Minecraft 2 Isn’t Happening as the Original Will Evolve and Live on Forever

At E3 2018, Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Executive President of Gaming, revealed new Xbox hardware is on its way. Microsoft is seemingly committed to supporting the Xbox brand in the long-term, and Spencer concurs—though he admits the enormity of today’s games might change how we perceive sequels and console generations.

“As you think about this next wave of hardware that eventually will come, so many of the large, large games people are playing today are still going to exist when the next hardware comes out,” Spencer tells Eurogamer in an interview published today. “You’re not likely to see a ‘2’ after all those, as people are trying to move you to the next version of those games. In the old model of games shipping, getting played and then going away—and that was all of the games—a console transition was an easy step-function.”

Spencer cites Minecraft as an example. The reason Xbox One didn’t ship with Minecraft 2 is because players don’t necessarily want a new Minecraft; they just want Minecraft to keep getting better.

“When you look at games like PUBG and Fortnite and you think about these large games and ecosystems that’ll be out there, when new hardware comes, people are still going to want to play those games, and it’s going to be important for us as platforms to support them,” Spencer says.

Crazy crossover events help keep “old” games fresh, too.
The longevity of games resulting from the “games as a service” model is also why Xbox is committed to backwards compatibility. “I’m very proud of our track record of compatibility and us respecting the purchase of games you’ve made with us and bringing that to the current generation,” Spencer said. “It is in our core on who we are.”

We can supply everything there is to know about the new Xbox, and we’re also on top of all the neat little surprises coming out of E3 2018. Keep following us!

Read more here: https://www.usgamer.net/articles/minecraft-2-isnt-happening-as-the-original-will-evolve-and-live-on-forever

Best Minecraft servers that deliver blocky takes on Pokemon, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings

Jump through a server portal to find yourself in Minecraft versions of Los Santos, Westeros, and Middle-earth

Minecraft on PC is basically the gift that keeps on giving, and that’s not only thanks to the constant updates from developer Mojang, but also because of the incredibly dedicated community that keeps on creating and sharing its work. And the culmination of years of ambition and hard work have resulted in a selection of the best Minecraft servers around. Each one houses a Minecraft world that can take you to places you know and love, but now with a blocky sheen. These architectural paradises include places like Game of Thrones’ Westeros, Lord of the Rings’ Middle-earth, and even GTA 5’s Los Santos (minus the debauchery and all the blood, this is Minecraft guys).

As you’d expect, there are literally hundreds of Minecraft servers to choose from, but we’ve gone on a block-tastic journey to discover what we think are the best Minecraft servers around. Each one is its own, self-contained, multiplayer world, complete with their own gameplay styles, rules and engaged communities, so prepare yourself to become a part of their world.

How to access the best Minecraft servers on PC
Once you’ve found a server that you like the look of, you’ll need to grab the host name or IP address of that particular one – don’t worry, we’ve included the relevant host names for our selection of the best Minecraft servers. Start up your game, head to multiplayer and then “add a server”. Just whack the IP address in that bar, name the server and hit done. Then it’s just a case of heading back to your list of servers and selecting the one you want to play around in today.

Our pick of the best Minecraft servers
Grand Theft Minecart
Minecraft server: Grand Theft Minecart

Host name: mc-gtm.net

If you thought a child-friendly Grand Theft Auto wasn’t possible, think again. In Minecraft, anything is possible, and thanks to Grand Theft Minecart you can head on down to a prostitute-free version of Los Santos, known better as MineSantos. Featuring custom weapons and vehicles, the option to own your own apartment or even join a gang, there’s plenty to make sure Grand Theft Minecart feels like a jaunt down to Los Santos. There are even two game modes: Grand Theft Minecart itself, with its more traditional GTA gameplay, or ViceMC, which is a factions-inspired game mode, where you need to grow different types of drugs and attempt to build a drug cartel empire. Okay, so maybe not entirely child friendly after all.

PixelmonCraft
Minecraft server: Pixelmoncraft

Host name: server.pixelmoncraft.com or safari.pixelmoncraft.com

Of all the Pokemon-themed Minecraft servers out there, our favourite has to be PixelmonCraft. It takes the popular Pixelmon mod and turns it into a full multiplayer server. Pokemon MMO anyone? Well, actually it’s spread across two servers, to recreate well-known locations from Kanto and Johto regions from the game series with amazing attention to detail. There are Gym Leaders to fight, PokeMarts to shop in, and even long-grass to avoid. If only this was a real Pokemon MMO, but it’s close as we’re getting for now, and that’s incredible.

Minecraft Middle-earth
Minecraft server: Minecraft Middle-earth

Host name: build.mcmiddleearth.com

There are definitely plenty of Lord of the Rings themed servers to choose from, but for us it’s Minecraft Middle-earth that deserves to be on our list of best Minecraft servers, despite the fact it’s not actually complete yet. Based on the Peter Jackson cinematic version of Middle-earth, this is already an incredible feat, and you can help continue to build it (just make sure you follow those rules). Or, you can just explore the Shire, take a sightseeing trip, or drop into the server’s PVP zone and test your mettle.

WesterosCraft
Minecraft server: WesterosCraft

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Host name: mc.westeroscraft.com

Game of Thrones x Minecraft anyone? Well, it already exists. Meet WesterosCraft. This modern classic has recreated all the major locations from the TV series, from the Red Keep at King’s Landing to the Wall, mostly recreated from the actual HBO TV episodes themselves, so prepare yourself for a visual treat. This is another server that’s still being built, but seeing what they’ve created so far is regularly breathtaking, and if you want to get involved with the ongoing creation you absolutely can. Or just marvel in the wonder.

The Mining Dead
The Mining Dead

Host name: mc.havocmc.net

Prepare to scream COOOORAL into a world of blocks, because The Walking Dead in Minecraft is a real thing and it’s brilliantly called The Mining Dead. Although it plays out more like a Minecraft DayZ – basically a zombie survival game – the entire world inside the server features key locations from the AMC The Walking Dead TV series (and comics), like Woodbury, Alexandria and The Prison. There are custom skins for different characters too, including Rick himself, so prepare to play out The Walking Dead season 9 plot theories out in your own Minecraft version.

