Sony Is Reportedly ‘Happy’ With Sales Numbers For Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Mike and Josh Grier from Ember Lab have revealed that Sony is happy with the sales numbers of Kena: Bridge of Spirits and that the game has already recouped its initial development costs.

In an interview with Bloomberg, the Grier brothers didn't provide a sales number, but they noted that they were pleasantly surprised at the sales so far. "It’s hard to tell what's a huge success. Sony's happy," said Josh Grier. Mike Grier also mentioned that Sony put plenty of effort into marketing Kena: Bridge of Spirits because of the large amount of attention it was getting. It was revealed alongside the PlayStation 5 back in June 2020.

At game conferences, Ember Lab pitched earlier versions of the game. While there were lots of big publishers interested, the studio eventually closed a deal with Sony for both funding and marketing support. Additionally, Ember Lab was allowed to learn about the PS5 a year prior to its official announcement and was given development kits for the console.

The team pitched early versions of Kena at game conferences and drew interest from several big publishers, then struck a deal with Sony for funding and marketing support. Working with one of the big console makers had some nice perks. They were briefed on the PlayStation 5 a year before its announcement and even received early development kits, much to the delight of everyone there.

As for the studio's next project, the Grier brothers know that it'll be a narrative driven game. In IGN's Kena: Bridge of Spirts review, Mitchel Saltzman said, "Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a wonderful first game from Ember Lab, combining its outstanding pedigree in art and animation with some really solid combat, fantastic world design, and a great balance of action, platforming, puzzle solving, and exploration."

Kena: Bridge of Spirits launched on September 21 for PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.

George Yang is a freelance contributor at IGN

Leaked Videos Appear To Offer the First Glimpse Of Facebook’s Oculus Pro

New leaks from Oculus appear to show a first look at the rumored Oculus Pro VR headset, The Verge reports.

Videos and images from the servers of Facebook, which owns Oculus, first leaked to Reddit before being downloaded by The Verge. The videos show CG characters interacting with a new, darker VR headset and participating in activities like meetings, character customization, and games like Beat Saber.

Though the videos are CG, they show off what appears to be full body motion tracking, new Oculus Touch-style controllers (without the ring that goes around your hands), a charging dock, and the Horizon Workrooms app, where users will host meetings and use presentation tools like a 3D image of a building blueprint.

If Facebook confirms the existence of a pro version of its Oculus Quest headset (something executives have previously teased), it'll likely be at the upcoming Connect conference, where the social media company has previously revealed VR hardware. Facebook is also reportedly gearing up for a big company name change that will reflect its work building a "metaverse," a particularly ambiguous term that tech leaders have used to define a future where brands, users, and tech share a single centralized, interconnected platform. Facebook and Oculus VR hardware, plus the more detailed avatars and functionality, will likely play a role in Facebook's plans for the metaverse.

The only catch to the leak is that Facebook VP of Reality Labs, Andrew Bosworth, said in April that the company wouldn't have any Oculus Quest Pro news this year, The Verge reported. It's possible that Facebook's plans have changed in the subsequent months, though.

The Verge also reported that YouTuber Basti564 told them that references to an "Oculus Pro" can be found in recent Oculus Software. According to BAsti564, the leaked videos will play upon the headset's initial setup.

Meanwhile, Oculus Quest 2 just received a VR version of Resident Evil 4, which editor Taylor Lyles called "a fresh take" on one of the most ported games of all time.

Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/VR fan for IGN

Halo 3’s Original Servers Shutting Down Along With the Rest Of the Series On Xbox 360

343 Industries has revealed the date when the online multiplayer servers for several Halo games on Xbox 360 will close down: January 13, 2022. Back on December 18, 2020, the studio announced these servers would shut down no earlier than one year after it had posted the notice, but now a definitive date has been decided.

"To date, we’ve juggled future-facing work and priorities with continued upkeep of Halo’s Xbox 360 legacy services. Maintaining these legacy services today requires significant time and resources which directly impacts the studio’s ability to support current and future projects like Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo Infinite," wrote 343 Industries in a statement.

As the player base of these games on Xbox 360 dwindle more and more, the imbalance between maintaining the Xbox 360 servers and working on recent projects increases. Additionally, the digital sales of the Xbox 360 Halo games have greatly slowed down and new physical sales of them were halted back in 2018.

The following games are affected: Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, Halo 4, Halo Wars, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and Spartan Assault. While the multiplayer functions of these games will be limited following the server closures in January, the games will remain playable offline. Along with finally deciding on a date for sunsetting the servers, 343 Industries also showed off some footage of Halo Infinite's campaign this morning.

