One Of The Best TV Shows, Homeland, Is Coming To An End

Homeland, the acclaimed, award-winning drama-thriller starring Claire Danes, is coming to an end. Danes confirmed in an interview with radio host Howard Stern that the Showtime program is ending after its eighth season. “Yeah, that’s it,” the actress said when Stern asked about the rumors that the next season will be the show’s last one.

It may be, but Showtime isn’t ready to confirm anything. A representative for the network told The Hollywood Reporter that it has not made any decisions about the show’s future. Homeland is currently in its seventh season, which wraps up on April 29.

Danes added that she is “really conflicted” about ending her run as Carrie Mathison, though she acknowledged that she is looking forward to having a “reprieve” from the demands of playing a character who is almost always under duress.

Earlier this year, showrunner Alex Gansa told THR that he was planning to leave the show after Season 7, adding that he’s not sure sure Danes or co-star Mandy Patinkin would return either if the show is to continue. “I can’t speak for Claire or [co-star] Mandy [Patinkin], but it will be my final year and it will be designed to be the end of an eight-season story,” Gansa said. “If Showtime, Fox, Claire. and Mandy want to take the show further, that’s their decision, and we would leave some room for that to happen–if there’s an appetite.”

Disclosure: Homeland airs on Showtime, which is owned by GameSpot parent company CBS.

Hellblade For Xbox One Sells 50,000 Copies, Dev Donating $25,000 To Mental Health Charity

Ninja Theory’s acclaimed adventure game that deals with mental health, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, launched last week for Xbox One–and it sold more than 50,000 copies in its first week. That’s good news for the game and for charity, as Ninja Theory will donate $25,000 to the Mental Health America charity. It is a nonprofit that promotes mental health.

If Hellblade shifts 100,000 units on Xbox One by April 18, Ninja Theory will up its donation total to $50,000. It is still April 18 in some parts of the world, so there is more time for sales to hopefully improve further for the continued benefit of Ninja Theory and the mental health charity. We’ll report back if with more information about Hellblade’s sales as it’s divulged.

Hellblade was originally released on PlayStation 4 and PC in August 2017, before coming to Xbox One last week. There are enhancements for the Xbox One X version, including improved visual quality and a framerate of 60 FPS, along with dynamic resolutions of up to 4K.

The $30 game puts players in the role of Senua, a Celtic warrior who embarks on a vision quest to come to grips with the death of her family. GameSpot awarded it an 8/10 in our Hellblade review and called the title “a spellbinding and sympathetic game about loss and redemption.”

Persona 5 Dancing Game Is Getting Yakuza And Sonic Crossover Outfits

Plenty of big announcements were made during Sega Fes 2018, like Shenmue I and II for modern platforms and the Mega Drive (Genesis) Mini for Japan. But nothing truly came close to the importance of the fact that the upcoming spinoff rhythm game Persona 5: Dancing Star Night will feature DLC costumes from the Yakuza series. Additionally, there will be a Sonic the Hedgehog outfit. Sega–the parent company of Persona developer Atlus–put out a Twitter poll asking fans which franchise crossover outfits they’d want in the Persona dancing games. Yakuza came in first by a wide margin with 46% of the vote while Sonic received 38% and Virtua Fighter trailed with 16% of votes.

The image below shows off the different costumes for each member of the Phantom Thieves: The main protagonist as Kazuma Kiryu, Ryuji Sakamoto as Ryuji Goda, Ann Takamaki as Goro Majima, Yusuke Kitagawa as Shun Akiyama, Makoto Niijima as Yasuko Saejima, Futaba Sakura as The Florist, and Haru Okumura as Haruka Sawamura. As for Morgana, he’ll be getting a cute Sonic onesie/jumpsuit.

