Google Stadia is at the failure stage

Why does the company fail to gain a foothold in the gaming market?

Reading time 5 minutes

About a year ago, on March 19, one of the world’s largest media corporations named Google announced the upcoming entry into the video game market. The company launched the Google Stadia game platform, something new in this area. The main feature that the creators of Stadia noted was the full focused of the new product on cloud gaming. This reminds Netflix analogue in video games: with a monthly paid subscription, the user gets access to the games in the platform’s library. At the same time he or she has an opportunity to connect within any device without downloading the games themselves. High resolution quality is guaranteed. A stable Internet connection and Google Chrome browser are required. At the announcement stage, Stadia looked interesting and seemed to be quite different from the market leaders (Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Switch). But everything changed dramatically six months later.

Никто не любит жадность
No one loves greed

The release of Google Stadia took place on November 19, 2019 and turned out to be disappointing. The main object of criticism was the general technical unavailability of the platform: the first buyers noted that the games work with significant glitches and are far from 4K resolution, as was promised at the announcement. In addition, many users were outraged by the Google pricing policy: the subscription costs $ 10 per month; Chromecast Ultra prefix, which includes a controller in Night Blue color, a Chromecast Ultra adapter, a three-month subscription for two and a Destiny 2 game costs $ 130; at the same time, the average price for a game will be similar to those of Sony, Microsoft and Xbox – $ 60. The current generation consoles for all Google competitors are about $ 500. There is also a monthly subscription worth about $ 7, but exclusively for online games. For single players (story games that a gamer can play alone) this subscription is not needed, as well as the Internet connection in general. This reveals another problem: users of Stadia are very dependent on the work of the company’s internal servers: if they crash, all game progress will not be saved. Another important obstacle, partially due to the preceding paragraphs, is the quantity of games. There were only 22 games in the Google start library, after 3 months of the service’s existence only 6 more were added. 28 games is an extremely small number for a company which is trying to become a full-fledged player in the market. Moreover, among these games there is not a single exclusivity. These are games that can only be played on one console, one of the most compelling reasons to buy one. At the moment, the PlayStation is a leader in the gaming industry thanks to exclusives such as the Uncharted series, The Last of Us, God of War, Bloodborne and many others. The Xbox has a series of Halo and Quantum Break, the Switch has Mario and Zelda. Stadia has nothing. The reason is Google itself: after the release, the company weakly supports the project (6 new games in 3 months to confirm). Accordingly, the audience, which was already relatively small, is beginning to decline. Therefore, game developers have no motivation to conclude exclusive production contracts with Google, because they still will not pay off in the current platform state.

За годы существования Google всего "умерло" 198 проектов
Over the years of Google’s existence, 198 projects have “died

Thus, Stadia is a vivid example of how an excellent idea can be ruined by poor technical performance and the lack of a clear PR strategy. The future of the project looks uncertain. It is unlikely that anyone will be surprised if he soon replenishes the “Google Cemetery“.

The audience is prepared for the uncharted

Will the authors of Uncharted be able to change the idea of video game film adaptation?

Reading time 6 minutes

On March 2, it was officially announced that actor Antonio Banderas will play a role in the film “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune”. The action-adventure Uncharted movie will be the first part of the famous game series transfer to the big screen, an exclusive console of Sony PlayStation. The first game in 2007 was released by Naughty Dog, which was known for its Crash Bandicoot platformer series at that time. Immediately after the release, “Drake’s Fortune” received a very warm welcome from critics and gamers. IGN news portal recognized the game as the best one on PS3 in 2007. All subsequent parts of the series, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End were also ranked among the best games of 2009, 2011 and 2016, respectively. They were also included in the best games of both decades list. As well as another game from Naughty Dog – “The Last of Us”. Its sequel is upsetting the gamers due to constant delays.

Том Холланд будет играть Нейтана Дрейка
Tom Holland will play Nathan Drake
Nathan Drake
А Марк Уолберг - Виктора Салливана
And Mark Wahlberg will play Victor Sullivan
Виктор Салливан. Как по-вашему, похожи?
Victor Sullivan. Do you think they look alike?

