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The next fantasy cycle is beginning

During the last decade, the major studios wrapped up several big fantasy flagship series. In 2019, Avengers Endgame concluded the third phase of the Marvel Universe, Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker marked the end of the last trilogy, and season 8 of Game of Thrones meant the (preliminary) end of Westeros. Then it became quiet, complicated further when cinemas closed and productions halted. Behind the scenes, however, the major studios are preparing a new cycle of high-budget fantasy adaptations. Some are occurring in already familiar story worlds that will remain attractive to aging generations, such as a Lord of the Rings prequel series on Prime, and HBOMax’s Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon. For the younger generations, however, Hollywood is beginning to embrace gaming IP with adaptations of Halo (2022) and The Last of Us (2022). In the next fantasy cycle, gaming IP might even become one of the most important sources of fantasy adaptations and will strongly influence the outcome of the streaming wars and box office performance in the next decade.

Broaden your horizon?

In this section we share content that may be of interest to you:

  • The Medical Futurist outlines how continuing shortages in medical personal will ultimately result in further penetration of digital technology in healthcare as the only solution to solve part of the shortage. In the end, talking to a doctor might become a luxury.
  • This article examines how fintech firms, global policy initiatives and microfinance ensure that the most remote and vulnerable can access financial services to improve their economic wellbeing.
  • Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, DoorDash, Grubhub and many other as-a-service companies have been hiking their prices. The average Uber and Lyft ride now costs 40% more than a year ago. An Airbnb rental increased by 35% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to Q1 2020. Part of the price hike is a result of increased demand, the other part is a result of companies needing to turn a profit in order to keep their investors happy after a year of pandemic-related losses.

Rewriting antitrust for the digital age

In the U.S., a bipartisan group of House lawmakers presented five antitrust bills last month. If passed, big tech companies would have to significantly transform their businesses – or even break up – to conform to the new laws. Last December, the European Commission already unveiled two new acts (The Digital Markets Act and The Digital Services Act) with a similar aim to curb big tech’s market power. Meanwhile, a slew of regulators – from the E.C. to several national authorities – are investigating big tech’s dominance. Google’s ad tech business, Amazon’s Prime program, Facebook’s collection of ad data, Apple Pay, app stores, all aspects of the big tech behemoths are reviewed. Aside from the question if it would not be easier to consolidate all these enquiries, it also challenges our view on antitrust. The existing rulebooks were written prior to the emergence of data-driven businesses. Regulators should thus reconsider how to rewrite the rules without hurting free speech and innovation in the years to come.