Arkham Network
Minecraft server: Arkham Network

Host name: mc.arkhamnetwork.org

Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re saving the city every damn day? Or at least the saviour of the people? Well, you do right? That’s why the Arkham network Minecraft server is fantastic, because it’s an amazing smashing-together of comic book worlds that just begging to be explored, swung across or flown through. Of course, you don’t have to be a superhero at all, you can opt to watch the world burn instead (perhaps not literally though). Regardless of the side you pick, you can take part in a host of different day jobs for earning some money, and a plethora of modes to play around in too. We’d just advise that you make a few friends or frenemies along the way, because it’s a dangerous world out there.

Potter World MC

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Host name: play.potterworldmc.com

When authenticity is the name of the game, you know a Minecraft server based on Harry Potter’s universe is going to have it in spades. Much like the other servers that ape AAA counterparts, Potter World MC is an absolute stunning piece of work, from Hogwarts itself to Platform 9 ¾ and Diagon Alley. The actual gameplay lets you become a wizard, attend classes, duel other wizards and witches, play quidditch and more thanks to events and minigames. It’s a seriously impressive feat. Even Dumbledore would be impressed.

Extreme Craft

Host name: play.extremecraft.net

The only entry on our list of best Minecraft servers not dedicated to another movie, TV or video game property, but honestly this list would be incomplete without Extreme Craft. It’s (rightly) immensely popular because of the sheer number of game modes it offers, which include battle royale/hunger games, skygrid, skywars, survival modes and more. That’s not even considering the fact it offers a creative mode, and even an RPG. It basically offers a little bit of everything in one beautiful world, and who can say no to that?

Have we missed any of what you think are the best Minecraft servers? Let us know your favourites in the comments below and we’ll make sure to check them out.

REad more here: https://www.gamesradar.com/best-minecraft-servers/

The best Minecraft texture packs

Minecraft texture packs are essentially a way of changing how the base game looks. Want a more cartoony feel? Maybe you’re looking to build a medieval castle? Whatever you’re after, chances are, there’s a texture pack for exactly what you want.
Installing texture packs is nice and simple. Just follow the brief guide below and you’ll be up and running in no time. If, however, you find a texture pack that doesn’t work correctly, you may need to roll back your version of Minecraft to an older iteration. You can find out how to do that here.

And don’t forget, whether you’re looking for the best Minecraft seeds, Minecraft console commands and cheats, best Minecraft servers, or are even wondering which version of Minecraft is better, we can help with everything you need.

How to install texture packs
– Download the texture pack (it may come as a .Zip file, don’t extract it).
– Boot up Minecraft.
– Click ‘Options’.
– Next click ‘Resource Packs’.
– Now click on “Open Resource Packs folder.”
– From here, drag the texture pack file into the folder.
– The texture pack should now appear in the list of usable add-ons.

LB Photo Realism Pack

Although Minecraft is built upon having a rustic aesthetic, sometimes you want your world to gleam with beauty. That’s where the LB Photo Realism pack comes in. Every texture in this pack has been painstakingly reworked to make it look as realistic as possible, from shimmering water surfaces all the way to how trees appear more textured, this is one pack you won’t want to miss. Grab it here.

Retro NES

Minecraft evokes that feeling of 8-bit nostalgia that we’re all susceptible to, over a certain age. With the Retro NES pack, you can turn the clock back and relive your youth, so long as you’re over the age of 30 that is. Now you just need to get to the Nether and turn the whole place into one big Bowser fortress. Get it here.

John Smith

We couldn’t go without mentioning arguably the best fantasy pack out there for Minecraft. Whether you’re looking to build a castle with a sprawling courtyard or fancy creating a western theme park with killer robots, the John Smith pack has all that and more. This pack has become the go-to staple for many players, and if you happen to find yourself looking on YouTube for build guides, it’s likely this is the pack you’ll see used.

Default 32×32

It’s funny how many people don’t use the default Minecraft textures. Not because they’re bad, per se, but there’s only so many hours you can lose before those muddy textures start to outstay their welcome. And yet, changing things up too drastically makes everything look weird. For all the inbetweeners out there, do check out Default 32×32, it’s kind of like a plastic wrap texture that keeps the original style intact while still feeling fresh.

oCd Pack

Hands up if you’ve ever seen a lone block and just had to remove it because the sight of it being out of place made you shudder. To avoid ever having to deal with rogue blocks and misshapen landscapes, this pack removes noise and harsh colours, changes spacing so most terrains are even, and sets all angles at 90 degrees. Not bad, eh? You can find it here.

Modern HD
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While you can make modern buildings with the default textures, you’re limited in what you can and can’t use. Any white and black blocks work, but try using cobblestone and the build falls apart. To fix this and more there’s the Modern HD pack, which offers a more contemporary feel. Now there’s nothing stopping you from building the house of your dreams, which you’re pretty much guaranteed to never afford doing in the real world.

Adventure Time Craft

Aww, c’mon, who doesn’t want to build their own replica of the Ice King or Princess Bubblegum’s castle? Even if you’re not a fan of the show, then there’s always the option of using this one as a neat little cartoon texture pack. Pick it up here.

Halo Minecraft Wars

According to my notes, Halo is a first-person shooting game where you shoot aliens in the head a lot—I hear it’s pretty popular. If you would like to give Minecraft the Master Chief treatment, then this is the texture pack for you. Now if only there were an option to fire actual halos on people’s worlds. Imagine the griefing possibilities.

Five Nights at Freddy’s 2: The Texture Pack

Okay. The FNaF fanfare may have died down some time ago, but that doesn’t stop this pack from being cool. Mobs, as well as armour, have all been changed to mimic each of the nightmare-inducing animatronics. I’m pretty sure with some minecart exploits and redstone you could, maybe, make your own FNaF chamber? Just remember Chica is still a creeper, so expect far too many explosions.

Star Wars

In what has to be the most self-explanatory heading ever, this one is a Star Wars pack, and if you’re a fan of great movies like The Last Jedi, you should pick it up. And before you ask, yes, all the swords have been changed to lightsabers. Even the bow has been altered to be a stormtrooper’s gun, complete with the ‘pew pew’ sound effect.

Urbancraft
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As an alternative to Modern HD, Urbancraft is perhaps better for creating large scale cities. Think hulking skyscrapers and high-rise flats. If you plan on creating your own city, don’t forget to grab the Instant Massive Structures mods, which lets you drop down complete buildings at the click of a button.

Sugarpack

Much like the official Candy texture pack, Sugarpack combines the love of bright colours and confectionary. MnM blocks? Check. Candy canes? Check. Exploding chocolate bunnies? I mean, check, but it’s as terrifying as it is cute.

