions of players, it’s unclear if that success will translate into television ratings.

Go Planet! Leonardo DiCaprio wants to save the world in movies and in real life. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the now Oscar-winning actor and outspoken environmental activist has come aboard a big screen movie based on the early 90s cartoon show Captain Planet. The film has been in development for several years, and like the cartoon, it will focus on a group of multiethnic teenagers who use magic rings to summon an Earth-saving superhero. The show is a prime example of edutainment, with each episode having a very obvious environmental message, which seems even more important now than it did 25 years ago. Leonardo DiCaprio will serve as producer on the new film, but there’s no word yet on who will star. Don Cheadle played a somewhat sinister version of Captain Planet in a series of Funny Or Die videos, but expect the movie to take the subject matter a little more seriously.

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