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Just because Virtua Fighter placed last in the poll doesn’t mean it’s not getting some love. Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night will feature DLC outfits from the esteemed fighting series: The main protagonist as Akira Yuki, Yukari Takeba as Pai Chan, Junpei Iori as Jeffry McWild, Akihiko Sanada as Wolf Hawkfield, Mitsuru Kirijo as Sarah Bryant, Fuuka Yamagishi as Lau Chan, Aigis as Jacky Bryant, and Ken Amada as Kage-Maru. Unfortunately, it looks as though the adorable, yet fierce shiba inu Koromaru isn’t included.

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Both Persona 5: Dancing Star Night and Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night are set to simultaneously launch in Japan on May 24 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita; there’s currently no word on a North American or European release. The price and release date for all the DLC outfits have not been revealed yet. It was previously revealed that both games will feature PlayStation VR support and there will be a few special editions that include original art, soundtracks, and a downloadable version of Persona 4: Dancing All Night for PS4.

The original RPG Persona 5 won the hearts and minds of many including the GameSpot staff, and you can watch or read why it earned second place in our Best Games Of 2017 awards. As for Yakuza, the final chapter in Kazuma Kiryu’s long-running, heartfelt story just came out; check out our Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life review. We have some die-hard Yakuza fans here at GameSpot; you can watch us convince the world to dive into the series and spread the good word of Kazuma Kiryu.

WWE’s Smackdown Superstar Shakeup Roundup

During the most recent episode of Smackdown, WWE continued its Superstar Shakeup which traded wrestlers between the blue and red brands. We already saw a few Smackdown stars go to Raw during the first night of trades, and the Tuesday night show got some Raw superstars of their own, including a couple surprise returns.

Here are the major shakeups from this week’s Smackdown. It includes the United States Championship returning to the Tuesday night show, as well as quite a few NXT callups, including the former NXT Champion. If you want a recap of Monday’s events, check out our roundup of Raw‘s Superstar Shakeup.

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Smackdown started with Shelton Benjamin coming to the ring alone, as Chad Gable was moved to Raw. He says Gable needed him, and now Benjamin needs a challenge. The newly-crowned United States Champion Jeff Hardy comes out as the first move in the Superstar Shakeup.

A little later, there was an announcement that Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose will be coming over to Smackdown; hopefully, Paige will continue to be involved with them. Sadly, there goes my dream super-stable idea of “Absolute Riott.”

Later on, Sin Cara was waiting for his opponent and in walks Samoa Joe. After destroying Sin Cara, Joe cuts a promo calling Smackdown “the land of handouts.” He says he’ll beat Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, and AJ Styles. In addition, he makes some comments about the Intercontinental Championship and fighting Roman Reigns, both staples of Raw.

During a commercial break, a Sanity promo ran. The NXT stable is apparently coming soon. There’s no indication as to which members will come over, but hopefully, it will be all four, which will help the single, tag, and women’s divisions. It appears that won’t be the case as Nikki Cross was not in the promotional image for Sanity.

Daniel Bryan was talking to Renee Young, and Big Cass returned–after being out due to injury for eight months–to ask him, “You’re what all the fuss is about?” Cass later came out and beat up Bryan during his match.

During a match between Charlotte & Becky Lynch vs. The Iconics (I’m not writing them as The IIconics), Asuka came out to help Charlotte and Lynch. I guess this is a surprise? Most fans, like myself, just assumed Asuka was already on the Smackdown roster after her battle with Charlotte at Wrestlemania.

A promo video ran for the Good Brothers, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. They are now a part of the Smackdown brand. Sadly, Finn Balor is staying on Raw, so there will be no Bullet Club reunion with AJ Styles.

The Bar announces they’re coming over to Smackdown to take on the tag division, and very shortly afterwards, R-Truth shows up, confused as to where he is. According to a tweet from WWE, he’s now on Smackdown.

During a wrap-up for all the new superstars on Smackdown, former NXT Champion Andrade Almas was announced he’s coming to the Tuesday night show along with Zelina Vega.