Super Mario

16-bit visuals marry Minecraft’s blocky terrain in a pack that almost looks like it could have been created by someone at Nintendo, it looks so damn pretty. Just stay away from the Villager/Toad people because hell, what even are they? You can pick it up here.

Read more here: https://www.pcgamer.com/best-minecraft-texture-packs/

Kalgoorlie-Boulder joins Minecraft virtual reality world

Kalgoorlie-Boulder will be launched in the virtual world of Minecraft from Sunday when gamers will be able roam the streets and recreate the Goldfields’ capital.

The game, which has been developed by MineCrux co-producers Tim Neeson and Aidan Stevens as a tribute to the 125th anniversary of the founding of the city, will see players spawn in the virtual shed of the 331 Ideas Hub in Hannan Street.

After spawning, approved players will be able to build on a two-dimensional template which has been brought into the game by the developers who have superimposed maps, data and images of the city.

Other gamers will be able to enter the world and explore the city as the game begins to take a three-dimensional shape.

Mr Stevens — who has spent more than two years developing the virtual world — said he was looking forward to the official launch.

“I’ve spent months and months on this project and it is going to be amazing once it’s finally out to the public,” he said.

“The whole Kalgoorlie map in the world of Minecraft is about 700 million blocks so it’s a big project.”

Mr Neeson said once the world had become established, MineCrux would begin allowing access to other players.

“We just need to vet the builders and we want to build up young administrators who can then facilitate and mentor and work with other kids as they come into the world,” he said.

“Once we are confident with where it is going and we have got enough players who can vouch for other players it will be opened up to the rest of the world.

“It is giving people communication and design tools to be part of growing this town which has been shrinking for a long time.”

A launch party will be held at the 331 Ideas Hub on Sunday from 9am where budding gamers and administrators will be approved for the game.

Entry is by gold-coin donation with food provided and an IP address allowing players into the world to be published at 3pm.

Read more here: https://thewest.com.au/news/kalgoorlie-miner/kalgoorlie-boulder-joins-minecraft-virtual-reality-world-ng-b88885938z

Minecraft Let Gamers Design Sculptures That Will Now Become Coral Reefs

File this one under life imitating art.

Minecraft and San Francisco agency 215 McCann have partnered on an initiative to help restore the coral reefs in Mexico in conjunction with the Microsoft-owned game’s Update Aquatic, an expansion that fills the “once-empty Minecraft ocean” with bustling marine life.

Through the Coral Crafters project, Minecraft partnered with some of its most influential players to develop three underwater sculptures, designed in the game and then brought to life as frames then anchored to the sea floor off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico. Another three sculptures, including the game’s iconic characters Steve and Alex, were created by the Coral Crafters team.

The sculptures are specially designed to facilitate the growth of real coral with the aid of biorock—a substance, sometimes known as “seament,” created by the electro-accumulation of minerals dissolved in seawater. The sculptures will allow for the growth of coral colonies for “decades to come,” according to an agency release.

The Minecraft influencers—Rabahrex, Logdotzip and Stacyplays—decided for themselves how to solicit input for their designs. While two of the three based their designs on audience and gamer feedback, Rabahrex enlisted students at a school in Mexico, having them compete to create the best design. The winner? A statue honoring the axolotl, a Mexican salamander.

McCann and Minecraft have also partnered with The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit that farms and plants coral in the Caribbean, as well as targeting other threats to the ocean. Whenever a player builds coral or buys a custom-made pack from the organization within the game, it triggers automatic donations from Minecraft and Microsoft to the charity, according to the agency.

The campaign will be featured globally in paid media, and Minecraft’s Update Aquatic will be available on Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, Nintendo Switch and mobile devices this summer.

CREDITS:

Client: Microsoft / Minecraft
Taylor Smith
Fergus Lynch
Jessica Freeman
Emily Orrson
Lydia Winters
Nicolette Suraga

Agency: 215 McCann
Chief Creative Officer: Scott Duchon
Creative Director: Neil Bruce
Copywriter: Andy Holdeman
ACD / Art Director: Alper Kologlu
Animators: Carson Bell
Director of Integrated Production: Alex Spahr
Associate Producer: Christina Chin
Director of Business Affairs: Mary Beth Barney
Business Director: Peter Goldstein
Senior Account Executive: Sam Brody
Assistant Account Executive: Robbie Kalish
Director of Strategy: Brian Wakabayashi
Strategy Director: Cassidy Wilber
Engineering and Fabrication: Global Coral Reef Alliance
President and Founder: Thomas Goreau, PhD
Vice President for Design, Power & IT: Thomas Sarkisian
Project Management and Coordination: Marcia Cristina Tessis
Local Subcontractor: Qualti, S.A

Film Production Company: Strike Anywhere
Director: Michael Jacobs
Line Producer: Adrienne Hall
Executive Producer: Cori Cooperider
Underwater Footage: The Jetlagged
Hendrik S. Schmitt and Claudia Schmitt
Editor: Clayton Worfolk
Animator: Tom Yaniv
Illustrator: Rod Hunt
Telecine and Finish: Mission Film and Design
Colorist: Sean Wells
Flame Artist: Mark Everson
Managing Director: Matt Notaro
Original Music: Robot Repair
Recording Studio: One Union Recording
Mixer: Joaby Deahl

Read more here: https://www.adweek.com/creativity/minecraft-let-gamers-design-sculptures-that-will-now-become-artificial-coral-reefs/

THIS IS HOW MINECRAFT IS HELPING TO REPAIR REAL CORAL REEFS IN MEXICO

For years, Minecraft fans have been able to build nearly anything they could imagine using the game’s simple, low-res interface and 3D simulated environment. They killed monsters and crafted items, created replicas of the starship Enterprise and even built a working Verizon smartphone.

As of this summer, they’re now able to develop under water with the release of Update Aquatic, an expansion to Minecraft capabilities that opens up undersea areas for exploration and populates the oceans with blocky swimming creatures.

Unlike their Minecraft counterpart, the real world’s oceans are suffering, as pollution and climate change kill off sea life, especially coral reefs, which supply the infrastructure for some of the world’s most biodiverse locations. Enter Coral Crafters, an idea conceived by 215 McCann that enlisted the Minecraft creators community to design a series of real-life sculptures meant to help regrow coral off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico.

Minecraft video creator LogDotZip designed three different pieces, one of which was selected by community to be built. Video creator StacyPlays and her fans were behind another design and students in Mexico landed the third spot, with help from creator Rabahrex.

