Thursday, October 28, 2021

Kena: Bridge of Spirits Has Already Recouped Its Development Costs

Kena: Bridge of Spirits was released in September to largely positive reviews (including a 9 out of 10 from us) and has performed well in sales. So much so that, according to developer Ember Labs, the game has already broken even on its development cost. In an interview with Bloomberg, Ember Lab heads Josh and Mike Grier discussed Kena's road from development to release. To their surprise, the game has apparently sold well, and while they don't divulge specific sale numbers, they say it's already recouped its initial development costs. It's unclear how much money Kena had behind it, but this is great news for the small studio.  "It's hard to tell what's a huge success," said Josh in the article. "Sony's happy." Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a third-person action-adventure title that stars Kena, a spirit guide, who guides small critters called the Rot to purify a land plagued by a supernatural blight. Along the way, you'll assist wayward souls to help ferry them to the afterlife, while action consists of melee and ranged combat. The game has an old-school linear design and scope, plus it's quite the looker in the art department (Ember Labs cut its teeth as an animation studio, after all). Kena is available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC via the Epic Games Store.  Be sure to read the full interview to learn more about the Kena: Bridge of Spirits' pre-release marketing, as well as our coverage hub for extensive background on the game itself. [Source: Bloomberg]
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    The Lion King Sequel in Development with Director Barry Jenkins

    The Lion King Sequel in Development with Director Barry Jenkins

    The Lion King Sequel in Development with Director Barry Jenkins

    According to , Disney is developing a sequel to 2019’s photorealistic remake of The Lion King with Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk) set to direct the project. Jeff Nathanson, the writer of the 2019 Oscar-nominated film, is returning to pen the sequel. Jenkins partner, director Lulu Wang, posted about the news on Twitter, which you can check out below!

    The movie will serve as a continuation of the studio’s remake that was directed by Emmy nominee Jon Favreau (The Mandalorian) and earned over $1.5 billion at the global box office. A release date or production start for the sequel has not yet been announced.

    “Helping my sister raise two young boys during the 90s, I grew up with these characters,” Jenkins said. “Having the opportunity to work with Disney on expanding this magnificent tale of friendship, love and legacy while furthering my work chronicling the lives and souls of folk within the African diaspora is a dream come true.”

    Lions rule the African savanna in  2019’s , which welcomes Donald Glover (AtlantaSolo: A Star Wars Story) as future-king Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (Dreamgirls, “Lemonade” visual album) as Simba’s friend-turned-love interest Nala, and James Earl Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryField of Dreams) as Simba’s wise and loving father, Mufasa, reprising his iconic performance from Disney’s 1994 animated classic.

    Chiwetel Ejiofor (Twelve Years a SlaveDoctor Strange) was called on to portray Simba’s villainous uncle Scar, and Alfre Woodard (JuanitaMarvel’s Luke Cage) portrays Simba’s no-nonsense mother, Sarabi. JD McCrary (Tyler Perry’s The PaynesVital Signs) fills the shoes of Young Simba, a confident cub who can’t wait to be king, and Shahadi Wright Joseph (Hairspray Live, Broadway’s “The Lion King”) brings tough cub Young Nala to life.

    Every kingdom comes with a trustworthy advisor or two. John Kani (CoriolanusCaptain America: Civil War) was cast as the wise baboon Rafiki, and John Oliver (Last Week Tonight with John OliverThe Daily Show with Jon Stewart) was tapped as hornbill Zazu, Mufasa’s loyal confidant. When Simba goes into exile, he relies on two newfound friends — Seth Rogen (Sausage PartyNeighbors) lends his comedic chops to naïve warthog Pumbaa, and Billy Eichner (Billy on the StreetAmerican Horror Story) joins the cast as know-it-all meerkat, Timon.

    While most of the animals in the kingdom respect the king, the hyenas have other plans. Florence Kasumba (Emerald CityBlack Panther) portrays Shenzi, Eric André (The Eric André ShowMan Seeking Woman) is Azizi, and Keegan-Michael Key (PredatorFriends from College) plays Kamari.

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