Netflix’s Love Is Blind Live Failure Had Big Game Launch Energy

On April 16, Netflix viewers looking to enjoy the Love Is Blind live reunion special had to endure what so many live-service gamers have gone through before: Upon logging in at the promised kick-off time of 5 p.m. PT, would-be viewers were greeted not by the special but a perpetual “It’s almost time!” screen. The coming-soon screen lingered long past the show’s purported start time, prompting fans to turn to Twitter to air their grievances and wonder WTF was going on.

The Love Is Blind livestream failure had whiffs of Overwatch 2’s unplayability at launch due to a DDOS attack and Diablo IV’s lengthy queue times, reminding gamers who also love reality TV that sometimes, the things we love are unwatchable and unplayable precisely when we want to love them most.

Read More: Veteran Halo, Destiny Director Joins Netflix Games

Love Is Blind is a Netflix original reality series in which contestants who are lacking in the love department date people through an opaque wall in an attempt to prove that love is, indeed, blind. If they fall in love during this wildly heteronormative process (it’s only ever straight couples), the man can propose to the woman, after which their worldly visages are revealed to each other. They then immediately go on vacation together, where they meet the other people they were dating face-to-face who ended up with different cast members, before moving into an apartment with their fiances, and eventually walking down the aisle.

The show is wildly popular on social media mainly because a fair few of the contestants on each season prove to be absolute menaces to society, and season 4 was no exception. The decision to livestream the finale marked the second time Netflix has ever done a live broadcast, the first being Chris Rock’s March 4 stand-up special.

Netflix’s Love Is Blind live reunion failure explained

At first, when the livestream clearly wasn’t working, the official Netflix Twitter account apologized to those who were keen on watching the drama kick off in real time and promised the stream would be up soon, suggesting that the cast of Love Is Blind season 4 and the show’s hosts (Nick and Vanessa Lachey) were sitting on the reunion set, fully done up, just waiting.

Netflix knew fans wanted to see cast member Irina Solomonova held accountable for what many believed was atrocious behavior throughout the season (she was dubbed a “mean girl” by viewers and apologized for how she treated her fellow cast members), sharing a picture of her and promising that the reunion would be “worth the wait.”

As more and more time passed, however, social media started getting all kinds of spicy. The official Blockbuster account (remember, the in-person video rental store that was the sole source of entertainment for Xers and millennials across the U.S. before streaming services destroyed physical media) reminded Twitter that when “renting VHS’ from us. You could start it on time no problem…” Redbox, the company that sort of transitioned us from Blockbuster’s death to the boom of streaming services (you could rent movies from what was basically a vending machine in 7-11 parking lots), replied to Blockbuster with “solidarity, bro.”

President and co-founder of game studio Young Horses (the folks behind Bugsnax) likened the Love Is Blind letdown to the experience of MMO and live-service game players.

Sportscaster Stephen A. Smith managed to drag Netflix while poking fun at himself, too, quote-tweeting himself from 2015 when he tried to share an image but accidentally only sent the image file name, adding, “Netflix servers right now.”

Bravo, the channel best known for the Real Housewives franchise, Andy Cohen, and being the epicenter of the #Scandoval that’s currently rocking the reality TV universe, threw some shade at Netflix, too, tweeting “we would never keep you waiting for a reunion.” That’s good to know, because if the Vanderpump Rules’ reunion doesn’t air on time, I will riot.

Some frustrated fans pointed out that Netflix has continuously raised prices and cracked down on password sharing, just to be incapable of doing what cable TV has done for the last 60-odd years.

Eventually, the streaming service had to tell fans that the Love Is Blind reunion wouldn’t be globally available until April 17 at 12 p.m. PT. The incident’s made for another hilarious example of Netflix fucking up while still raking in millions: from canceling beloved shows, to firing a chunk of its editorial team, to bizarrely branching off into games that no one knows how to play.

Anyway, here’s hoping that in the inevitable future world where every major TV show has its own streaming service and they each cost $10 a month and run ads every 15 minutes and only let you watch them on one device, they’ll be able to figure out how to do a live broadcast.

Pulling Call of Duty From Steam Was A ‘Failure’

In a new filing from Microsoft detailing the company’s post-trial “findings” and “conclusions” after its recent victory in court against the Federal Trade Commission the Xbox maker revealed that Call of Duty leaving Steam was part of an Activision plan to grow Battle.net. But according to the docs this controversial move was a “resounding failure.”

In 2018, Activision announced that the PC version of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 would skip Steam and launch exclusively on Blizzard’s Battle.net service. And for about five years, Activision stuck to this plan, even though it frustrated fans. Then in 2022, Activision reversed course and released Call of Duty Modern Warfare II on Steam. Did it do so because it cared so much about the fans and wanted to do something nice? Nah, it turns out the publisher’s plans to grow Battle.net using Call of Duty flopped, and Activision just gave up after a few years of trying.

The information comes from a July 13 court filing from Microsoft that is part of its ongoing legal battle against the FTC as the government entity tries to stop Microsoft from moving ahead with its plans to buy up Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. In the new doc, Microsoft’s legal team uses two examples to show that a “platform” (which includes consoles, digital stores, and streaming game services) doesn’t need Call of Duty to succeed and that “having access” to the popular FPS series doesn’t guarantee success.

Call of Duty leaving Steam didn’t help anyone

Microsoft characterizes Activision’s 2018 decision to make CoD a Battle.net exclusive on PC as a “resounding failure.” The new filing explains that the reasoning behind the controversial move was to “attract users to, and grow,” Activision Blizzard’s own PC game store and launcher, Battle.net. However, this didn’t work, and Battle.net’s monthly active users remained “relatively flat during the period when it had exclusive access” to Call of Duty. Steam’s monthly active user count only grew larger and larger during that same time period, expanding from 67 million users in 2017 to 132 million in 2021.

The point Microsoft’s legal team is trying to make is that Call of Duty isn’t needed to be successful, and even if a platform has it, it doesn’t mean that platform will see a huge increase in customers. So, according to Microsoft, even if it made Call of Duty an Xbox exclusive, which it continues to say it won’t, it wouldn’t matter because there already exist platforms that have succeeded without CoD. 

A screenshot of the Microsoft court filing.

Screenshot: Kotaku

In that same section of the doc, Xbox’s lawyers point to the Switch as another example of how a platform can succeed despite not having access to Call of Duty. Microsoft’s legal team also suggests that if Activision content became exclusive to Xbox, PlayStation maker Sony could respond in various ways, including lowering prices or buying more third-party studios and publishers.

While all of this might be true, it does ignore the fact that even when CoD was exclusive to Battle.net, it was still available to anyone who owned a PC. That wouldn’t be the case for PlayStation owners if the shooter series became an Xbox exclusive.

If you’re tired of all the legal drama and court docs, I’ve got some sad news: It ain’t over quite yet. On Thursday, the FTC appealed the court’s decision from earlier this week that allowed Microsoft and Activision to proceed with the merger. And meanwhile, the Xbox maker still has to deal with the UK’s CMA, which has yet to approve the deal. This ain’t over yet.

.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Looks Blog by Crimson Themes.