215 McCann also partnered with The Nature Conservancy, triggering donations from Microsoft and Minecraft when players build coral or buy custom content in the game. The global campaign began running earlier this week. The Update Aquatic will be available on Xbox One, Windows 10, Nintendo Switch and mobile.

Read more here: http://creativity-online.com/work/minecraft-coral-crafters/54920

MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES XBOX ONE PUBG AND MINECRAFT CONSOLE BUNDLES

Microsoft today announced two new Xbox One console bundles. Available starting today are the Xbox One X PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds Bundle and the Xbox One S Minecraft Bundle.

The $499 PUBG Xbox One X Bundle has a download code for PUBG and one-month trial passes for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. Meanwhile, the $299 Minecraft Xbox One S Bundle has a download code for Minecraft, a code for Season One of Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure, a one-month Xbox Game Pass trial pass, and a two-week Xbox Live Gold trial pass.

Both bundles feature the standard console and controller color schemes with no added styling specific to their respective games.

Microsoft and Nintendo recently co-released a plug for Minecraft’s cross-play abilities, a feature Sony refuses to implement on the PlayStation 4.

As a PC and Xbox One exclusive, PUBG doesn’t have to worry about that particular issue. PUBG has a few problems of its own, however, as players discovered an exploitable glitch in the recently released Sanhok map and inspired PUBG Corp. to change PUBG’s Event Pass after an online outcry.

Read more here: http://www.ign.com/articles/2018/07/03/microsoft-announces-xbox-one-pubg-and-minecraft-console-bundles

Nintendo’s Cool New 2DS Models Celebrate Mario Kart, Minecraft, And Animal Crossing

Nintendo has announced a new trio of 2DS XL models themed after some of the platform’s most popular games: a Minecraft 2DS with a face plate that looks like a Creeper, a Mario Kart 7 2DS with red-and-black theme, and an Animal Crossing 2DS with the series’ iconic leaf symbol. The Animal Crossing edition includes a pre-installed copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Welcome Amiibo, the updated version of New Leaf that includes Amiibo support.

All three were announced through the Nintendo’s Japanese site, and Nintendo of Europe promptly followed with a tweet advertising the Animal Crossing model. However, Europe hasn’t confirmed the Minecraft or Mario Kart versions, and none of them have been announced by Nintendo of America. So depending on your region, we may be seeing announcements soon, or you could have to import your version of choice.

The New Nintendo 2DS XL is essentially a 3DS body–including the clamshell design not found in standard 2DS models–but without the 3D functionality. The GameSpot review called it the best 3DS/2DS family design yet, even coming late as it was to the generation. Nintendo’s newly named president, Shuntaro Furukawa, recently said the company is considering a 3DS successor.

Nintendo has been keen on marketing the 2DS XL to collectors, with special editions themed after certain fan-favorite games and franchises. On top of the launch Black/Turquoise and White/Orange versions, it has Pikachu, Poke Ball, Dragon Quest, and Zelda themed version, along with these new additions.

Read more here: https://www.gamespot.com/articles/nintendos-cool-new-2ds-models-celebrate-mario-kart/1100-6460160/

Nintendo and Microsoft’s friendship continues with Minecraft-style New 2DS

It didn’t take long for Nintendo and Microsoft to become the industry’s new power couple — a pair of best friends who hang out together, rubbing it in the face of spoilsport Sony. Not only does the updated Minecraft for Nintendo Switch allow for cross-platform play with Xbox One, an unprecedented partnership that transcends first-party lines, but Nintendo is also now paying even larger tribute to the Microsoft-owned franchise.

A trio of New Nintendo 2DS XL systems are heading to Japan this summer, and the star of the show is the Minecraft Creeper Edition. It’s a beautiful, blocky green handheld that’s the spitting image of Minecraft’s mascot. And based on its box art, it looks like the Microsoft-owned Mojang had a hand in the design.

While the Nintendo 3DS version of Minecraft doesn’t have the same Xbox connectivity afforded by the Switch release, the special edition handheld is still a show of support from Microsoft’s new pal Nintendo. Third-party companies have commissioned their own limited-edition 3DS handhelds before, but for one first-party company to collaborate on hardware for another? That’s pretty huge.

If you’re not so into Minecraft, there are two other sweet options to chose from. One is a red-and-black Nintendo 2DS XL that will come as part of a Japanese Mario Kart 7 bundle released in July, which looks lovely:

And there’s an Animal Crossing edition that has some embossed Animal Crossing details that I’m already drooling over. It also has a pre-installed copy of the amiibo-upgraded version of Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

No sign yet on if any of these are coming stateside, but we can only hope they make it here soon.

Read more here: https://www.polygon.com/2018/7/3/17531098/new-nintendo-2ds-xl-colors-minecraft

MINECRAFT – CROSS-PLAY TRAILER FOR NINTENDO SWITCH

The new version of Minecraft is out on Nintendo Switch which allows for cross-play with friends on Xbox One, Windows 10 or Mobile.

Read more here: http://www.ign.com/videos/2018/06/21/minecraft-cross-play-trailer-for-nintendo-switch

Was Andrew Garfield Really Fired From Amazing Spider-Man? Here’s What He Says

Andrew Garfield’s career jolted on a completely different trajectory after it was announced that he would no longer be playing Spider-Man, and that the Amazing Spider-Man franchise had been dissolved. Suddenly Garfield had the free time to work on projects like Hacksaw Ridge and Silence, both of which have seen him touted for Oscar nominations. But that doesn’t mean that his departure from the Spider-Man franchise was all of his own volition. In fact, Andrew Garfield has now teased that it was a little messy, but refused to admit that he was fired in the process.

Andrew Garfield made this admission during an interview with the Guardian to mark the release of Silence, the spiritual Martin Scorsese drama that has received plenty of plaudits, a healthy portion of which have been directed towards the English actor. The conversation soon turned to his work on The Amazing Spider-Man as Peter Parker, and the way it suddenly came to an end. When quizzed about whether he was fired by Sony, Garfield responded,

No, I don’t think so. What I’ll proudly say is that I didn’t compromise who I was, I was only ever myself. And that might have been difficult for some people.

The speculation that Andrew Garfield was fired from The Amazing Spider-Man franchise previously emerged courtesy of the hacking of Sony’s emails in May 2015. These suggested that Andrew Garfield was “let go” because he didn’t turn up to an event in Brazil where The Amazing Spider-Man 3 was set to announced, with its release date planned for July 2017. What made it umpteen times worse was that Sony boss Kaz Hirai was the one all set to announce the film.