PSA: Monster Hunter World’s Spring Blossom Fest Ends Soon On PS4 And Xbox One

Monster Hunter World’s first seasonal event is drawing to a close. The ongoing Spring Blossom Fest is set to end on PS4 and Xbox One this Thursday, April 19, giving you only a few more hours to participate in the festivities and earn special rewards.

In addition to a host of new and returning Event Quests, the Spring Blossom Fest introduces a new type of crafting material: Spring Blossom Tickets. These are earned by logging in to the game and completing Limited Bounties, and they can be exchanged to craft new items and gear.

In particular, Spring Blossom Tickets are one of the materials needed to craft the new Blossom armor set, which is available in both Low Rank and High Rank variants. The Low Rank version also requires a certain number of Earth Crystals, while the High Rank variation requires Carbalite Ore. You can find out how to craft the gear in our Spring Blossom Fest armor guide.

April 19 also marks the end of several ongoing Event Quests, including one to obtain the fan-designed Wyvern Ignition Great Sword. Players who missed out on the two Horizon Zero Dawn crossover quests the first time around likewise have until April 19 to earn the PS4-exclusive Horizon gear.

Despite beginning during the Spring Blossom Fest, the Rush of Blood Event Quest for the voxel Mega Man Palio armor will continue for one more week. It will be followed by an Event Quest to obtain the Devil May Cry armor.

Before the Spring Blossom Fest concludes, Capcom will roll out another big update for Monster Hunter World. That is scheduled to arrive on April 18 and introduces new gear, another Elder Dragon, and Sieges, a new type of quest for up to 16 players.

Fortnite Studio Is Taking My Employees, Radical Heights Dev Says

Update: This statement has been updated with a statement from Bleszinski.

Cliff Bleszinski, who made a name for himself as the creative director of the Gears of War series at Epic Games before leaving the company to start a new studio, has kicked off a public dispute with his former employer. Bleszinski is accusing Epic of poaching developers from his studio, Boss Key. Both are based in the Raleigh, NC area.

Tweeting today, Bleszinski asked Epic to stop its efforts to “hire away my team,” adding that he’s proud of Boss Key’s newly launched battle royale game, Radical Heights–which runs on Epic’s Unreal Engine 4. Bleszinski went on to suggest that Epic’s reported hiring of Boss Key developers is related to the fact that Radical Heights is a Battle Royale game, and is thus competing against Epic’s uber-popular Battle Royale game Fortnite.

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“There’s room at this genre for more than a few games SMH,” Bleszinski said. In another tweet, the developer said Boss Key has “plenty” of ideas for how to make Radical Heights stand out in the Battle Royale genre, but if Epic keeps hiring away its talent, these may never come to light. “We have plenty of ways to make it our own but they may never see the light of day if they keep doing this,” he said.

It is unclear how many Boss Key developers left the studio to join Epic, but the figure is apparently substantial enough for Bleszinski to be airing his grievances in public. When asked to clarify, Bleszinski said, “A substantial amount of surgically targeted key staff have been poached is pretty much all I can say right now.” In December, Boss Key co-founder Arjan Brussee left the studio to re-join Epic. A former online engineer at Boss Key who has since joined Epic, William McCarroll, said on Twitter that Bleszinski is out of line for calling out Epic about hiring away some of its staffers.

“With all due respect, assuming that Epic is the one starting contact / poaching is a bit presumptuous,” he said. “We all had our own reasons for making the choice to leave BKP for Epic, and to act like we are commodities being stolen is a bit hurtful. We are people first and foremost.”

Epic declined to comment when approached by GameSpot.

Boss Key’s free Battle Royale game Radical Heights launched last week in “X-TREME EARLY ACCESS” on Steam–and it is currently lacking many important features. The studio has pledged to continue to update and improve the game over time.

Netflix Now Has 125 Million Subscribers, Plans To Spend $8 Billion On New Content

Streaming giant Netflix is now even bigger. The network announced results for its fiscal first quarter today, confirming that it added 7.4 million new subscribers worldwide, which includes 1.96 million in the US alone. That was good for its second-biggest quarter in history in terms of subscriber growth. Overall, Netflix now has 125 million subscribers around the world.

