Amazon Prime Video app now available on all Windows 10 devices

Customers in India can now avail Amazon Prime Video on all Windows 10 devices through a dedicated app available on the Microsoft Store.

Through the new Windows app, customers can access and stream Prime Video’s content library online or download for offline viewing on their device. This feature only works through the app on the Windows 10 operating system and also includes desktop PCs, laptops, and tablets. The online streaming experience is the same as the current experience on the website or app.

Amazon Prime Video offers engaging content and value-for-money with a well created and curated content library consisting latest and exclusive movies, TV shows, stand-up comedy, Amazon Originals, ad-free music listening through Amazon Prime Music, and other services, all available only for Rs. 129 a month or Rs. 999 a year.

Prime members can watch seamless and undisrupted content experience anywhere and anytime on the Prime Video app for smart TVs, mobile devices, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, Fire tablets, Apple TV, Airtel, Vodafone, and more. Prime members can also download episodes on their mobile devices and tablets and watch anywhere offline at no additional cost.

Amazon Prime Video also streams a good volume of kids content along with Parental Controls and a dedicated kids page so that kids can enjoy secure, ad-free entertainment from popular shows like Peppa Pig, Powerpuff Girls, and Chhota Bheem, Bahubali: The Lost Legends and more.

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Marvel Comics has acquired the rights to both ‘Alien’ and ‘Predator’

Marvel Comics has acquired the rights to both Alien and Predator. This move will “feature new and classic characters from Earth and beyond to explore never-before-seen corners of both the Alien and Predator universes,” according to Marvel.

Following the debut of Alien in 1979 and Predator in 1987, the films built a cult following and expanded rapidly to include toys, games, novels, and comic books, eventually leading to 2004’s landmark crossover Alien vs. Predator. Marvel’s new stories will draw from all of these properties, building on decades of multimedia storytelling. Get a first look at next year’s deadly new chapter with spine-chilling cover art by David Finch!

Finch said in a release: “Alien and Predator are the two of the most identifiable, iconic characters of all time, and I love them for that,” said Finch. “But mostly, it’s being fortunate enough to be a kid when they were new. I’ve seen every movie they’ve ever been in, and I cannot wait to see them wreaking havoc in the Marvel Universe. I drew my pictures of them with a massive smile on my face.”

Details on upcoming Alien and Predator comic book titles, collections, reprints, and creative teams will be shared at a later date.

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‘Zootopia’ tops box office four years after release

More than four years after its first release, Disney’s Zootopia is back at the top of the box office, having grossed all of $280,000 over the weekend. The feature now boasts a lifetime domestic total of around $341.5 million. According to Deadline, some 1,100 of the exhibition sector’s 5,900 theaters are running, with drive-ins still doing better business than traditional venues.

Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) came second last weekend with $260,000. Universal’s Trolls World Tour, which premiered simultaneously online and in theaters in April, was the only other animated feature in the top ten, coming in seventh with $138,000.

A few months after the initial shutdowns, movie theaters are attempting to reopen and jumpstart business, but there still aren’t any new films scheduled to come out until August (and it’s far from a guarantee that will actually happen). As a result, theaters have resorted to screening classic titles, giving viewers the opportunity to see older movies on the big screen again. Last week, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park topped the box office 27 years after its premiere, and now more older films are going head-to-head.

Tenet and Mulan, the two tentpole films that were supposed to herald cinemas’ return this month, are now due to launch in August.

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A cryptographically secure random number generator helps to improvise gameplay experience in Poker

The fascination of the Indian audience towards card games that are under the game of skill genre has been increasing steadily over the past few years.  Be it family get togethers, house party or Diwali, card games have been one of the longest traditions of India. As the lockdown started it gave people a better chance to connect with their passions and discover new ones, and this has witnessed,  “tremendous upsurge in the general interest towards the game of skills in general and poker in particular” according to Pocket52 founder and CEO Nitesh Salvi.

Often poker is compared to chess rather than any other card games, the reason behind it is the complexity and the pattern recognition skills required to excel in the game. Poker as a game teaches a lot about the real world, from taking calculated risks to anticipating your opponents’ moves. This is probably the reason why lots of corporate honchos love to unwind with poker. Therefore the complexity of the game requires ample security, thus Pocket 52  interface has a cryptographically secured random number generator. A cryptographically secure random number generator is one where the number that is generated is extremely hard for any third party to predict what it might be. As first, the numbers have to pass statistical randomness tests; and secondly, they hold up well under serious attack, even when part of their initial or running state becomes available to an attacker.