Andrew Garfield insists that he didn’t turn up because he had a sickness that was caused by jetlag, and the above quote was in response to whether he’d self-sabotaged himself. Following on from the disappointment of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and with Sony having planned a tremendous expansion of the franchise that would have included four spin-offs, the studio decided to cancel them all. 19-year-old Tom Holland has since been cast as Spider-Man, and he’s even been folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe after a deal was worked out with Marvel and Sony.

The failure of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise shouldn’t reflect poorly on Andrew Garfield, though, who has always managed to bring a gentle charisma and subtle power to his performances that he can manifest across eclectic roles. Take Silence for example, where he dominates the screen for its entire running time, and is just as integral as director Martin Scorsese for making the audience lean further and further in as it progresses. You can check out a snippet of his performance inSilence below:

Read more about it: https://www.cinemablend.com/news/1607460/was-andrew-garfield-really-fired-from-amazing-spider-man-heres-what-he-says?sl_source=CROW

We Finally Know Why The Olsen Twins Aren’t On Fuller House

One of the most exciting upcoming revivals is definitely the Netflix series Fuller House, which will bring most of the original cast of Full House back to the small screen for more family-friendly shenanigans. We’ve known for quite some time, however, that Michelle Tanner will be absent, given that the Olsen twins declined to take part in the revival. Now, thanks to Fuller House executive producer Bob Boyett, we finally have the real reason why Mary-Kate and Ashley won’t be sharing the role of Michelle one more time.

Ashley said, ‘I have not been in front of a camera since I was 17, and I don’t feel comfortable acting.’ Mary-Kate said, ‘It would have to be me because Ash doesn’t want to do it. But the timing is so bad for us.’

Disappointing as it is that Michelle won’t be around with sisters D.J. and Stephanie on Fuller House, the Olsen twins have solid reasons for not joining the cast. Twelve years working away from cameras on the fashion scene is a big departure from acting full-time as child stars, and we can’t blame Ashley for not wanting to jump back into such a famous role. Besides, timing can’t be helped. The stars may have aligned to bring the rest of the cast back to Los Angeles for Fuller House, but the New York City-based Olsen twins have full plates on the fashion and business front.

There’s also the point that the Olsen twins undoubtedly have different memories of their time on Full House than the rest of the cast. They were only nine months old when the show started, so the period that was so huge for some of the other actors must be mostly fuzzy for the actresses who brought Michelle to life. Dave Coulier — who reprises his role as Joey for Fuller House – sympathizes with them. Here’s what he told People:

They’re family members. But I think they have a different perspective. When we get together and we reminisce, they were babies [at the time]. So they don’t share those same memories. I can’t really speak for them but I would understand why they don’t have the same sentiments that we all do.

On the whole, it’s good to know the real story behind Michelle’s absence on Fuller House. Rumors have abounded ever since John Stamos first broke the news of the Netflix series, ranging from the twins saying that they hadn’t originally been contacted about appearing to Stamos making remarks about them skipping the family reunion to their younger sister Elizabeth Olsen being approached to take on Michelle in their stead. The truth behind the lack of Michelle is certainly more straightforward than salacious, but it’s nice to know nonetheless.

Fuller House premieres on Friday, February 26 at 12:01 a.m. PT on Netflix. Reviews have been mixed so far, but any fan of Full House is definitely going to want to check it out. Michelle may be off-screen managing her fashion empire, but the rest of the Tanners will be back.

Read more about it: https://www.cinemablend.com/television/1418789/We-Finally-Know-Why-Olsen-Twins-Aren-t-Fuller-House?sl_source=CROW

How Sea Of Thieves Takes Fan Feedback Into Account

When running a multiplayer-driven game like Sea of Thieves, it’s imperative to rely on the community for guidance on where to go next with the title. Sometimes it’s a mix of using the community feedback and creating your own direction for the game and seeing where it takes you, almost like what Blizzard does with games like Overwatch and World of Warcraft. In the case of Rare’s Sea of Thieves, the developers are looking to give the gaming community more of what they want and explained how they’re taking fan feedback into account for future content rollouts for the PC and Xbox One exclusive.

Speaking with Gamespot at this year’s E3, Sea of Thieves executive producer, Joe Neate, and the senior designer, Shelley Preston, along with design director Mike Chapman, explained what makes the game tick, where they’re going next with the title, and most importantly how fan feedback fuels the progress for the game. Chapman in particular explained:

It’s a mix of giving players what they want, putting that Sea of Thieves spin on it, but also surprising them. It’s the fact that a lot of players would ask, ‘I would really like an expanded world. I want more regions to explore.’ We haven’t just given them that, we’ve actually gone and made the visuals a core part of the gameplay and added in a whole region with volcanoes that’s geologically unstable. We want to surprise players, and there’s things we do in the game that won’t be expected and I think both of those aspects are at a healthy mix right now.

I think that’s the best way to go about it.

A lot of times it’s easy to get wrapped up entirely in the negative criticisms of a game and attempt to appease all the naysayers while forgoing the identity of the game and what its original vision was supposed to be. We’ve seen games like Firefall become a victim of design by committee, and it eventually had to shut down.

We’ve also seen other games that don’t take player feedback into account in a timely enough manner and lose a lot of players in result, similar to what happened with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which peaked at over 3.2 million players back in January of 2018, but has steadily lost half its audience according to Steam Charts. A lot of players cite their reasons for leaving being the lack of the developers fixing the latency issues, slow content rollout, and the constant performance issues.

It’s important to be able to balance out the complaints with being able to carve out a game’s own identity. Rare seems to want to run that fine line between the two ideologies of building a game.

One of the things the team really wanted to focus on was getting more emergent tools into the game to encourage positive player interactions, such as the Hungering Deep update that forced multiple teams to work together in order to take down the Megalodon.

On the positive side of things, the majority of the feedback from gamers has been that Sea of Thieves is fun to play, but it needs more content. And of course, Rare is happy to oblige. The team plans on fleshing out more things to do around the game world and give players more opportunities to have fun playing with and hunting down other players.

Read more about it: https://www.cinemablend.com/games/2443759/how-sea-of-thieves-takes-fan-feedback-into-account

How NCIS Will Handle That Big Cast Departure

Fans of NCIS got some big news earlier this week with the announcement that one of the longest-running members of the cast would be departing. Pauley Perrette has played forensic specialist Abby Sciuto on NCIS since the very beginning, and her reveal that she’d decided it was time to move on means that the show will look very different in the not-too-distant future. While many fans were shocked by the announcement, the NCIS showrunners were not. Executive producers George Schenck and Frank Cardea had this to say about Perrette’s upcoming departure:

We’ve known for some time this would be Pauley’s final season on NCIS and have been working toward a special send-off. From day one, she has brought incredible passion and specificity to the role. Abby is a character that inspires millions of fans around the world, and all of us at NCIS are appreciative of Pauley for portraying her.