Netflix’s strong quarter comes amid some amount of controversy. High-profile director Steven Spielberg said Netflix movies should not be eligible for the Academy Awards. Netflix releases some of its movies in theatres on a very limited basis to allow them to qualify. Additionally, the Cannes film festival recently announced that Netflix movies are banned.

Netflix said in a statement: “We regret our films not being able to compete at this year’s Cannes film festival. The festival adopted a new rule that means if a film is in competition at Cannes, it can not be watched on Netflix in France for the following three years . We would never want to do that to our French members.

“We will continue to celebrate our films and filmmakers at other festivals around the world but unfortunately we will have to sit out Cannes for now so that our growing French membership can continue to enjoy our original films.”

In an earnings call, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the company is not going to change its stance about giving some of its movies limited theatrical runs. “Defining distribution by what room you see it in is not the business we want to be in,” he said, according to GameSpot sister site CNET.

Also during the presentation, Netflix confirmed that it will spend between $7.5 billion and $8 billion on original content across formats such as series, films, unscripted shows, documentaries, comedy specials, and non-English language content. Netflix said it’s investing heavily so as to “serve the diverse tastes of our growing global membership base.”

GOG.com 800 Game Codes Giveaway

In honor of GOG.com’s The Most Wanted Games Sale, we’re giving away 800 PC game codes free from their catalog. The PC game codes will be a mystery code, redeemable on GOG’s platform, and are DRM-free. (Scroll down to enter below.)

Some of the mystery codes include The Witcher 3, Thimbleweed Park, Undertale, Transistor, Owlboy Collector’s Edition, SOMA, This War of Mine, Hotline Miami, SUPERHOT, and more.

Competition ends Tuesday, April 17 at 11:00 AM PT. Eight-hundred (800) winners will be emailed a code. Open worldwide, void where prohibited. No purchase necessary.

For more info on the sale, check out: Lots Of PC Game Deals In GOG’s Most Wanted Sale

Enter below (the additional entries are OPTIONAL to increase your chances of winning):

Netflix’s Lost In Space Season 1 Review: The Galaxy’s Most Realistic Family

Big budget sci-fi or not, a show in which an imperfect but ultimately wholesome family overcomes great obstacles and realizes they can do anything if they work together might sound too cheesy to possibly be any good. But that’s exactly what Netflix’s Lost in Space is: great science fiction with a positive message that’s safe for the whole family to watch together. The fact that it’s also a faithful, yet transformative adaptation of a decades-dormant sci-fi classic only makes it sweeter.

In the new Lost in Space, the Robinsons aren’t the vanilla nuclear family you remember from the original. John Robinson (Toby Stephens) is a secretive soldier who, before the family’s journey, was more or less estranged from his wife and kids. Maureen (Molly Parker) is a mother who will do anything for her kids–right or wrong be damned. Daughter Penny (Mina Sundwall) doesn’t fit any stereotypes–she’s obsessed with books, but isn’t afraid to take the wheel and steer the ship when she has to. Judy (Taylor Russell) is Maureen’s daughter from a previous marriage, and has darker skin–she’s a skilled teenage doctor, but becomes hindered by trauma on the journey. The youngest, Will (Max Jenkins), is a capable kid who’s troubled by the notion that he doesn’t belong there.

Put these five together with some great writing that feels true to how families actually communicate, and you get a surprisingly realistic dynamic. The Robinsons aren’t some idealized American family, despite the fact that they’re some of the best humanity has to offer (it’s not easy to qualify for the trip on the colony ship that spirited them away from Earth). Their bonds are messy and complex, which is much more interesting.