From the very beginning, the film had many problems. The project was discussed for a long time due to the popularity of Uncharted, but went to the production hell: over the past years, 5 directors have been changed. Now it is headed by Ruben Fleischner, the creator of two parts of Zombieland  comedy horror and Venom comic book. Actors of the main roles are also well-known: the adventurer Nathan Drake will be played by Tom Holland, a current Spider-Man performer in the Marvel studio film, and his friend and mentor Victor Sullivan will be played by two-time Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg. What role was prepared for Banderas, is not yet reported. Initially, the premiere was planned to be at the end of 2020, but was postponed to March 5, 2021.

Марк Уолберг уже снимался в экранизации игры - фильме "Макс Пэйн" 2008 года
Mark Wahlberg has already starred in the 2008 film adaptation of Max Payne

The fundamental problem of the upcoming film is its format. Quite a few video games were adequately adapted into the movies. Still, a game and a film are fundamentally different cultures and ways of entertainment. In the movie, the creators are not able to embody the gameplay that they took as a basis. Spectators cannot control characters on the screen. Accordingly, they need to be entertained with the story, but it is extremely difficult to adapt it correctly, again because of the difference in formats: modern story games last 30 hours in average, which need to fit into 90-120 minutes of a cinema slot. For these reasons, game film adaptations usually suffer from a bad scenario. Authors try either to depart from the canon and thus violate the logic of the world, or, on the contrary, try to follow the original source, which makes the film look secondary. The producer’s reckoning is primarily based on original fans. They want to go to the movies and are able to recoup the production. It really works like this quite often but one of the last known examples – “Assassin’s Creed” (2016) raised $ 240 million with a budget of 125. It is regarded as a box office failure. After that, the flow of movies based on games was temporarily stopped in Hollywood. Let’s see whether the film about Nathan Drake will return interest in the segment.

Mulan is affected by coronavirus

Disney premiere may be delayed

Reading time 4 minutes

On February 29, the popular American mass culture news aggregator Comic Book reported that Disney did not approve the rental plan for its new “Mulan” movie in China. The picture was supposed to be released in late March, but now it is highly likely that the premiere of the picture in the Middle Kingdom will be postponed indefinitely. The main reason is an outbreak of coronavirus, which still cannot be controlled. The performer of the leading role, Liu Yifei, a native of Wuhan, the city where the epidemic started, spoke about the situation: “People are doing everything right. They cherish themselves and others. It is very scary to see that they have not left the house for weeks. I hope that a miracle will happen and everything will soon be behind.”

Пример диснеевского ремейка - "Король Лев". Слева версия 1994 года, справа - 2019
An example of a Disney remake is The Lion King. 1994 version on the left, 2019 on the right

This situation can bring huge losses to Disney. The corporation has already announced significant financial losses after the temporary closure of two theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong – more than $ 150 million per quarter. In addition, the situation with Mulan is special, because the movie was obviously made with the expectation of a great profit from the Chinese audience: the plot is based on the medieval Chinese ballad about the girl Hua Mulan, who went to war with the Huns instead of her father, pretending to be a man. The film is part of a series of numerous “Disney remakes” of popular cartoons from the 80s and 90s with living actors like Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin, or photorealistic animations like The Jungle Book and The Lion King. All previous remakes, despite critical reviews and accusations of secondary nature, repeatedly recouped their production budgets. “Mulan” should not have been an exception, especially given the enormous budget: according to rough estimates, it is about $ 300 million, which makes “Mulan” one of the most expensive movies in history. For comparison, the largest budget ($ 365 million) came from last year’s blockbuster Avengers: Final.

Поцелуй из оригинального мультфильма. Вроде очень милый и не пошлый...
A kiss from the original cartoon. It seems to be very cute and not vulgar …

The creators faced certain problems even until the film transfer. For example, due to the massive military scenes, the picture received an age rating of PG-13 (13+), becoming the first Disney remake with such indicator. PG is considered to be the standard rating for studio films (6+ with parental recommendation). In addition, after the pre-screening, Chinese viewers demanded to cut the scene of the main character’s kiss with Li Shang, a military commander, considering it vulgar and unchaste. As a result, the creators decided to completely remove the character of Li Sang, considering his relationship with Mulan not corresponding to the era of #MeToo. Besides the Chinese criticized the historical inaccuracies of the movie: for example, the Mulan family lives in the adobe house “Tulou”. In reality, they began to be built only a thousand years after the events described in the film.

