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Comic-Con@ Home Flops Hard as Views and Engagement Plummets



Comic Con@ Home

It’s no surprise that the hugely annual Comic-Con convention had to be cancelled this year. The convention is one of the most popular pop culture events of the year and it was just one of the many social events that fell victim to the COVID-19 outbreak. News of the cancellation broke in April and by May an announcement was made confirming that an online version of the convention- Comic-Con@ Home- would be available for free in July. Unfortunately, things haven’t exactly gone to plan.

AMC held a panel for The Walking Dead during the Comic Con @ Home event

Comic-Con@ Home has gained only a tiny percentage of the traction that the regular event gets. Variety reported on social media analytics from ListenFirst that were pretty damning in terms of online engagement for the event: “tweets that mentioned Comic-Con@Home were down 95% from 2019’s live convention — just 93,681 tweets over the five-day event, against 1,719,000 tweets in 2019.”

Yikes. Even the YouTube videos for various panels were only averaging around 15,000 views. Keep in mind that panels for the convention often get high in the hundred thousand.

So what could have caused such a lack of enthusiasm for Comic-Con@ Home?

Admittedly, the online convention was a little thin in terms of content this year. The biggest panels came from Twentieth Century Fox for The New Mutants, AMC for The Walking Dead, and CBS for the Star Trek series. The New Mutants panel did well but still only received a fraction of the attention that panels from previous years garnered. Not even two Keanu Reeves panels- one for Bill and Ted Face the Music and one for Constantine- could pull in more views and clicks. If the internet’s favourite person can’t even garner enough interest, what hope is there?

The New Mutants film has been constantly pushed back for the last two years but it finally got a panel at Comic Con @ Home.

Another factor in Comic-Con@ Home’s failure to excite could also lie in its entirely online format. Despite the huge crowds, hot temperatures, and disturbing plethora of smells, there is something to be said for the ambiance and excitement of the live convention experience. Even if it’s impossible to attend the convention, the Internet becomes a haven of Comic-Con content. From the YouTube videos of cosplayers awkwardly maneuvering through the large crowds in amazing detailed but painfully bulky costumes to Twitter feeds full of attendees depicting their experiences waiting five hours in line just to get a glimpse of Tom Hiddleston’s middle toe. It all adds to the experience and unfortunately, Comic-Con@ Home was never going to provide it.

Not even Keanu could draw in more viewers to Comic-Con @ Home.

This all being said, some respect and due credit should be given to the organizers of Comic-Con@ Home. Since the 2019 convention, the world has been turned upside down. They only had a few months to prepare this entirely online experience and they did a fantastic job all things considered. Hopefully one day we will be able to return to a world where huge conventions like Comic-Con are once again possible. Until then, we had better get used to getting all of our content via an online format. It’s probably gonna be a while.

Antonia Haynes resides in a small seaside town in England where she has lived her whole life. She's a simple girl with a passion for zombies, writing, film, television, drawing, superheroes, Disney and, of course, video games. Her ideal day would consist of junk food, fluffy pyjamas and video games because quite frankly going outside is overrated. Follow her on Twitter on @RainbowMachete

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Sad News DS Fans: The Nintendo 3DS Has Been Discontinued



After almost ten years in service, Nintendo’s portable 3DS console has officially been discontinued according to Nintendo’s official website. This applies to all the various models of the console: the 3DS, the 2DS, the New 3DS, the New 2DS, the 3DS XL, the New 3DS XL and the New 2DS XL.

The 3DS was an innovative handheld gaming console upon its release in 2011, combining 3-D technology and gaming without the need for special 3-D glasses. The 3D effect was obtained via an optical illusion with the systems screen- a stereoscopic effect that could be turned on with a slider. I remember the awe I felt the very first time I used the 3DS. It felt like a whole new era of gaming encased in a small and sleek package.

Although not hugely popular when it was first released, sales of the console grew a few years after. Since the release of the Nintendo Switch in 2017, sales of the 3DS have been steadily declining so it is not a huge surprise that Nintendo have made this decision. However, it is still a sad moment for DS fans as it means the end of solely portable consoles for Nintendo. I have a lot of fond memories from my 3DS and my plain old DS. I still remember getting the original DS for my birthday in 2006 and spending the rest of the day playing Nintendogs. Good times.

So raise a glass, bid farewell and press F to pay your respects to the 3DS and the DS console in general. You will be missed, dear friend.  

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The ‘Mass Effect’ Remastered Trilogy Rumours Are Back in Full Swing



Desperate Mass Effect fans- myself included- have long been hoping for an announcement of a remaster of Bioware’s epic space drama trilogy. Despite no news coming from Bioware themselves or publishers EA, the fandom has been clutching at straws in regards to a remaster. However, there have been a couple of suggestions here and there- such as the listing of a Mass Effect art book coming in March 2021- that point towards a remaster coming our way. The most recent suggestion is possibly the strongest yet so let’s take a look.

A Portuguese retail website recently posted a listing for the Mass Effect Trilogy game, complete with box art and various console versions. The listing showed three different versions of the remaster: A PlayStation 4 version, an Xbox One version and a Nintendo Switch version. Prices were also posted with the retail listing- though they are listed as the euro currency due to the location of the site- with the PS4 and Xbox One versions listed as 59.99 euros and the Switch one down as 49.99 euros. The listing has since been deleted by the retailer site but thanks to Twitter- more specifically the Twitter user Nibel– you can check out the listing below.

This is very encouraging for us Mass Effect fans. It’s not so good for the person responsible for the listing though. Let’s be honest, they are losing their job for sure. The trilogy remaster has been circulating the gaming rumour mill for a while so here’s hoping that we will get some concrete information- and an actual confirmation- sometime soon.

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Square Enix Announces ‘Final Fantasy XVI’ for PlayStation 5





During today’s PlayStation 5 Showcase event, Square Enix revealed that acclaimed creators Naoki Yoshida (Final Fantasy® Xiv, Dragon Quest X) and Hiroshi Takai (Final Fantasy Xiv, The Last Remnant) are collaborating on an all-new standalone mainline Final Fantasy game, titled Final Fantasy XVI, for the PlayStation 5 system.

The news was revealed via the Final Fantasy XVI“Awakening” trailer which can be viewed below.

Here’s what Producer Naoki Yoshida had to say:

Final Fantasy Xvi producer (that’s right, just producer) Naoki Yoshida here. How did you enjoy the trailer? The exclusive footage, comprised of both battles and cutscenes running in real-time, represents but a fraction of what our team has accomplished since the start of development on this, an all-new Final Fantasy game. In that span, the team’s size has grown from a handful of core members to a full-fledged unit that continues to polish and build upon what they have created so far, all to provide players an experience unmatched in terms of story and gameplay.

Our next big information reveal is scheduled for 2021, so in the meantime, I expect everyone to have fun speculating, as we have a lot in store—not only for Final Fantasy XVI, but for Final Fantasy XIV, too. Needless to say, I’ll be working hard on both!

Final Fantasy XVI

And here is what director Hiroshi Takai had to say:

When Final Fantasy I was released, I was just another player─a young student with big dreams. By the time Final Fantasy V was in the works, I had earned myself a seat at the developers’ table… albeit at the very end. From there, I moved “online” leaving my mark on both Final Fantasy XI and XIV.

And now…XVI.

From the establishment of an all-new development environment, to learning the ins-and-outs of the PS5, the team and I have taken on countless challenges during our journey to bring you the sixteenth chapter in the storied Final Fantasy franchise. And though we’re pouring our hearts and souls into this project each and every day, it may still be some time before we can get it into your hands. However, I promise it will be worth the wait!

Final Fantasy XVI

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