The show’s first season opens with the Robinsons’ personal familial ship, the Jupiter 2, crash-landing on a mysterious planet in the wake of some disaster on their much larger colony vessel. Over the course of the season, they’ll meet other survivors: Ignacio Serricchio’s pragmatic Don West, Parker Posey’s conniving Dr. Smith, Raza Jaffrey’s leadership-minded Victor, and more. These characters bounce off and orbit one another in ways that move the story forward, even as they all face obstacle after obstacle.

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If there’s one criticism of this show, it’s that it relies far too heavily on Murphy’s Law–anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. I noted this after reviewing the first episode, and it only got more true throughout the rest of Season 1. Every time these survivors overcome one obstacle, two or three more pop up in its wake. Lost in Space definitely vibes on The Martian, as the Robinsons and co. are forced to use everything at their disposal, from planetary resources to debris from their wrecked ships, in order to survive.

Oh, and the robot helps a lot. The robot! If there was one thing on this show that might have threatened to sink the whole thing with raw cheesiness, it was the robot. Little kids watching the original Lost in Space dreamed of having their own pet robot; how could that not turn out corny? But by making the robot alien in origin–a new twist on the old character–Netflix’s Lost in Space reinvigorates it. The robot is still Will’s best friend, and yes, it utters that iconic phrase, “Danger, Will Robinson.” But the more the Robinsons learn about it, the more interesting their relationship with the robot becomes. It’s at the center of some of the season’s best moments.

But Lost in Space isn’t just about relationships and family drama. The fact that all this takes place against a backdrop of hardcore science fiction is borderline incredible. Even when you factor in futuristic technology, it seems like some of the show’s finer scientific points must be dramatized past the point of realism, but it’s not usually easy to tell. Hopefully Neil Degrasse Tyson weighs in soon.

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What makes Lost in Space a true binge is not the moment-to-moment drama. It’s the characters and the talented actors who portray them. Fresh off his memorable stint as the lead pirate on the Starz drama Black Sails, Toby Stephens puts in some of his best work as a gruff dad who’s trying to do better for his family. Molly Parker matches his performance with ease, and Maureen is a complicated mother. The younger actors are all great as well, particularly Max (who plays Will), whose last job–no joke–was performing in the circus.

The one weak link in the characters is Parker Posey’s Dr. Smith, who’s written just a bit too villainously in the show’s first season. Her motivations and actual personality get lost in her sociopathic schemes, and by the end it’s hard to remember what her goal even is. Why is she so evil? If you have it all figured out, feel free to drop a comment below.

That Netflix will grant Lost in Space a second season is pretty much guaranteed. For now, enjoy one of the best sci-fi shows in recent memory–with your whole family, if you want.

The Good The Bad
Well written characters with complex dynamics Too much Murphy’s Law
Great cast One character is poorly written
Big budget effects and sets
Often seems to get the science right

Ed Sheeran May Appear In Slumdog Millionaire Director’s New Movie

According to Deadline, super-popular singer Ed Sheeran is in discussions to have a role in a new music-focused comedy from Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle. Sheeran already had cameos in The Bastard Executioner, Game of Thrones, and Bridget Jones’ Baby, so this would be a continuation of his push into film and TV.

There are no further details about Sheeran’s supposed involvement in the film, which doesn’t have a title yet. What we do know is that Lily James (Baby Driver) and Himesh Patel (Eastenders) will star in it, with SNL actress Kate McKinnon in discussions for it.

Love Actually writer Richard Curtis is writing Boyle’s new movie. According to The Daily Mail, the film is tentatively titled All You Need Is Love, and it will follow a man who wakes up to discover he’s the only one on Earth who remembers the songs of The Beatles. The report claims Sheeran will also write music for the film; classic Beatles songs are also expected to be featured, according to the report.

In addition to this new movie, Boyle is apparently working on the next Bond movie that will star Daniel Craig in the lead role for the last time. That film opens in November 2019. Boyle won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire; he also directed Trainspotting and 127 Hours.

Sheeran’s involvement in Game of Thrones last season was highly criticised, and the episode’s director spoke out to defend the singer’s role in the show.