IPhones are only for the good guys

An interesting feature of Apple products usage in the cinematography

Reading time 4 minutes

On February 26, Vanity Fair, an American magazine in the field of politics, culture, fashion and film, published another video interview on its Youtube channel (more than 2 million subscribers).  This interview was conducted by Ryan Johnson, a popular filmmaker. First of all, he is known as the creator of the science-fiction film “Loopers” and the 8th episode of the Star Wars movie saga, “Last Jedi”. In a 23-minute long video, Johnson talked about his last movie, “Knives Out”. A detective drama tape was released last September (in Russia on November 28) and received rave reviews from critics (97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and extremely positive reviews from viewers (a rating of 8.0 on IMDB). In addition, the film was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Screenplay category. Financially, “Knives Out” also became successful: with a budget of $ 40 million, he raised 306. In the beginning of 2020, it was announced that Johnson is already working on a continuation of the picture. He is planning to release it before the end of 2021. The plot of the first part tells the story of Benoit Blanc, a detective, who is investigating the mysterious murder of the famous author of crime novels Harlan Tromby. Hollywood star actors such as Daniel Craig, Chris Evans and Jamie Lee Curtis have performed in the movie.

Райан Джонсон раскрыл секрет Apple
Ryan Johnson revealed Apple’s secret

The interview instantly became popular due to Johnson revealing of a rather interesting secret: it turns out that Apple, whose products and accessories are regularly featured in movies and TV shows, prohibits negative characters to use them. Indeed, the real killer in “Knives Out” does not use anything related to Apple, unlike some suspects who ultimately turn out to be innocent. Johnson noted with humor that all other detective directors would probably want to kill him because of the exposure of this fact. And not only detective directors: now, watching any Hollywood movie, you can know in advance who is the villain and who is not. If the character in the frame uses Iphone, MacBook, AirPods and any other Apple products, then he or she is, by definition, a positive character. Thus, the company avoids negative associations with its products. According to representatives of the American CNBC channel, not only Apple has such a reverent attitude to the perception of their products by viewers. This is also true, for example, for manufacturers of various food products. It is unlikely that the company will like the fact that something with the label of its brand is thrown into the bin or broken into pieces in the frame.

Самые популярные бренды дорожат своей репутацией даже в кино
The most popular brands value their reputation even in the movies

 

The excess of Petrov

Why are actors playing in popular Russian films the same? Klim Shipenko explains

Reading time 6 minutes

On February 6, the famous Russian singer and composer Yuri Loza made an ironic post on his Facebook account, in which he noted Alexander Petrov’s over-popularity in contemporary Russian cinema. The musician considered it unfair that thousands of talented actors graduate from Russian film schools every year, each of them is waiting for new chance, but the producers prefer to give all the potential box office roles to Petrov.

Юрий Лоза поднял актуальную для многих российских кинозрителей тему
Yuri Loza asked a question that is relevant for many Russian moviegoers …

Although Yuri’s post was written in a rather humorous style, it provoked a discussion around the current situation with Russian actors. One of the participants of the discussion was Klim Shipenko, a successful film director. In 2019, two of his films were released at once: a criminal-dramatic psychological thriller “Text” (with Petrov playing the main role) and a comedy “The Serf”. The first film, according to the Kinopoisk online portal, was warmly received by both viewers (rating 7.0) and critics (85% of reviews were positive). This was also emphasized by the box office of 850 million rubles. With a budget of 75 it achieved excellent results at the main Golden Eagle film contest in Russia. “Text” received awards for the best film, best male roles of the first and second plans (Petrov and Ivan Yankovsky, respectively), as well as for the best editing (Tim Pavelko). Shipenko himself was awarded a nomination for best directing, and composer Nikolai Rostov was awarded for best music. “Serf”, with a similar rating of 7.0 at “Kinopoisk”, became the most profitable Russian film in the history of Russian distribution, collecting for the first time more than 3 billion rubles and breaking the “Upward” record.