Halo Infinite launches on December 8 for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

George Yang is a freelancer writer for IGN

Halo 3’s Original Servers Shutting Down Along With the Rest Of the Series On Xbox 360

343 Industries has revealed the date when the online multiplayer servers for several Halo games on Xbox 360 will close down: January 13, 2022. Back on December 18, 2020, the studio announced these servers would shut down no earlier than one year after it had posted the notice, but now a definitive date has been decided.

"To date, we’ve juggled future-facing work and priorities with continued upkeep of Halo’s Xbox 360 legacy services. Maintaining these legacy services today requires significant time and resources which directly impacts the studio’s ability to support current and future projects like Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo Infinite," wrote 343 Industries in a statement.

As the player base of these games on Xbox 360 dwindle more and more, the imbalance between maintaining the Xbox 360 servers and working on recent projects increases. Additionally, the digital sales of the Xbox 360 Halo games have greatly slowed down and new physical sales of them were halted back in 2018.

The following games are affected: Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, Halo 4, Halo Wars, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and Spartan Assault. While the multiplayer functions of these games will be limited following the server closures in January, the games will remain playable offline. Along with finally deciding on a date for sunsetting the servers, 343 Industries also showed off some footage of Halo Infinite's campaign this morning.

Halo Infinite launches on December 8 for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

George Yang is a freelancer writer for IGN

Brendan Fraser Will Reportedly Be the Villain In New Batgirl Movie

Brendan Fraser will reportedly star in Warner Bros. and DC's upcoming Batgirl film as the villain Firefly, sources speaking to Deadline say. The Mummy and Doom Patrol star will join Leslie Grace (In the Heights) playing Barbara Gordon/Batgirl.

Deadline's sources say they haven't confirmed the information, but believe Fraser will play the DC villain Firefly, one of DC's longest-running villains, who was reimagined in the 1980's as a special effects artist-turned-pyromaniac wielding a flamethrower, various bombs, and a fireproof suit with a jetpack. Firefly has since served as one of Batman's recurring villains, with other characters taking the name throughout the years, including a "Lady Firefly" in 2018's Gotham TV series. It's currently unknown how much of Batgirl will adhere to the comics and Firefly's origin story.

Batgirl will debut on HBO Max, making it one of DC's first big IPs to launch on the streaming service.

Fraser's resurgence as a star actor is thanks in part to DC's Doom Patrol, where Fraser plays a former NASCAR driver whose brain is transplanted into a robotic body following a horrific racing incident. Fraser's role has proven to be a fan favorite over the course of its three seasons, with IGN's Jesse Schedeen noting that Fraser is able to "mine a wonderful amount of depth and pathos out of a character who spends most of his time trapped behind an almost expressionless metal shell" and calling him the "heart and soul" of the series.

Fraser is also set to star in Darren Aronofsky's The Whale, a psychological drama following a 600-pound man (Fraser) attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

Fraser's seemingly abrupt exit from the high-profile acting world has been attributed to different incidents: Surgeries stemming from injuries suffered on set of his various action films, as well as Fraser telling GQ in 2018 that Philip Berk, former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, sexually assaulted him at an event in 2003.

Fraser is also set to appear in Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon with Leonardo DiCapprio and Robert De Niro.

We got a big look at Batgirl, including concept art and comments from directors Adil El Arbit and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys For Life) and writer Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey, Bumblebee), during DC FanDome 2021.

Image Credit: Jordin Althaus/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/has always believed in Brendan Fraser...for IGN.

Brendan Fraser Will Reportedly Be the Villain In New Batgirl Movie

Brendan Fraser will reportedly star in Warner Bros. and DC's upcoming Batgirl film as the villain Firefly, sources speaking to Deadline say. The Mummy and Doom Patrol star will join Leslie Grace (In the Heights) playing Barbara Gordon/Batgirl.

Deadline's sources say they haven't confirmed the information, but believe Fraser will play the DC villain Firefly, one of DC's longest-running villains, who was reimagined in the 1980's as a special effects artist-turned-pyromaniac wielding a flamethrower, various bombs, and a fireproof suit with a jetpack. Firefly has since served as one of Batman's recurring villains, with other characters taking the name throughout the years, including a "Lady Firefly" in 2018's Gotham TV series. It's currently unknown how much of Batgirl will adhere to the comics and Firefly's origin story.

Batgirl will debut on HBO Max, making it one of DC's first big IPs to launch on the streaming service.

