The Morning After: Netflix's slow start in gaming
On the scale of Netflix, at least.
Netflix’s entry into the gaming market has been quiet. According to analysis by Apptopia, Netflix games have been downloaded 23.3 million times and have an average 1.7 million daily users. Framed against the 221 million customers paying for the streaming service, it’s not a great number — just one percent of them. The company indicated it didn’t expect its gaming division to be profitable immediately. “We’re going to be experimental and try a bunch of things,” Netflix COO Greg Peters told investors during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings calls last year.
But given that Netflix is not afraid to cut well-regarded shows after a few seasons, how long will it be willing to run a gaming arm before it’s successful? And what does success look like for Netflix? Earlier this year, the company paid $72 million to acquire Next Games, the studio behind Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales. More recently, it secured exclusive mobile rights to beloved indie titles like Spiritfarer and Into The Breach.
For what it’s worth, Poinpy is a pretty wonderful game worthy of your smartphone gaming time.
— Mat Smith
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US imposes sanctions on cryptocurrency mixer that may have laundered over $7 billion
Tornado Cash helped North Korea, according to the Treasury.
The Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on Tornado Cash, a mixer that allegedly helped launder more than $7 billion in stolen crypto funds since its inception in 2019. Like a previous sanctions target, Blender, Tornado Cash is accused of "indiscriminately" helping thieves by hiding transaction details while failing to institute meaningful anti-laundering safeguards. Tornado Cash runs on the Ethereum blockchain. North Korea's state-sponsored Lazarus Group hackers are believed to have funneled $455 million through the mixer so far.
Lucid Air will soon have a Stealth Look trim option
The $6,000 theme gives the EV a 'darker and overtly sporting personality.'
Lucid is adding a new trim option to its Air electric vehicle. The idea behind Stealth Look is to give the car a "darker and overtly sporting personality," according to the automaker. Lucid is swapping out 35 exterior components that have a platinum finish for versions with a darker appearance, with black gloss and satin graphite accents. Lucid plans to introduce the $6,000 option early next year, though whether you'll actually be able to get your hands on an Air at all anytime soon is another matter. Earlier this month, Lucid once again revised its production target for 2022, this time from 20,000 to between 6,000 and 7,000 units.
A live-action Pac-Man movie is the video-game adaptation no-one asked for
No Adam Sandler though.
Bandai Namco is developing a live-action Pac-Man film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Japanese gaming giant has reportedly tapped Wayfarer Studios, best known for its work on 2019’s Five Feet Apart, to produce the project. The film was reportedly pitched by Sonic the Hedgehog producer Chuck Williams. In 2020, Sonic the Hedgehog broke the record for a US video game movie debut. So it’s all Sonic’s fault.
HBO Max finishes rolling out its much-needed app redesign
Just in time for Discovery to make it obsolete.
Warner Bros. Discovery has finished rolling out its redesigned app on desktop, Android and iOS, delivering a more intuitive interface, a performance boost and some overdue features. You'll also find a dedicated video download page, split-screen support and SharePlay — at least for Apple devices in the US. The timing isn’t great. Warner Bros. recently confirmed it's merging HBO Max and Discovery+ into one service next summer. The app you see today won't last long.
Nintendo will dedicate a 30-minute Direct stream to 'Splatoon 3'
The event happens on August 10 at 9 AM ET.
Splatoon 3 will arrive on September 9th, and Nintendo is setting the table with a dedicated Direct showcase. The stream will get underway at 9 AM ET on August 10th and have around 30 minutes of updates. Expect a deep dive into one of Nintendo's tentpole Switch releases of the year, encompassing multiplayer changes and in-game mechanics.