А Клим Шипенко дал ответ на этот вопрос
… and Klim Shipenko answered this question

The director said that in terms of perception of actors, Russian viewers are very different from Western ones: there is still a distrust in the quality of domestic cinema, so producers prefer to screen more popular characters in order to increase the chances of success. And Petrov in this sense is not the first: Sergey Bezrukov followed the same path after the role of Sasha Bely in the crime series “The Brigade”, Konstantin Khabensky after the role of Anton Gorodetsky in the fantasy “Night Watch” and Danil Kozlovsky after the role of hockey player Valery Kharlamov in sports drama “Legend number 17”. Petrov gained popularity in the second half of the 2010s after the series “Policeman from Rublevka”, where he played Grigory Izmailov, a police captain.

Один из предшественников Петрова Данила Козловский в фильме "Легенда №17" (в центре)
One of Petrov’s predecessors, Danila Kozlovsky, in the film “Legend No. 17” (center)

Shipenko also noted that even Russian stars of the first echelon are not success guarantors at the box office, in contrast with Western ones. And the director definitely knew what he was talking about: despite the impressive final fees of “Text”, the adaptation of the novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky had an almost failed first weekend. During the first week, the box office amounted to only 92 million rubles. This figure slightly exceeded the budget of the film and took 4th place at the end of the week. It lost to the “Joker” (Todd Philips), who had already been in the box office for a month. In the future, word of mouth saved the situation: firstly, positive reviews began to come about the quality of the film, and secondly, the scandal around the overly frank bed scene with Christina Asmus and Ivan Yankovsky played a big role. Many viewers went to the cinema to find out what was special about this scene.

По этому фото не скажешь, но именно сцена с участием этих двоих сделала "Текст" таким популярным в прокате
You can’t tell from the photo, but it was the scene with the participation of these two that made “Text” so popular at the box office

As a result, the director described a vicious circle: it is more difficult for unknown actors to get into potentially stellar roles, and the famous ones are becoming even more popular, so they bother the audience.

Two out of five is twenty five

Harvey Weinstein trial took place in New York

Reading time 4 minutes

On February 24 was the final hearing of Harvey Weinstein’s case, a  famous Hollywood producer. The jury found him guilty in two of the five counts – criminal acts of a sexual nature and a rape of the third degree. The victim of the first crime was Weinstein’s former assistant Miriam Haley. It happened in 2006. The prosecution proved that she was prone to an oral sex. Jessica Mann, a stylist and actress was raped in 2013.

Мириам Хейли
Miriam Haley
Джессика Манн
Jessica Mann

The former director of Weinstein’s company is also charged with sexual abuse, threats and other extenuating circumstances. Due to a pronounced lack of consent to sex, the sentence is up to 5 years. However, Weinstein was acquitted of “predatory sexual abuse.” If this did not happen, the producer would face a life-long sentence. The estimated conclusion is from 5 to 25 years. The verdict will be issued on March 11. Weinstein should be waiting for further decisions in a prison on Riker Island, but immediately after the court he was taken to the hospital.

Движение "MeToo", ставшее популярным после дела Вайнштейна
The MeToo movement became popular after the Weinstein’s case

The scandal around Harvey Weinstein’s persona begun in October 2017. Ex-employees of The Weinstein Company and actresses who starred in the company’s films massively claimed sexual harassment from the former Boss. Ashley Judd, Uma Thurman, Angelina Jolie and others. He was fired right after the applications were received. Later, criminal cases were brought against him and investigated in February. MeToo social movement, organised  by actress Alyssa Milano, became popular after these accusations. At the same time an Oscar-winning actor, Kevin Spacey and a  famous comedian, Louis C. Key , were accused. The disclosure began to spread in other areas of life, not only in the United States, but also in the rest of the world. Of the most striking cases is a Lockhart Steele’s one. He was an editor-in-chief of Vox Digital Media. He lost his job after being accused by the former secretary. Another unusual example is the head of the South African Football Association, Danny Jordan. He was also removed from the office and prosecuted after being accused by Jennifer Ferguson, a politician. The wave of scandalous revelations of celebrities that began after the Weinstein’s affair gave rise to the term – “The Weinstein Effect”.

