Netflix to Expand Into the Games Industry and More!

Hello everyone. Welcome to another issue of Emmen Weekly, our new twist on gaming news. 

Last week was a very busy week for the games industry. Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard sent tremors through the entire industry in a number of ways. We’re still dealing with the aftershocks.

There’s quite a bit to get through so let’s begin.

Netflix Aims to Have the “Absolute Best” Gaming Service

Let’s begin with some non-Activision Blizzard news, starting with the fact that Netflix might be trying to expand their presence in the games industry.

In a recent earnings meeting, the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings was asked about how the company will approach interactive content in the long term. 

He answered that there was no point in just “being in it” (as in the games industry) and that when Netflix does it, they would be great at it. 

Hastings went on to state that Netflix was looking to become a gaming service that could compete with the best in the industry currently. 

Netflix’s first foray into the games industry has already begun in November 2021. It introduced a service that allowed its players free access to 5 mobile games out on Apple and Android across 190 countries. The list has since expanded to 10 games.

How Netflix’s journey into the games industry will go is anyone’s guess at this point. But perhaps it would do well to learn a few lessons from Google Stadia. Just saying.

Pokémon Legends Arceus Suffers Massive Leaks

Pokémon Legends Arceus has suffered massive leaks prior to its release date of January 28.

The leaks include a number of story and gameplay elements which we will not be spoiling here. 

One interesting note about this story is that this leak seems to have come from boxed retail versions of the game. 

This is unusual because most leaks usually come from digital review copies. But in this case, there have been pictures of players holding the game popping up online.

If you are looking to avoid being spoiled, Twitter user @Stealth40k has provided a list of what to avoid, though it’s still not easy. You can see their thread below.

If you want something more official to chew on while you wait for the game, here is a 10+ minute clip of gameplay released by Nintendo.

We will be reviewing this streaming and reviewing this game soon after launch.

Shenmue Anime Premiers Next Month

Shenmue is a popular Sega video franchise that was first released in 1999 on the Sega Dreamcast. 

It has very dedicated fans who saw a successful Kickstarter revive it for a third game. 

And now, the series is getting an anime adaptation. 

The anime will adapt the story of the first game which involves martial artist Ryo Hazuki trying to uncover the mystery of his father’s death.

Despite its passionate fans, Shenmue remains a cult classic. 

Perhaps the anime can make the story of the game more accessible to the casual viewer and garner more interest in this strange but charming game series.

The series will premiere on February 5 on both Adult Swim and Crunchy Roll.

Call of Duty to Move Away from Annual Releases

And now, let’s talk about some of the aftershocks of the Activision Blizzard acquisition. The first story that came our way dealt with the Call of Duty franchise.

According to an article by Bloomberg, some “high-level employees” in Activision Blizzard have been discussing changing CoD’s annual release schedule.

Currently, the company releases a new CoD game every year from a rotating group of studios. This has proven to be less effective than it hoped.

Despite these discussions, Bloomberg reported that the shift might occur “next year or later”. It also reported that this year’s CoD release is expected to turn things around for the franchise, which has been experiencing player fatigue for some time.

Additionally, while CoD’s release future is being discussed, what is not going to change is the franchise’s availability on PlayStation consoles. 

Both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have indicated that the plan is to keep CoD on PlayStation as well, though it is not clear if they meant CoD: Warzone, some of the annual releases, or both. 

Phil Spencer Considers Revisiting Abandoned Activision Franchises

Phil Spencer, executive vice president of Gaming for Microsoft Corp., speaks during the company’s Xbox event ahead of the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S., in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Sunday, June 10, 2018. Xbox previewed a flurry of new titles and deals with studios as the video-gaming division of Microsoft looks to compete more intensely with Sony Corp.’s PlayStation and a resurgent Nintendo Co. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

One of the biggest questions on the minds of everyone observing the recent Activision Blizzard acquisition by Microsoft is this: 

“What are they going to do with the hundreds of Activision franchises that have been abandoned?”

In an interview with The Washington Post, Phil Spencer might have finally given some insight into this topic. 

In this interview, Spencer avoided talking about big-name franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Instead, he focused on smaller and more obscure franchises that are also coming over in this deal.

In the article, he mentioned King’s Quest, Guitar Hero, and HeXen by name. 

He also stated that once the deal is finalized, the Xbox team will speak to its many developers to see what franchises they would want to work on.

Before the acquisition, Activision Blizzard had been making many of their developers work on their big franchises like CoD. But with this acquisition, perhaps these developers and teams can be free to work on other projects that might suit their skills more.

Only time will tell what exactly will come of this acquisition.

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