Netflix is getting into the retail world (for some reason)
Right as Netflix gets out of the DVD rental business, it’s jumping back into the world of physical. Just not in the way you’d expect. The streamer, which is raising prices (again), is officially getting into the retail sector, according to the folks over at Bloomberg. It’ll be opening its own entertainment-focused stores, designed to house merch, live and dining experiences related to Netflix’s inventory of IPs.
“We’ve seen how much fans love to immerse themselves in the world of our movies and TV shows, and we’ve been thinking a lot about how we take that to the next level,” Josh Simon, Netflix’s vice president of consumer products, told the outlet (via Digital Trends).
It’ll be known as Netflix House, Simon said, with the first two sites opening in the US in 2025 before expanding to other locations globally. Simon didn’t mention where those locations would be, but Hollywood is a good guess (if there aren’t still striking actors hanging around, that is).
Everything under the Netflix House roof will be related to the streamer’s sizeable number of shows and movies, with the House updating itself to whatever is popular at the time. That means dinner menus built around the more popular cooking shows, series-specific merch and entertainment experiences like that of the Bridgerton experience that’s making its way around the US. Uh… cool, we guess?
Microsoft gets the okay to spend $69 billion on Activision
Is that Microsoft-Activision acquisition still not over? The deal, worth $69 billion, has been in the works since January of last year when it was halted to allow several international regulators to poke around the company’s drawers (and bring us plenty of leaks to boot). Microsoft is finally getting its wish nearly two years later after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) cleared the deal yesterday.
To get the deal over the finish line, Microsoft had to bow down to the CMA’s stringent measures that would absolve the body’s fears of the tech giant’s domination of the cloud gaming industry. Those measures involved selling off Activision’s cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft, rather than Microsoft gobbling it all up. Officially, Ubisoft will control Activision’s cloud-streaming rights for the next fifteen years in all markets outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).
As for rights within the EEA, Ubisoft is getting a “non-exclusive licence to sell, distribute, and sublicense entitlements to play cloud streaming versions of Activision’s games.” That means Microsoft isn’t locked out of its streaming rights in Europe when it comes to Activision games.
The forced sale to Ubisoft was apparently done to stop Microsoft from getting a stranglehold on cloud streaming. “As cloud gaming grows, this intervention will ensure people get more competitive prices, better services and more choice. We are the only competition agency globally to have delivered this outcome,” said Sarah Cardell, the CMA’s CEO (via TechCrunch).
A Threads edit button is coming (and won’t cost you anything)
Honestly, we respect the dedication. In a bid to revive some of the hype it experienced in its first week, Threads is netting several updates that might excite the five users left on the platform, and hopefully entice some new ones. The feature getting all the fanfare is a free-of-charge edit button, something that would normally set you back R1,700/year on Elon Musk’s app.
If you’ve still got your Threads account (of course you do), and want to test the feature, you’ll have five minutes after posting a thread to make any edits. The only downside (aside from it being on Threads) is that there’s no edit history, which could lend itself to some controversy down the line.
The other feature, also rolling out today, is Voice Threads which are exactly what they sound like. It’s about as interesting as a corpse on CSI, and might entice a few users towards the platform, but doesn’t do much for us while we count down the days until we can dust off our account and delete it. You know, without deleting our Instagram account too.
Scott Pilgrim’s 20th anniversary brings a glorious collector’s edition
If you’re eagerly awaiting Scott Pilgrim’s return to your TV (if you don’t already have a Blu-ray copy), then you might want to look at the upcoming collector’s edition(s) of the original comic, celebrating Pilgrim’s 20th birthday in 2024. Oni Press is behind the new run, releasing two collections of the comic for fans of the iconic black-and-white run and the remastered colour version.
And they’re gorgeous. We’re seriously considering adding at least one of the collections to our collection. We’ll have to wait for the official price and release date before that can happen, which is reportedly set for 2024. Each box, with a PS2-like SP20 logo plastered on its fronts, comes with either the colourful or not-so-colourful runs of the comic in hardback for the first time. You’ll also get a few collectables in the box, though Oni Press hasn’t revealed what those are exactly.
“It’s been fun to return to Scott Pilgrim’s world in a new animated series after so many years away,” O’Malley said in a statement provided to io9 (Gizmodo) via press release. “Thanks to all the fans, these books have stood the test of time and continue to find a new audience. For the 20th anniversary, I hope to give readers the best editions of Scott Pilgrim we’ve ever seen.”
If you can’t afford to pick up this particular collection (we’re not expecting them to be cheap), Scott Pilgrim is getting some new merch to celebrate the 20th anniversary alongside a print portfolio with original imagery and some new artwork, hand-picked by the series creator Brian O’ Malley.