Philipp Plein is in the middle of a scandal

The designer dedicated his latest show to Kobe Bryant

Reading time 3 minutes

The Philipp Plein fashion house demonstrated the new fall-winter 2020-2021 collection on Milan Fashion Week. The designer tended to honor the name of Kobe Bryant, a basketball player who was killed in an accident on January, 26 in California. His 13-year-old daughter Gigi and seven more passengers, including the pilot, were on board.

After the show, the brand founder was accused of using the tragic event to draw attention to the catwalk.

The collection pieces included $2,070 jerseys and $3,150 sweatshirts with the Black Mamba’s number, 24 (Bryant’s nickname) on them. The items were colored in yellow and purple. These are the colors of the Los Angeles Lakers team where the basketball legend had been playing since 1996 till 2016. The clothes were also adorned by Swarovski crystals. The Lakers logo were replaced with the Philipp Plein’s one. Sweatshirts and jerseys went on sale right after the show. Olivia Culpo, a former Miss Universe walked the runway. Pinkett Smith, a “Red Table Talk” host, also joined the fashion show.

Moreover, two golden helicopters were put on the stage. As Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash, these decorations also caused a backlash.

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Just landed 🛬 PLEIN ™️ WINTER 2020 #nolimits

A post shared by Philipp Plein (@philippplein) on

Plein answered to Page Six Style that the helicopters were meant to be placed before Bryant’s death, in November. He said that he would have get rid of them. The designer declared that he used his fashion show to express the respect and admiration for The Bryants. He also added that became a victim of public misinterpretation.

As Plein stated, all the profits from the sale of limited sweatshirts and jerseys would be sent to the charity organization called Mamba and the Mambacita Sports Foundation, created by the family of the basketball player after his death. The designer’s first contribution of $20,000 was made the day before the show.

A few reactions to the German designer presentation are displayed below:

The name of the German designer and brand’s founder is associated with scandals and provocations. The designer more than once got into trouble with clients, colleagues and the press. Despite the fact that Plein studied law and knew the basics of legal affairs, this fact did not save him from breaking the rules.

The first example is ridiculously paradoxical. Malik Yousef, a rapper, pretended to be a representative of Kanye West and signed a contract with the Philipp Plein’s brand on his behalf. Under the agreement, Mr. West was obliged to perform three songs with the orchestra, attend Philipp Plein’s dinner and go on the catwalk. The brand paid fake Kanye $750 000. As a result, the rapper Malik Yousef responded that he signed the contract on his behalf. Kanye did not know anything about the deal and did not receive money. And Philipp Plein’s representatives replied that they fell for the bait of experienced scammers who were hiding behind the friendship with a famous rapper. It’s funny that the deal on this scale was concluded without the direct presence of Kanye West himself.

In 2016, Philipp received accusations from Dolce & Gabbana’s lawyers. The brand claimed that Philipp Plein International reached ten sales consultants from the boutiques in Milan and asked them to work in the PP’s fashion house. Plein responded that “in a free country everyone could choose independently where to work. And if employees are happy at their place of job, they don’t leave”.

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Just received a love letter from Dolce and Gabbana's lawyer accusing me and my people that we would steal their employees……. 1. This is a free country and everybody can choose by themselves who they want to work for !! 2. If people are happy at their job they don't think about leaving !!! 3. I really love and respect the brand dolce and gabbana , it was an inspiration for me and many others to start my business and to work in fashion !!!! @stefanogabbana @dolcegabbana It's is sad to say but everybody loves you until you become competition !!!! Since more than 15 years I work 24/7 on realizing my dream and building my company …. I respect everybody and I never received any support from this industry until today !!! I want to take this moment to apologize to absolutely "NOBODY" !!!!