Fraser's resurgence as a star actor is thanks in part to DC's Doom Patrol, where Fraser plays a former NASCAR driver whose brain is transplanted into a robotic body following a horrific racing incident. Fraser's role has proven to be a fan favorite over the course of its three seasons, with IGN's Jesse Schedeen noting that Fraser is able to "mine a wonderful amount of depth and pathos out of a character who spends most of his time trapped behind an almost expressionless metal shell" and calling him the "heart and soul" of the series.

Fraser is also set to star in Darren Aronofsky's The Whale, a psychological drama following a 600-pound man (Fraser) attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

Fraser's seemingly abrupt exit from the high-profile acting world has been attributed to different incidents: Surgeries stemming from injuries suffered on set of his various action films, as well as Fraser telling GQ in 2018 that Philip Berk, former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, sexually assaulted him at an event in 2003.

Fraser is also set to appear in Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon with Leonardo DiCapprio and Robert De Niro.

We got a big look at Batgirl, including concept art and comments from directors Adil El Arbit and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys For Life) and writer Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey, Bumblebee), during DC FanDome 2021.

Image Credit: Jordin Althaus/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/has always believed in Brendan Fraser...for IGN.

Game Scoop! 648: What’s the Best Video Game Sequel?

Welcome back to IGN Game Scoop!, the ONLY video game podcast! This week your Omega Cops -- Daemon Hatfield, Tina Amini, Sam Claiborn, and Justin Davis -- are discussing the best video game sequels, God of War, Cyberpunk, games that break the fourth wall, and more. And, of course, they play Video Game 20 Questions.

Watch the video above or hit the link below to your favorite podcast service.

Listen on:

Apple Podcasts

YouTube

Spotify

Stitcher

Find previous episodes here!

Game Scoop! 648: What’s the Best Video Game Sequel?

Welcome back to IGN Game Scoop!, the ONLY video game podcast! This week your Omega Cops -- Daemon Hatfield, Tina Amini, Sam Claiborn, and Justin Davis -- are discussing the best video game sequels, God of War, Cyberpunk, games that break the fourth wall, and more. And, of course, they play Video Game 20 Questions.

Watch the video above or hit the link below to your favorite podcast service.

Listen on:

Apple Podcasts

YouTube

Spotify

Stitcher

Find previous episodes here!

FaZe Clan Going Public At An Estimated $1 Billion

Esports and gaming organization FaZe Clan has announced its plans to go public through a merger that will value the company as a whole at around $1 billion.

The merger is with a blank check company called B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp — essentially a company that is founded and raises money specifically for the purpose of merging with or being acquired by another company. As a part of the merger, BRPM will pay an estimated $291 million to FaZe, which will be used to fund its ongoing global growth efforts —including potential future acquisitions. BRPM will change its name to FaZe Holdings Inc, and the combined company will trade under the ticker symbol FAZE.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022 and will see FaZe CEO Lee Trink remain in his role in addition to becoming chairman of the board.

FaZe Clan, begun in 2010 as a Call of Duty team, now purports to have a combined social media reach of over 350 million across both its own channels as well as its network of content creators. Its esports teams span games such as Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, PUBG, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, FIFA, Valorant, Fortnite, and Rocket League, and its brand has expanded across online gaming, lifestyle products, sport merchandise, and other various digital content offerings.

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.

This article was amended after publication with the correct abbreviation for B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp.

FaZe Clan Going Public At An Estimated $1 Billion

Esports and gaming organization FaZe Clan has announced its plans to go public through a merger that will value the company as a whole at around $1 billion.

The merger is with a blank check company called B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp — essentially a company that is founded and raises money specifically for the purpose of merging with or being acquired by another company. As a part of the merger, BRPM will pay an estimated $291 million to FaZe, which will be used to fund its ongoing global growth efforts —including potential future acquisitions. BRPM will change its name to FaZe Holdings Inc, and the combined company will trade under the ticker symbol FAZE.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022 and will see FaZe CEO Lee Trink remain in his role in addition to becoming chairman of the board.

FaZe Clan, begun in 2010 as a Call of Duty team, now purports to have a combined social media reach of over 350 million across both its own channels as well as its network of content creators. Its esports teams span games such as Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, PUBG, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, FIFA, Valorant, Fortnite, and Rocket League, and its brand has expanded across online gaming, lifestyle products, sport merchandise, and other various digital content offerings.

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.

This article was amended after publication with the correct abbreviation for B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp.