The Future of Visual Content
The Future of Visual Content
Netflix, a leading video streaming service, is planning to enter the video game market. With over 290 million paid members as of June 2021, the company has been exploring ways to continue growing, especially in markets where it has faced challenges, such as losing around 400,000 subscribers in the United States and Canada due to saturation.
Netflix has already produced interactive content such as “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,” “You vs. Wild,” and “Headspace: Unwind Your Mind,” where viewers’ choices affect the story and experience. More interactive video games could enhance user engagement and attract new audiences.
While rivals like Apple Arcade and Amazon Luna are entering the game streaming market, Netflix aims to establish a competitive advantage by delivering both video content and video games on the same platform without extra fees.
Netflix has previously collaborated with external production companies to license its popular series “Stranger Things” for gaming. With plans to strengthen its in-house gaming team, Netflix might venture into game development using its own intellectual property.
Furthermore, Netflix has launched the Netflix Shop where it sells collaboration merchandise with apparel brands and original content, creating an immersive world beyond just screen-based viewing.
Living Other People's Lives
No matter how busy life gets, I make it a point to visit the movie theater once a week.
The experience of being in front of a large screen is extraordinary. Immersed in stories, I’ve skateboarded through the streets of 1990s LA, engaged in national missions in reverse-world settings, and even become part of a team saving the universe. There are moments when I wonder, “Could I also shoot spider webs from my wrist or lift the legendary hammer?” It’s as if watching videos transports me to a different world, and the camera lens becomes my perspective within that world.
As highlighted in the article, visual content is no longer limited to one-way communication. Programs like You vs Wild and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch allow viewers not just to observe from the sidelines, but to actively experience the story through their choices (even if following predetermined patterns). When you delve into video games, titles like Detroit: Become Human on PS4 offer even more complex, branching scenarios for experiencing alternate worlds.
Recently, at a conference, I heard the topic “Why can’t I live other people’s lives?” It struck a chord with me, as it seemed like an inherent instinct or desire in humans to seek, love, and empathize with others’ worlds and stories.
The narratives of empathy have evolved from inscribed stone tablets to scrolls, books, films, and now to mirror worlds and metaverses in VR/AR, expanding that universe. However, at the core, there’s a gravitational force similar to universal gravitation, drawing us toward “living other people’s lives.” I found myself pondering this idea with a tickle in my nose.
Six years ago, Netflix’s entrance into Japan brought about a dramatic change in the experience of visual content. (It was initially referred to as the “Black Ship,” but founder Reed Hastings humorously commented from the start that they were not a black ship but an orange ship of hope, a play on words inspired by the show ‘Orange is the New Black’.)
I myself am a Netflix user, and upon checking, I’ve been using it for nearly 5 years since November 2016. Before that, my options for visual entertainment were limited to TV and YouTube, but now I’ve even transitioned to a lifestyle without a television. Opportunities to visit movie theaters for films have also become rare. Despite the excellent quality of visuals and sound offered by theaters, my experience has gradually shifted.
Two reasons account for this shift. First, even if I encounter something I don’t particularly enjoy, I can immediately search for the next movie. In a theater, there’s a tendency to watch the entire film regardless, feeling that the time and money invested must yield returns. Second, I can enjoy movies at home, the most comfortable place, while having a meal or a drink. The combination of movies and pizza has almost become a tradition. There’s no need to worry about dressing up. This new experience of visual entertainment has slowly but surely transformed my habits.
In 2020, the film industry was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, changes in the film experience also occurred. Cape Cinema in Dennis, USA, partnered with local eateries to provide pizza, desserts, cocktails, coffee, and more. According to Josh Mason, CEO of Cape Cinema, “Customers can enjoy everything in one place.” People who used to dine elsewhere before going to the movies are now immersing themselves in the world of the movie while dining. He believes that connecting dining and the movie experience represents the future of cinema.
In today’s world, where visual content seamlessly integrates into daily life, it seems that movie theaters are expected to offer a wider range of experiences. Beyond the visual and auditory experience of “seeing” and “hearing,” the focus may shift toward a more holistic and cross-dimensional entertainment experience.
Why Marvel's 'Black Widow' is a major moment for Disney+ and movie theaters
In July of this year, Disney’s Marvel Studios released “Black Widow.” Starring Scarlett Johansson as a revenge-seeking spy, the movie is expected to gross around $80 million in the U.S. alone. Amidst the challenges faced by the theater industry during the pandemic, this movie is creating a new film-viewing culture by simultaneously releasing on streaming services. The simultaneous release on Disney+ allows them to capture potential customers who might not have subscribed previously and also enables audiences to rewatch movies at home after viewing them in theaters. This shift is expected to significantly alter traditional movie viewing culture.
The Success of "Black Mirror" Worldwide
“Black Mirror,” a television drama series that first aired in 2011 on Channel 4 in the UK, became a Netflix Original from Season 3 onward, produced in partnership with Channel 4. The series expanded further, even winning an Emmy for the episode “USS Callister.” The “Black Mirror” series also has a movie adaptation, with “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” being Netflix’s first interactive film. Allowing viewers to make choices for the main character and guiding the story accordingly, this game-like feature has been highly praised as a new form of visual content.
The Impact of "Demon Slayer" on the "Cinema Index"
Over the past decade, the number of movies screened in Japanese theaters has increased by over 1.4 times. Despite this growth in movie releases and box office revenue rising from ¥220 billion to ¥260 billion between 2010 and 2019, 2020 witnessed a significant decline to ¥140 billion. While the number of releases and revenue have increased, the profitability per film has decreased from ¥310 million in 2010 to ¥200 million in 2019 and a mere ¥140 million in 2020. In this context, “Demon Slayer” broke records, surpassing “Spirited Away,” and achieved the highest box office revenue of all time. This monumental success has created a significant economic ripple effect and impacted the struggling film industry.