A post shared by Philipp Plein (@philippplein) on

Philip Plein broke many hearts. After the break-up Morgan Osman, a model from Miami replied on social media that Philipp Plein’s clothes were sewn in Turkey for $20. Then they hang a “Made in Italy” tag and sell them for $800. Plein was forced to explain. He wished the former lover to cease using his name.

Morgan Osman, Philipp Plein's former girlfriend

Plagiarism happens frequently in fashion industry. Alexander Wang, an American designer accused PP of coping his ideas for the show, which was organized with the Swedish brand H&M in 2014. To prove his point of view, Wang posted a video on his official Instagram page comparing the Plein Sport 2017 show with Alexander Wang x H&M in 2014. Wang ironically signed the publication: “Can I copy your homework? Yeah, but just change it up a bit so it doesn’t look obvious you copied”. Philip did not leave a comment about the situation.

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🤔

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Nonexistent clothes

What is virtual clothing and why is it becoming popular?

Reading time 4 minutes

Imagine that you browse online stores in search of new clothes, and your eye involuntarily clings to a magnificent jacket. After a moment of thought, you decide to purchase it. But instead of ordering this jacket and getting it in your hands, you send one of your photos, and after a while you get it back. The only difference is that now you are depicted in a new jacket.

виртуальная одежда
The collection of virtual clothing by “Carlings”

This concept of digital clothing may seem strange, but it was based on games and applications. The users spend real money on their virtual character’s clothes and hairstyle. Thus, the profit of the game “Covet Fashion”, which allows players to try on designer clothes and accessories using digital visualization, amounted to $ 53.4 million for 2018.

The first collection of virtual clothing, which was released in November 2018 by “Carlings”, instantly gained popularity. “In real life”, says Kiki Person, a manager of Scandinavian company, “such designer clothes cost thousands of pounds and are worn only once —to be posted on social networks.”

виртуальная одежда
The collection of virtual clothing by “Carlings”

Digital clothing has received many positive reviews and has become a trend not only in Scandinavia. So, the influencer Daria Simonova was one of the first in the world to try on virtual trousers and a jacket. The girl noted that the concept was interesting and in line with modern trends.

“Firstly, it is eco-friendly, and secondly, clothing these days is more of an art on social networks. Virtual clothing is very convenient, and its design potential is huge, because it is cheaper to create.”

 Since 2018, digital clothing has spread throughout the world. In May 2019, a virtual dress was sold at a charity auction for £ 7,500. “In ten years, everyone will be wearing digital clothes”, says Mr. Ma, a buyer of this dress. “It’s definitely very expensive, but it’s a bit of an investment”, he added.

виртуальная одежда
The collection of virtual clothing by “Carlings”

There are also companies producing digital clothing in Russia. The “Грань” brand presented a collection that was advertised by Alyona Pole, a virtual model: “I experiment a lot with digital materials, because I believe that new fashion should be environmentally friendly and should not destroy the environment.”

 

 

“Ice 2” has broken

The fees of the new film with Alexander Petrov reached a billion rubles

Reading time 4 minutes

On February 14, Valentine’s Day, “Ice 2” was released in cinemas – a continuation of the melodramatic musical of 2018 with Alexander Petrov, Aglaia Tarasova and Maria Aronova in the lead roles. The film companies “Hydrogen” and Art Pictures Studio, which are part of the National Media Group, were engaged in the creation and promotion of the film. And now we can say that they have done a very high-quality work to promote the picture: after 10 days, it has already submitted a billion rubles to the box office. Thus, “Ice 2” was included in the list of 14 Russian films that achieved such success at the box office. Earlier, more than a billion rubles were collected by the first part of “Ice”, as well as the films “Serf”, “Stalingrad”, “Crew”, “Irony of Fate. Continuation ”,“ Viking”,“ Fir-trees 3 ”,“ Wii 3D ”,“ Attraction ”,“ Last hero ”,“ Policeman from Rublevka. New Year’s lawlessness ”,“ Upward Movement ”and“ T-34 ”. In addition, “Ice 2” set a record for fees on the first day – 193 million rubles, leaving behind the “T-34” with an indicator of 114 million rubles. However, for the first weekend, the military action figure still collected more than the sequel of “Ice”: 713 million rubles against 610 million rubles. The novelty set its first record even before the release in theaters. Preliminary ticket sales amounted to about 72 million rubles. For comparison, with the first part, this indicator amounted to approximately 18 million rubles, and with the “Serf” it increased to only 9 million rubles.