The producers have been aware that Pauley Perrette intended to leave NCIS in Season 15, and they’re apparently planning on sending Abby off in a way that honors her many years of service to the NCIS unit. Hopefully that “special send-off” descriptions means that we don’t have to worry about Abby being killed off. Michael Weatherly got a pretty fitting farewell when he left; fans can almost certainly agree that Perrette deserves one as well, and not one that involves Abby in a body bag. Deadline reports that NCIS has already started setting the stage for Abby to bow out, although no details have been confirmed at this point. Abby’s stories in Season 15 are certainly going to be ones worth watching.

The “special send-off” should be reassuring to any who were afraid that Abby would be simply removed from the narrative. As unlikely as it is for such a major character to exit without a fuss, there’s precedent on television in the last couple of years. Hotch was written off of Criminal Minds after many years as lead due to the on-set behavior of the actor, and a Blue Bloods actress was written off the show over hiatus, and viewers learned in the season premiere that her character had been killed. Then, of course, there’s Erinn Hayes from Kevin Can Wait, although obviously starring in a single season of a sitcom doesn’t compare to Pauley Perrette’s decade and a half at NCIS.

Abby has been a pivotal part of NCIS, to the point that she has even become a role model for women interested in pursuing science and math. She will certainly be missed on the show. We’ll have to cross our fingers that NCIS won’t bid her too final of a farewell so we can at least hope that Pauley Perrette will one day reprise her role. Only time will tell.

CBS has not yet revealed when we’ll see Pauley Perrette make her exit from NCIS, so be sure to tune in on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET to see how the show sets the stage for her departure. For your other viewing options in the coming weeks, take a look at our fall TV guide.

And you can currently watch all seasons of NCIS streaming on CBS All Access.

Read more about it: https://www.cinemablend.com/television/1711059/how-ncis-will-handle-that-big-cast-departure?sl_source=CROW

Fortnite Countdown Has Completed, Here’s What It Brought

While the whole Playground LTM didn’t quite go off without a hitch for Epic Games’ Battle Royale action game, there was a separate event that did manage to go off without a hitch, and it was the countdown event. The event took place across the Fortnite servers and finally revealed exactly what the countdown was all about. So now that the countdown is complete, a lot of gamers are probably wondering what exactly happened and what exactly did it bring to the Fortnite universe?

According to Gamespot, once the countdown finished a rocket blasted off into the sky from the Anarchy Acres lair. The missile was seemingly aimed at taking out the Titled Towers in the distance and — as pointed out in the article — it looked like the towers were about to bite the dust in the world of Fornite. However, the towers were spared a destructive fate when the rocket hit an invisible portal and then teleported into a different location, blasted into the sky, and then the explosion ended up creating a rip in the very fabric of reality.

The tearing of the sky created an electric rift within the world, spawning a series of electrical anomalies. Filmmaker Ryan O’Donnell actually captured the event across a series of images and shared it on Twitter, showing the smoke trail from the rocket as it jettisoned into the sky, the explosion, and the eventual electrical anomalies as a result.
So far, Fortnite gamers have no idea what’s up with the electrical anomalies. Fans of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. might be used to it, but the Battle Royale crowd probably isn’t sure what it’s looking at. The anomaly in the image actually looks like some kind of electrical charge redirecting energy from an invisible shield of sorts. Many gamers who witnessed it in real-time noted how cool it looked and how everyone stopped fighting to see the event taking place. So what does this mean for the future of the game? We don’t know… yet.

Obviously, Epic Games has some big plans for the event; the company just isn’t laying out all the details yet. Apparently, this also has nothing to do with the Playground LTM that ran into some server issues recently, requiring Epic to postpone its release for the general public.

According to the Gamespot article, this could tie into the Season 5 rollout for Fortnite, following up on the Season 4 events, which were themed around meteor strikes and superheroes. Thanos from Avengers: Infinity War proved to be a rather popular addition to the game, and so maybe we’ll see something similar in terms of crossover potential during Season 5?

So far the game has garnered massive amounts of popularity since the Battle Royale mode was introduced last summer. Epic has managed to amass more than one hundred million players and has even vowed to dedicate time and energy to the e-sports scene. In the meantime, gamers will have to try to figure out exactly what’s going on with the electrical anomalies.

Read more about it: https://www.cinemablend.com/games/2443749/fortnite-countdown-has-completed-heres-what-it-brought

Xbox Game Pass Gets Fallout 3, Oblivion In July

Microsoft is running double duty when it comes to offering gamers content for its digital services. If you have an Xbox Live Gold subscription you can already look forward to a nice cache of games set to be made available throughout July, but if you’ve gone a step further with the Xbox Game Pass, you can gain access to even more games throughout July. To help entice gamers into picking up an Xbox Game Pass subscription, Microsoft announced that there are some brand new games coming to the pass in July, including Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Over on the Xbox News site, there’s a quick rundown of the new games added to the Xbox Game Pass for July, things kick off with Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3. Both games are older titles from the Xbox 360 generation, but they’re also backwards compatible for the Xbox One.

Both games sold huge when they released, with Oblivion taking a lot of what Bethesda had accomplished with The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and then elevated it to the nth degree by adding more NPCs, a larger world to explore, better graphics, and improved cinematic qualities.

Fallout 3 was the first game in the series to deviate from the isometric, turn-based strategy design of the previous entries and instead focus on a third-person or first-person action-RPG setup.

But that’s just the start.

Microsoft also managed to secure Epic Games’ Shadow Complex Remastered for the Xbox One, giving gamers an opportunity to check out one of the most celebrated Unreal Engine side-scrollers from the seventh generation of gaming for the Xbox One. It also comes with all new master challenges, improved melee takedowns, and more than 10 hours worth of gameplay and exploration.

All three of the aforementioned titles will be joined by Human Fall Flat, which is a physics-based 3D platforming puzzle game, where players attempt to guide a character through a series of sandbox puzzles using ragdoll physics as a way to explore the environment, complete tasks and reach the finish line.

But wait, there’s more!