Pocket52 founder and CEO Nitesh Salvi

Salvi says,“We have been growing at a rate of 25 per cent month on month since the beginning of this year. The lockdown did increase the growth rate, but the reason we were able to sustain the growth rate was due to plethora of sustained innovations that we have introduced in the Indian poker industry, from being India’s first and only cryptographically secure RNG+(Random Number Generation+) poker platform, certified internationally to being India’s first and only poker network. We don’t think that we are in the post lockdown phase yet. Even though the government is trying to move towards Unlock 2.0, most of the white-collar workers, who form the bulk of our customers are still working from home and likely to do so in the near future.”

It is true that Poker is a fascinating game  which requires practice.  He believes that people who have once understood the intricacies of Poker will always keep coming back for mental stimulation.  For a Poker platform it is crucial that it maintains the genuinity and player liquiduity for better experience. Player liquidity refers to the numbers of poker players playing at a particular poker site. The old adage that it takes money to make money translates closely to poker room player liquidity. The sites that have lots of players on them tend to attract more players. Players are more reluctant to play on sites where there aren’t as many tables going. They prefer having choices and being able to play multiple tables at a particular level. Therefore, poker rooms need to focus on keeping a high level of player liquidity in order to attract more players.

He added “Gaming as an industry has made several innovations in the past few years. In real money gaming, the most important features, apart from the obvious ones like the ease of use and customer friendliness, are trust, security and liquidity. We have innovated by creating India’s first and only poker network which has solved the issue of player liquidity completely. Our cryptographically secure RNG+ tech helps solve the issue of trust and security. “

He has witnessed that during Covid19 lockdown investors have been bullish on the gaming sector and it is expected to continue for the next few years.

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WCC rolls out a comprehensive ‘career mode’ along with other fresh features

World Cricket Championship, has  revealed its ‘Career Mode’ in its third edition – WCC 3 Beta 2 version in the mobile cricket game. WCC’s “career mode” allow gamers to experience the thrill of professional cricket by guiding their player throughout the cricket season which sprawls across three brackets, 25 series, and 400+ matches with a built-in challenging performance decision system. The system then determines the rise in ranks starting from a local club to the national, league or international level.

WCC 3’s career mode has a 3D motion capture feature in a mobile cricket game along with other exclusive features like dynamic difficulty, choice, perma match flow and decision making system and visuals cut-scenes of the player getting selected, making it to the media and many moments of success and failure in a cricket career.

The game also comes with a competitive multiplayer mode focusing on facing off players and becomes a communal activity in which players can become part of 500 plus realistic animations simulate actual cricket. Updated gameplay mechanics, numerous new camera angles, real-time motion capture of athletes and professional cricketers, advanced artificial intelligence along with the bilingual commentary provide an enhanced, all-round gameplay experience.

Says Nextwave Multimedia founder and CEO P.R.Rajendran, “The new career mode has been the most awaited feature by millions of our fans and we are working to further innovate with more cut scenes to enhance their experience, making it even more immersive. The game inputs are often guided by our fans and with all matches at a halt due to the pandemic, we hope that the game will fill the cricket void.”

The installation is being launched in three phases. The game saw an overwhelming response with 500,000 pre-registrations within two weeks’ time of the opening. The game also saw two million downloads with commentators Aakash Chopra and Matthew Hayden with the Beta 1 launch on 11 May. The WCC franchise boasts over 110 million downloads, with 15 million monthly active users and approx. three million users daily. The franchise has been a long standing successful cricket game and rated among the top 10 games in terms of monthly active users in India for 4 years in a row.

Some of the fresh features include;

  • New Controls – While bowling, users can take full control over the deliveries, with fine-tuned variations in pace, swing, spin and pitch spot. The game adds finesse with special deliveries such as googlies, reverse swing, leg and off cutters and so on. While batting, users can also control run, sprint and dive to the crease when needed. This control helps in balancing the power against shot accuracy. The users also get to choose when to drive, loft or defend. And finally, being in control of the active fielders, deciding the merit of stops, throws and catches. The users also manage their ultimate team and their team members’ stamina, recovery and focus, which all play a part in on-field performance. All these improve as they upgrade their players in various disciplines.
  • Motions Captures – One of the features in mobile cricket that boosts the overall appeal of the game and makes it more realistic. For a quality 3D real-time motion in the game, the movements of a real-time actor or an athlete are captured, rather than animating each part of the 3D character by hand. This brings about a higher level of detail and nuance to the animation when a body is subjected to high momentum, force, and change in the center of gravity.
  • Visuals (Cut-scenes) – This feature displays the gradual career progression of a player’s success and failures in his journey through the software of Cut –scenes.
  • Choice –The freedom the game gives to each gamer to choose their players path towards a league player or an international player.
  • Decision impact – A performance decision system that decides whether or not a player will become a Legend in the Leagues or Gods of the International Cup.
  • Dynamic Difficulty – A rapid dynamic difficulty system giving a novice gamer and a professional gamer the befitting challenge according to the player’s skill and expertise
  • The Perma Match Flow – Players face real-game pressure situations and prove their skills in every single match. This feature eliminates the option to replay a match and thus makes the competition very real. Just like in real life, every decision will have consequences and one missed shot will make or break the player’s journey.

