A world of opportunities
It might be surprising, but the COVID-19 crisis has
brought on many new opportunities in a variety of fields—whether it was
individuals looking for a better working wage and conditions, or businesses
eager to capitalize on the uncertainties of the last years, a lot has really
changed, some of it for the better. The crisis closed many doors in the world
of probability, but science and history show us that people will always adjust.
That is exactly what happened when the lockdowns were mandated in many
countries to slow down the spread of the virus. Doors opened, but only the most
savvy, adventurous, or desperate jumped right through them to capitalize on the
opportunity they provided. The most obvious cases were food delivery (UberEATS),
retail home delivery (Amazon), and home entertainment (Netflix and online
gaming). It also helped online casinos, as gamblers could not go to physical
establishments anymore. Anyone looking for the thrill of betting on sports had
to find a new hobby when all the sports leagues were temporarily shut down. There
is no doubt that online casinos did an amazing job at adapting to the crisis
and bringing online gaming to the next level in games, but also in terms of
security. We need only visit Casinos
Jungle to understand the vast array
of sites available to players today.
Moving from opportunity to
creating a sense of direction
The pandemic affected both individuals and businesses. In the aftermath,
there are two distinct expectations today about the world of tomorrow. And
within those two groups, there are different opinions, very often as distant
from one another as they have ever been before. We can divide individual users
into the camps of liberty fighters and the security faithful. And in the
industry, we find the old world (physical locations) vs the new world (a
virtual one). There's much more to be said than we have room for here, but
let's take a look at an example of what this means.
We have already seen the first fallout from the COVID-19 crisis in the entertainment
world. The major studios, before America and Europe were fully out of the
lockdown period, decided to release some of their biggest and most expensive
films directly to their online streaming platforms. Disney's Mulan was
the first such major release. This was the test case for the financial risk of
launching costly movies online instead of inside cinemas first.
And it worked! Then, Disney tried a mix of streaming platform and cinema
distribution with the movie Black Widow. And, although it displeased the
lead actresses and producer, Scarlett Johannson, it nevertheless did quite well.
The result signals what is likely to be a major shift in the movie industry. In
fact, HBO Max, part of the Warner Group, has clearly identified that it will
become policy to stream some of its biggest productions while they are still
playing in theatres. This is currently the case for the massively expensive
science-fiction drama Dune, and it will be the same for the new sequel
of The Matrix when it comes out in a few months.
A step towards a full virtual
Did the lockdown made us want to stay more enclosed in our own homes, or
is that simply where we were heading to anyway? We’ll probably never know the
answer to that question, but the result is an audience with changed habits and studios
looking to maximize their gain by understanding the new normal.
In terms of individual consumers, people are divided. Some want only to
get out and experience the world exactly as it was before. Others are thriving
in their closed-off worlds—they would rather leave their home as little as
possible if at all. The entertainment industry certainly understands this, and that's
why they are perfecting they hybrid model they've been forced to implement recently,
but probably should have been using for years.
For now, it is fair to say that more intimate in-person experiences like
concerts and live plays will go on. The rules may change for those attending,
but the demand is still too strong to move away from live experiences.
Gunning for as much change as possible, however, is Facebook, a company
that has capitalized like no other, excepting Amazon, at profiting from the
pandemic and the uncertainty and division it created. Mark Zuckerberg, founder
of Facebook, wants to control the change and run with it quicker than the movie
studios do. To make change happen, Facebook has just announced the
not-so-distant launch of its metaverse. It even changed the name of the firm
from Facebook to Meta. This metaverse’s objective is for people to live a
virtual life online. Although it is difficult to envision our world becoming
virtual in only a few years, it is also almost impossible for it to not happen
at some point. It will probably take longer than Facebook (or Meta) would like it
to, but all signs point to us enjoying our entertainment mostly from home, at
least for the foreseeable future.