The zen-like underwater exploration game, Abzu, which first appeared on PS4 and Steam, will be available for the Xbox Game Pass this July. The game isn’t just about underwater exploration, it’s also a sci-fi supernatural tale that gamers might enjoy, especially if they liked thatgamecompany’s Journey for the PS3.

Bomber Crew is another game joining the list, along with Rebellion’s highly popular Zombie Army Trilogy, which features 15 different levels to complete across three different campaigns. Zombie Army Trilogy also features single-player and online multiplayer co-op play.

The last two games on the list are Warhammer: Verminitide 2 from Fatshark Games, and DiRT 4 from Codemasters. Vermintide 2 just recently came out earlier this year, while DiRT 4 originally released back in mid-2017. Both games have received critically positive feedback from gamers, and if you have the Xbox Game Pass you’ll be able to check out both of those titles, along with every other game listed above for the Xbox Game Pass offerings in July.

Incredibles 2 Fan Art Imagines A Dark Sequel for Pixar’s Superheroes

Incredibles 2 Fan Art Imagines A Dark Sequel for Pixar’s Superheroes

New fan art for The Incredibles 2 has surfaced online, depicting the characters in a much grittier tone than that of the animated Pixar films. Warrick Wong, an Australian concept artist, shared renderings of the film’s characters this past week via Instagram.

The Incredibles 2 released on June 15, already passing the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office in its second week. The long-awaited and much-anticipated sequel came fourteen years after its predecessor. Brad Bird’s follow-up to the 2004 hit was heavily delayed, before its release date was eventually shifted ahead of Toy Story 4, which itself was delayed to 2019. While the wait for The Incredibles 2 was agonizing for some fans, it seems the time spent in development was beneficial, given the film’s “Certified Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

RELATED: BOB PARR IS A NOT SO INCREDIBLE HUSBAND IN ‘INCREDIBLES 2′

On his Instagram account, Wong posted his concept art for a version of the Parr family much darker than audiences are used to. Wong shared a different piece of art every few days, beginning with a version of Jack-Jack that is far older than his infant counterpart from the movie. Since then, Wong also shared photos of Dash, Violet and Mr. Incredible. All the characters appear worn from battle, their red and black spandex torn and tattered. Each piece also showcases the characters’ respective superpowers. Noticeably absent from the photo set is Elasti-Girl/Mrs. Incredible, the star of the new film. Wong explains that in the alternate reality this art is set in, Mrs. Parr is “presumed dead” and Violet has become the new matriarch of the family. However, “presumed dead” could mean that Wong will surprise us with a gritty portrayal of Mrs. Incredible after all.

As an illustrator, Wong has an impressive online portfolio that boasts renderings of characters from fandoms like Marvel and Star Wars. The Incredibles are also not his first gritty reimaginings, as he’s previously drawn up intimidating interpretations of normally cute Pokémon like Squirtle and Pikachu. While it’s likely that we’ll never see a dark, violent version of The Incredibles hit the big screen, it’s hard to deny that Wong’s fan art – and his extremely creative backstory behind it – is fun to behold and ponder.

Pixar’s newest release is yet another huge hit for the studio. Given the first film’s release date, many who saw The Incredibles as children were likely excited to see the sequel as adults, which no doubt helped fuel its mammoth box office. The next film on the slate for Pixar is Toy Story 4, an entry in another franchise that has seen the lucrative value of nostalgia. However, only time will tell if the demand for that sequel will be as high as that of The Incredibles 2. If it is though, it’ll be interesting to see if Wong draws similar gritty versions of Toy Story characters like Woody, Buzz, Rex, and Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear.

Read more about it: https://screenrant.com/incredibles-2-fan-art-pixar-dark-sequel/

5 Pixar Easter Eggs And References Inside LEGO The Incredibles

Pixar is well known for hiding numerous fun easter eggs and references inside their films. It’s only fitting that such a tradition be kept up when one of Pixar’s biggest films becomes a video game. The new LEGO The Incredibles video game is the first time the popular game series has been based on a Pixar property and it has taken the opportunity to go all in on the Pixar universe by including lots of playable characters and buildable setpieces from other Pixar movies.

However, beyond that, the story mode of LEGO The Incredibles, which takes you through the plots of both Incredibles films, also includes several references to other Pixar movies within the story, just like a Pixar movie. Here are a few of our favorites.

Ratatouille
Ratatouille is one of Pixar’s underrated gems and it also happens to be directed by Incredibles director Brad Bird. It follows the adventures of a rat who falls in love with cooking, so it makes sense that this reference can be found in a kitchen. During the playthrough of Incredibles 2 ‘s story campaign, your characters find themselves on board a ship where Violet and Dash are trying to catch up to Jack-Jack. The pair enter the ship’s galley, which the baby has inadvertently set on fire. As you enter, one of the NPCs is heard to wonder aloud if she’s suffering the effects of smoke inhalation, or if she actually saw a rat cooking.

Finding Nemo’s Seagulls
Co-op gameplay is a hallmark of the LEGO video game franchise, which means that one of the things the game has to do in the story mode is change the story up so that there are always at least two characters in every scene. When playing through the story of the first Incredibles movie, that means both Frozone and Mr. Incredible go the island together to fight the Omnidroid the first time. This allows Frozone to make a comment to Mr. Incredible about another super who would have especially liked all the bird life on the island. She was capable of speaking to birds, which was great, except for seagulls, who it turns out, were quite selfish, always saying “mine,” just like the birds from Finding Nemo. Later, while infiltrating the island, the rest of the Parr family actually runs into a flock of the birds crying “mine” as they fly away.

The Luxo Ball
The Luxo Ball is one of Pixar’s most iconic images and it appears in every movie that Pixar has ever made. It also shows up in the video game based on some of those movies. Early in the portion of the story dealing with the original Incredibles movie, Mr. Incredible ends up in a bank where he has been chasing a henchman of Bomb Voyage. If you move down to the bottom of the screen when you first arrive at the bank and get paired up with Buddy, you can see the Luxo Ball sitting on a table. The table and everything around it can be destroyed to pick up more studs, but the ball is invincible.

Dory
Finding Dory is still Pixar’s highest grossing film of all time, though there’s a good chance that Incredibles 2 could take that title before its over. LEGO Incredibles tips its hat to the box office powerhouse during the sequence where Dash, Violet, and Elastigirl are working to save themselves after Syndrome has blown their jet out of the sky. At one point, Violet needs to sink beneath the water to obtain a key object. Surrounded by her shield so she can breathe, Violet starts to repeat “just keep sinking, just keep sinking,” a reference to Dory’s oft-repeated catchphrase, just keep swimming.