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Netflix brings the spooky and hilarious world of ‘DeadEndia’ through an animated series

Netflix and Blink Industries have announced a new 2D animated series, DeadEndia, based on the graphic novels of award-winning creator Hamish Steele.

Produced by the Blink Industries studio in London, DeadEndia is quirky, spooky and hilarious at the same time and is slated to premiere globally on the streaming platform in 2021.

Based on Steele’s horror-comedy graphic novels and a web series, Dead End, the series follows the adventures of Barney, Norma and their magical-talking-dog Pugsley, as they balance their summer jobs at the local theme park haunted house while battling the totally real supernatural forces that dwell within it. 

Together with their guide, a thousand-year-old demon named Courtney. They journey to the underworld multiplane, and face zombie mascots, demonic game show hosts, sleep-sucking witches and the scariest thing of all: their first crushes!

Hamish Steele

Commented Steele on the animated series, “DeadEndia is about terrifying demons, vengeful ghosts and mysterious magic. It is also about coming of age in a world that wasn’t made for you. It’s a drama about finding family, identity and making mistakes. And of course it’s a laugh out loud comedy! I’ve always dreamed of making the show I needed as a lonely, horror-obsessed closeted gay kid and thanks to Netflix and our ridiculously talented, diverse and representative writers room and crew, we have shot way past my dreams and into wildest fantasy territory!”

His graphic novels have been lauded for capturing the pains of growing up, early adulthood of characters with a variety of identities and experiences including Barney, a transgender teen, and neurodiverse Norma. With this Netflix is not only exploring new and innovative animated content but also including diverse characters and voices.

DeadEndia will star Zach Barack as Barney (Spider-Man: Far from Home), Kody Kavitha as Norma (Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Emily Osment as Courtney (Almost Family, The Kominsky Method), Alex Brightman as Pugsley (Beetlejuice The Musical), Clinton Leupp a.k.a. Miss Coco Peru as Pauline Phoenix (Will & Grace), Kenny Tran as Logs (Maybe Happy Ending) and Kathreen Khavari as Badyah (Marvel Rising, Insecure, Big Little Lies).

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‘Scoob!’ is finally getting a UK release next week

In May, Warner Bros scrapped the planned theatrical release of animated Scooby Doo origins feature Scoob!, and announced that the film would be heading straight to on demand services instead. But now it is reported Scoob! is set to hit the theatres in some international markets despite missing the North American box office.

The movie is scheduled to release worldwide starting from France, Holland and Switzerland. The release date there is 8 July 2020. Scoob! will be also be available via PVOD in Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, it will roll out in cinema halls globally over the summer. The movie is also available on HBO Max in the US.

France’s cinemas reopened on 22 June, and have seen an impressive turnout in the circumstances; the U.K.’s remain shut, and the theatres sold between 850,000 and 900,000 admissions through Sunday. It is said to be 50 per cent less than the average week in June. However, it is still a commendable turnout looking at the covid-19 outbreak in the country and the evident confidence among the people to return to cinemas.

Meanwhile, Trolls World Tour hasn’t finished its theatrical run. It ranked seventh at the American box office this weekend, taking all of $138,000 (estimated). It is also among the 450 titles set to be shown in U.K. theaters when they reopen — probably on 4 July.

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Teenager from Punjab has Spent 16 Lakh rupees From Parents’ Bank Accounts on PUBG Mobile

Reportedly, a teenager in Punjab lost nearly 16 lakh rupees in the massively popular and addictive game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG Mobile, as he spent the amount in making in-app purchases and upgrading while playing the game, the media has reported. The 17-year-old had access to three bank accounts and he used them to spend money on the super-addictive PUBG Mobile game.

Referring to the teen’s parents, a report by Tribune India has claimed that the teenager had access to three bank accounts that he used to upgrade his PUBG Mobile account. The teenager reportedly made in-app purchases for his teammates as well. The report adds that the family came to learn about this from their bank statements.

