Have you watched Squid Game yet? The hit Korean TV show took the world by storm with its quirky survival premise. Whether it was a coincidence or not, Netflix is further demonstrating that it is going all in on the concept of gaming. After briefly announcing the commitment earlier this year, Netflix has finally launched its first video games from Netflix Games.
Starting November 3 or 4 (depending on where you are), Netflix will start rolling out five mobile games through its Android app. The starting lineup will include two Stranger Things games: a top-down Zelda-like RPG called Stranger Things: 1984 and an isometric 2D RPG called Stranger Things 3: The Game. It also includes three arcade-style games with no IPs inherently attached to them: Shooting Hoops, Card Blast, and Teeter (Up).
Though only two games are attached to their current roster of franchises, Netflix is still bolstering its gaming content with more on the way, including content from Oxenfree developer Night School.
Currently, all five games are available for download on their own from the Play Store. However, Netflix will also add them all into their mobile app starting tomorrow.
Interested players need only a Netflix subscription to play. Game availability will span all profiles on a single account. (But with the added caveat that Kids profiles will still need a PIN to access the games.
Right now, only Android devices will have access to the games on the mobile app. Netflix promises that an iOS version will roll out soon.
Stranger Things 4: 4 Big Things To Expect
Every Ending Has Its New Beginning, Indeed
Writing this specific article makes me remember my early days in GadgetMatch where I wrote two special articles about Stranger Things 3 — especially because I’m the biggest fan in the team (been a fan since Season 1).
After almost three years of (patiently) waiting, we’ll finally be able to watch Stranger Things 4 on our screens again!
Special Screening in Cinema 11
Seven days before the actual release of Stranger Things 4: Volume 1, Netflix Philippines invited us for a special screening of its first episode — right at Power Planet Mall’s last cinema booth, Cinema 11 (y’know, Eleven 🥁).
The littlest set details outside the cinema made me cherish the good ol’ days of the First Season of Stranger Things from 2016. From those bright neon lights, a retro-styled photobooth, and ST4-branded popcorn box, soda cup. Even the “swag set” full of ST4 goodies that imitated the look of the spooky creel house, This also reminded me of how the series (as well as the fanbase) expanded entirely until it became a hit globally.
Although I went there all by myself, I still enjoyed every bit of the screening. To best describe everything, here’s my Instagram Reel roundup of it:
4 big things to expect
After watching the first episode of Stranger Things 4: Volume 1 for about an hour and fifteen minutes, there are four things I think we should expect in the series.
1. Out with the old, in with the new?
After the devastating phenomenon that happened in Hawkins last season, several characters have moved into a new town. The Byers, together with El(even) in mind. That also means Will and El have to deal with a new set of people in a seemingly unfamiliar environment.
Other characters have remained in the OG town, though. From the Wheelers, Sinclairs, Dustin, Joe, Robin, and even Max, they have continued with their lives despite being stuck in the same ol’ town. And oh, as the gang turned from kids to teens, do expect some dramatic changes in the way they act — especially after what happened.
P.S: There’s a new school club, too, that’s hilariously fun and cool despite its degrading image to the eyes of many.
2. Familiar and unfamiliar faces
Other than the remaining original cast from Season 1, a new season also means expecting new characters on the block. Apart from new schoolmates, there are also people that might help the initial set of kiddos who have saved Will from the darker underworld a.k.a the Upside Down.
The first few minutes of the episode was also revealed through Stranger Things’ YouTube channel showing how the Hawkins Laboratory had more than 11 Eleven-like superchildren that are being tested and experimented — until everything fell apart because of one superchild that ruined how things work inside the lab.
3. Jim isn’t dead
Jim Hopper’s sudden disappearance after the closing of the Upside Down had a lot of fans shaking their heads. Most (including myself) have speculated that he already died. Well, we can’t afford losing one more main character after the death of Bob from Season 2. Plus, Billy and Alexei just last season.
Fortunately, Jim, in his new haircut, appeared on the official trailer of Stranger Things 4. And just as shown in the first episode of the first volume, his presence can be felt — just from another side of the planet.
4. Another monster to kill
The Demogorgon and Mind Flayer are two of the most wicked supervillains ever existed. Whether that may be in the history of Hawkins or just in the eyes of people.
But the two evil creatures aren’t the end of the gang’s fate. A new town means there’s a new monster, too.
As shown at the end of the official trailer, the new horrendous creature is in human form. It can manipulate the mind of the affected individual — even the dimension where s/he’s at. While I won’t be specific about what happened, it sure is a powerful, demonic creature. It can truly make someone disturbingly psychotic and literally broken inside and out.
Biggest season ever with super-sized episodes
After watching the first episode of the first volume, I can say it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. First it was thrilling, then it became a full-on comedy show. Next thing you know, you’re already mindf*cked with what’s happening. I always say this but still, hands-down to the team behind Stranger Things for making the fourth season more exciting to watch (despite being borderline creepy and horrifying).
The First Volume of Stranger Things Season 4 will be released only on Netflix on May 27, 2022 (Friday) with seven episodes. Most episodes are reported to be as long as a full-length film.
On the other hand, Volume 2 with a whopping total of nine episodes will be released after two months: exactly July 1st — just four days before the independence of the United States of America.
Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers
People are switching
The Netflix revolution was indeed televised. However, after enjoying years of success as the streaming platform of choice, a lot of users are now leaving Netflix for greener pastures. Over the past few months, the company has struggled to patch its failures. A recently released data report does confirm that the platform has a right to worry. More and more long-term subscribers are reportedly cutting their subscriptions short.
According to The Information, around 13 percent of Netflix cancelers in the past quarter are from accounts that have been with the platform for over three years. The data, which was reportedly obtained from Antenna, pegs cancelations at around 3.6 million Americans, a big increase from the 2.5 million of the past five quarters.
Though 13 percent isn’t exactly a giant figure, it’s still a blow to Netflix’s empire. While streaming platform rightly focus on gaining new subscribers, losing the loyalty of long-term users isn’t something to shrug off.
Since announcing lost expectations, Netflix announced ways to save on costs and retain its subscribers. Other methods include canceling projects, opening a games division, and potentially charging users more for account sharing. Naturally, not every plan hits users the same way.
In the meantime, other platforms — like Disney+, HBO, and Hulu — are attracting more users with more varied and exclusive content. Regardless, Netflix is skidding down a slope. Only time will tell whether its latest strategies will stave off more losses.
Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content
For reality shows and comedy specials
Netflix is in a bit of a rough patch. After losing subscribers for the first time, the platform is trying other strategies to retain its userbase including more stringent ways to police password sharing. This time, Netflix is trying a more additive approach. According to a report, the company is experimenting with livestreaming content.
First reported by Deadline, the company is currently in the early stages of creating such content. More specifically, Netflix will try the format for its catalog of “unscripted shows and stand-up specials.” There is no timetable for the experiment’s launch, but the company hopes to launch it soon.
A move towards livestreaming does make sense with Netflix’s current catalog of titles. Over the years, the platform has slowly curated an expansive lineup of reality shows and stand-up comedy specials. For example, Netflix’s Drive to Survive quickly became one of its biggest titles in reality television, bringing a lot of eyes to Formula One racing. Likewise, the platform has always been a stronghold for comedy specials since the advent of its popularity.
Besides its strong slate of content, the company has also experimented with user input including shows that mimicked Choose Your Own Adventure books. Under a livestreaming format, the audience might be able to provide input for the title as well, such as voting for (or against) contestants in a game show.
That said, it’s still too early to tell how livestreaming might appear on Netflix. For now, at least.
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