Премьера "Лед 2
Premiere of “Ice 2”

There are several reasons for such success. First of all, the first “Ice”, which collected more than 1.5 billion rubles at the box office, made the continuation only a matter of time. First of all, Alexander Petrov is at the peak of popularity. “T-34”, “Text”, “Attraction”, “Invasion”, “Ice”, “Gogol” and the series “Call DiCaprio!” – this is an incomplete list of hits of the last 3 years, where Petrov has always been in the foreground . It is worth noting the change of director: instead of Oleg Trofim, who shot the first part, the sequel was led by Zhora Kryzhovnikov, the author of such box-office successful films as “Gorky!”, “Gorky! 2 ” and ” The Best Day. ” And it was him who created “Call DiCaprio!”. Simply put, the film looked very stellar by Russian standards. Finally, the producers of the film managed to start the premiere on Valentine’s Day – the best day of the year for melodramas and romantic comedies in movie theaters. In the next 3 weeks, we have holidays dedicated to Defender of the Fatherland Day and International Women’s Day. At this time, more and more people go to cinemas, especially with their family and with loved ones (“Ice 2” age rating is 6+).

Аглая Тарасова и Александр Петров в фильме "Лед 2"
Aglaia Tarasova and Alexander Petrov in the film “Ice 2”

May the Cancel be with you

Star Wars video game projects are being canceled more and more often - what is the reason?

Reading time 5 minutes

On February 23, the world most famous virtual gaming platform Kotaku reported that Electronic Arts gaming company had canceled the development of its Star Wars game. It was engaged in EA Vancouver. This was posted on Twitter by Jason Schreyer, an editor-in-chief of the portal, one of the main insiders in the field. The Vancouver branch of EA was developing the single-player open-world video game Orca. It was based on a failed project of Visceral Games studio under the working title “Ragtag”. In 2017, Visceral Games was closed for unknown reasons. In the same year, according to information received from Schreyer, Orca was also shut down. After that, EA Vancouver took up another Star Wars game, Viking, but it was also canceled.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - единственная успешная игра по вселенной "Звездных войн" за последние годы
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the only successful Star Wars game in recent years.

There is some good news. Schreyer said that Respawn Entertainment’s development studio has received permission to produce the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order sequel. It was released on November 15, 2019. Its average rating on the Metacritic aggregator is 8.1 out of 10, the result is well above the average. Financially, the novelty also became successful: by the end of January 2020, more than 8 million copies of the game were sold, what is 2 times higher than expectations of EA CFOs.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 - крупнейший провал EA
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 – EA’s biggest failure

But the success of Respawn Entertainment is rather a pleasant exception to the currently generally negative video game situation in the George Lucas universe. In 2013, EA entered into a ten-year agreement for the exclusive Star Wars games publisher with its owner, Disney Corporation. Since that time, there have been as many canceled games as there are three released. And if the “Fallen Order” really gained popularity, then both parts of the multiplayer “Star Wars: Battlefront” were adopted very ambiguously. This is especially true considering the second one, which was released in 2017. The problem was not the gameplay but the greed of Electronic Arts. All progress was built on lootboxes – virtual cases, after “opening” them the player received items of random quantity and quality. These cases could be bought either for game currency or for real money, but if you did not want to pay from your pocket, the player had to earn this currency for many hours. Simply put, gamers were outraged by such a “segregation of rich and poor.” In addition, there was a problem in the element of randomness: an unnecessary thing could fall out of the lootbox, or it could be the most unique one, which gives a great advantage over other players.

EA не очень любят
Gamers don’t like EA

As a result, EA gained a bad reputation in the gaming community. Players do not like the company because of excessive greed, and developers do not like it because of the production hell that many of its projects has fallen into. Visceral Games is one of the three examples when a large studio under the supervision of EA was closed. In addition, BioWare Montreal and Headgate Studios were also affected by the corporation.