Buy N Large
Buy N Large is the massive corporation that sends all the humans to live in space in Wall-E. The company has appeared in other Pixar movies as well such as being a race sponsor in Cars 3, but it also appears in LEGO Incredibles. At the end of the final story mission, as the Parr family is battling the Omnidroid, a shop one end of the map appears to be a Buy N Large ice cream parlor. A giant milkshake or ice cream soda sits above the door complete with a B ‘N L logo on the side of it.

This comparison between The Incredibles 1 and 2 shows just how far animation has come in 14 years

The first Incredibles movie is a stone cold classic
It is hilarious, but also as exciting as any action movie, yet also incredibly sweet and touching.

And now, 14 years later, we have a sequel. The Incredibles 2 has already had amazing reviews in America, and is out in the UK later this month.

Of course, a lot has changed in 14 years – superhero movies were big in 2004, but they weren’t quite the all–conquering juggernaut that they are today.

But one of the biggest changes is obviously the improvements in technology. The Incredibles still looks amazing today – all Pixar movies still hold up to be honest, because the characters and the stories are timeless. But the advances made in computer animation over a decade are clear for all to see.

And this comparison video perfectly highlights that.

Here are two shots of Dash, the top from 2004, the bottom from 2018.

The amount of additional detail is clear to see.

WHY THE GAME OF THRONES PREQUEL SERIES WILL WORK (AND WHY IT WON’T)

Last week, HBO announced that the first (and possibly only) of the five prospective Game of Thrones prequel spin-offs to get a pilot order will go way, way, way back into Westeros’ past, to a time period before recorded history, where the truth is lost in a fog of legends and myths. Of all the eras worth exploring, it’s the one with the most question marks, which is why it makes the most sense for a new (old) story. More than any other period from George R.R. Martin’s insanely deep and complex history of the Seven Kingdoms, it offers the most freedom to tell a story even the most ardent fans of A Song of Ice and Fire don’t already know. Unfortunately that’s exactly why, along with a familiar enemy, it could end up hurting the original show.

This is the official synopsis for the series from HBO:

“Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East, to the Starks of legend … it’s not the story we think we know.”

George R.R. Martin himself further revealed how much the story will revolve around the infamous invasion of the dead; he thinks the unnamed series should be called “The Long Night,” suggesting that, just like on Game of Thrones, the blue-eyed ice demons will likely be the show’s big baddies. But also like with Game of Thrones,there are still tons of other important figures and events from that era, which in many ways shaped the Westeros we know today.

The Age of Heroes is the time period after the First Men and the Children of the Forest had ended their war with one another and lived in peace. Thought to have taken place 10,000 years ago—though, as Martin points out, the maesters think it was only half as long ago (and I think the maesters are right)—it features larger-than-life figures like Bran the Builder, the founder of House Stark credited with building the Wall, Winterfell, and Storm’s End, as well as Lann the Clever, founder of House Lannister. And those are just the most well-known figures for Game of Thrones viewers, who might not be as familiar with other important historical figures (real or legend), like Garth Greenhand and Durran Godsgrief, not to mention the founding of the Night’s Watch.

While the generally accepted timeline of Westeros puts the Age of Heroes at 10,000 years ago, until the start of the Long Night roughly 2,000 years later (8,000 years before Aegon’s Conquest), the timeline is completely unreliable. Recorded history didn’t begin in Westeros until long after the first Long Night, when the Andals invaded from Essos anywhere between six and two thousand years before the events of Game of Thrones. I tend to think all of these numbers are hugely inflated, simply because it’s hard to keep one single house in continuous existence for 10,000 years when a single plague could wipe out an entire family.

A compacted, accurate time period would make for a much more exciting show, because it would create far more overlap with these hugely important historical figures and events. Maybe Bran the Builder really was just one person who did all of these things, and maybe he knew all the other great heroes, including Azor Ahai (who might also have been the original Prince That Was Promised), the “last hero” who is credited with leading the First Men to victory over the Night King.

The fact that we don’t really know is why this is a perfect time to set a prequel. I am fascinated by the Targaryen kings, and I’m especially obsessed by the famed Blackfyre Rebellion that nearly tore the family apart. But not only do I know how that story ends, I know most of the major players and events of that Civil War. I still hope HBO turns it into a spin-off series, but it would be limited in what new information it could bring in ways this Age of Heroes series wouldn’t be. There’s also the fact that magic in the world might never have been greater than it was when the White Walkers first invaded (on the backs of giant ice spiders!), as opposed to the mostly magic-free world of Westeros under the post-dragon Targaryens. Game of Thrones is better for having magic present in the story, so wouldn’t a spin-off series also want to keep that element?

But giving us answers to mysterious questions isn’t always a good thing, and when mishandled they can even hurt the original story. I love the theory that Brandon Stark from Game of Thrones is also Bran the Builder from the myths, and that all Brandon Starks in history are in fact the same person. Not because I agree with it, but because it’s fun to debate and think about. That all goes away if we find out that all Brandon Starks merely have a high midichlorian count.

A big part of what makes George R.R. Martin’s insanely detailed history so intriguing to obsessives like me are all of the spots where we don’t have answers, because it allows us to explore the gaps without being disappointed by where we end up. I genuinely trust Martin’s judgment, and if he believe this is a story worth telling it probably is, but the freedom granted by this time period also includes going down roads we will have preferred to avoid.

On top of this, the new show seems like it will have, in some form, the exact same main villain as Game of Thrones, with the White Walkers playing a major role. It’s possible the Night King might have been an important member of House Stark, or someone even more shocking, and that the beginning of the White Walkers’ story could be far more fascinating than their end, which we will presumably get one way or another with Game of Thrones. But either way, their mere presence will only invite comparisons to the original show, which could unfairly hurt it in the eyes of viewers. Any spin-off of the single most popular TV series in the world will live in a huge shadow, one that will only get bigger by repeating the villain.

None of this means this series won’t work, or that the show won’t actually enhance how we view Game of Thrones if its answers add new depth and nuance to original story. The Age of Heroes and the first Long Night offer a bounty of incredible possibilities for an amazing story full of fascinating characters, fantastic elements, and major events, because what we “know” about that time period is made of sand that can be molded into something great.

But if it’s true that sometimes what you don’t know won’t hurt you, the opposite is true too.

What do you think? Do you want to learn more from this mysterious time period, or would you rather some question remain unanswered? Tell us why in the comments below.