The incident came to light when the teenager’s parents accessed the bank accounts and realised that he had spent almost 16 lakh rupees. The teenager, according to media reports, would extensively use his mother’s mobile phone to play PUBG Mobile and after completing the bank transactions, would erase all the messages from her device. According to his father, he had saved the money for his son’s future and medical needs.

The teenager’s father is a government employee and was posted somewhere else when his teenage son spent the money on PUBG Mobile game. The minor also used to shuffle the money from one bank account to another to avoid being caught. The cops did not help the minor’s parents as he had deliberately spent the whopping amount on the game, the report added.

Despite its popularity, PUBG has drawn a lot of flak for a long time and the furore over the addictive game refuses to die down. The game has been embroiled in controversy India as well as in China.

It is reported that the father of the minor is a government employee and has a medical history. The father, who did not wish to be named, told Tribune India that 17-year-old lived with his mother, while he was commissioned elsewhere. “He used her [mother’s] mobile phone to make all transactions and would delete the message regarding amount debited from the account,” the father added.

A report by Sensor Tower has highlighted that PUBG Mobile from Tencent saw over $226 million (roughly Rs. 1,668 crores) user spending in May. The platform has seen a massive global revenue gain in the first half of this year, bringing its lifetime collections to $3 billion (roughly Rs. 22,457 crores).

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DNEG’s recent breakdown of ‘Westworld 3’ is a treat to watch

VFX breakdowns are indeed proving to be a terrific source of education to the folks who are interested in learning the art and science of the industry. DNEG’s recent breakdown of West World 3 made for an elaborate treasure trove, offering insights into the massive task of making images as close as possible to vision of the filmmaker.

“What if robots could feel? In the new ‘Westworld III’ Animation VFX Breakdown, DNEG’s Animation team discusses how they conveyed emotion and personality through movement for the show’s non-host robots”

They shared: “DNEG team stayed with the blocking and framings as they had been shot. As the actors did not have anything exactly the right size to react to onset, there was some work done in animation to make eye lines work. The actors for the sequence when the Mech crashes through the wall didn’t have anything to work against onset and so they were pretty much pantomiming where they thought they would be seeing the 14 foot Mech. It did give us some difficulty with eye lines, but we tried to solve as many of those problems through animation as possible, just making sure that our poses were putting the bot or the bot’s appendages in the places where it would make sense based on their eye lines filmed in camera.”

Speaking about the robots they shared: “The Delos Riot Control Robot RC3110, aka The Mech, was obviously a less humanoid-style droid for DNEG to build. It existed both in a ‘suitcase’ component form and, once folded out and transformed, in a full bulky ‘attack’ robot. In terms of animation, the robot’s force was something DNEG had to pay close attention to. This should be treated like a gorilla. We were then immediately all on the same page with the idea of this massive, very heavy, very muscular robot that has a certain amount of grace to all of its motion, but when it’s really moving fast you just get the sense that there’s just no stopping it.”

Posting on their social media account, they captioned, “What if robots could feel? In our new ‘Westworld III’ Animation VFX Breakdown, our Animation team discusses how they conveyed emotion and personality through movement for the show’s non-host robots. Watch their amazing work below”

It is indeed amazing to learn how teams work together to create a world that doesn’t exist in reality.

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Disney+ reveals first official poster and release date of ‘Phineas & Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe’

Disney+ has unveiled the first official poster and release date of Phineas & Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe.

On 29 June, Disney+ dropped the teaser of the new 2D Disney animated film since Winnie The Pooh. The upcoming animated film will stream on the OTT platform, 28 August onward.

The official description for the movie reads: Phineas & Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe will pick up five years after summer ended and will follow Phineas and Ferb travel across the galaxy to rescue their sister Candace, who has been abducted by aliens and has found utopia in a far-off planet, free of pesky little brothers.

Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe co-creator Dan Povenmire told EW, “It’s a tightrope walk when you have a whole generation [of fans] that you know are going to tune into this, and you want to give them stuff, but you also want to give the new people something that they can digest. But we just wanted to make sure that the people who grew up with Phineas and Ferb would love the movie. We’re hoping that this show gets watched in college dorm rooms all over the country.”

Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe brings back Povenmire and his co-creator Jeff Marsh as executive producers, and the film is set to bring back much of the cast from the show, including Ashley Tisdale (Candace Flynn), Vincent Martella (Phineas Flynn), Caroline Rhea (Linda), Dee Bradley Baker (Perry the Platypus), Alyson Stoner (Isabella), Maulik Pancholy (Baljeet), Bobby Gaylor (Buford), Olivia Olson (Vanessa), Tyler Mann (Carl), and Povenmire and Marsh of course, who will reprise their roles as Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz and Major Monogram. However, the movie will feature a new Ferb played by David Errigo Jr.

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