×

Machinima Goes Netflix Route, Offers Up Full Season of ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy II’

Web series will determine whether YouTube players will embrace binge-viewing as distribution model

Netflix may have created a binge-viewing monster.

Beginning Thursday, Machinima has offered up all 10 episodes in the second season of Web series “Mortal Kombat: Legacy,” embracing the way streaming services like Netflix have rolled out episodes of its own series, such as “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black.” Binge viewing is said to have helped AMC’s “Breaking Bad” boost viewership on Netflix and VOD, and online networks like Machinima hope the same will happen for their own shows.

The first season of “Mortal Kombat: Legacy,” produced by Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, was offered up as weekly installments. WB did the same for online series like Bryan Singer’s “H+” and McG’s “Aim High,” while Microsoft took the weekly approach for “Halo: Forward Unto Dawn,” leading up to the launch of “Halo 4.”

With Netflix essentially changing viewing habits for streamed content on everything from TVs to smartphones, the success of the “Mortal Kombat” strategy could well help determine whether upcoming series from Amazon, Microsoft and other content producers take the same roll-it-out-at-once approach.

“Our audience isn’t shy,” says Machinima chairman-CEO Allen DeBevoise of the mostly younger male demo that turns to the site for entertainment. “They tell us what content they want and how they want to watch and interact with it. This is why we decided to deliver all of ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy II’ at once. There is no need to wait to see what happens next. They can enjoy everything back to back. With companies like Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, and HBO Go as destinations where consumers can watch multiple episodes consecutively, binge-viewing is a major movement in online video. We’re a part of this movement, and we expect this to make for an amazing and extremely engaging user experience.”

Naturally, Machinima hopes that having viewers spend more time on its site will attract more advertisers.

Machinima, however, isn’t the only one switching to the new binge-viewing approach.

Earlier this month, Yahoo tapped into binge-viewing behavior with the bow of eight shortform comedy series. Shows include “Ghost Ghirls,” from Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite and Shine America; “Tiny Commando,” from Ed Helms and Jacob Fleisher; and “Losing It With John Stamos.”

The first season of “Mortal Kombat,” a live-action series based on Midway’s popular fighting game, was watched by 70 million after its release in 2011, making it one of the most watched Web series, and Machinima hopes binge viewing will elevate the viewership for season two.

Kevin Tancharoen returns as director and co-writer of “Mortal Kombat: Legacy II” alongside scribes Josh Baizer and Marshall Johnson (“Dead Loss”).

The cast includes Harry Shum Jr. (“Glee”) as the warlord adviser Kuai Liang; Casper Van Dien (“Starship Troopers”) as Johnny Cage; Brian Tee (“The Wolverine”) as Liu Kang; Mark Dacascos (“Cradle 2 the Grave “) as Kung Lao; Ian Anthony Dale (“Hawaii Five-O”) as ninja Scorpion; and Cary Tagawa as sorcerer Shang Tsung.

Lance Sloane (“Act of Valor”) and Tancharoen produced the series.

SEE ALSO: ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy’ Web Series Scores for Machinima, WB

The first “Mortal Kombat” game was released in 1992. The franchise has sold more than 35 million copies and spun off two films, TV shows, toys and comicbooks. A 2011 game, created by Ed Boon and NetherRealm Studios, rebooted the franchise and sold more than 5 million copies.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • T.J. Dillashaw, right, kicks Cody Garbrandt

    Disney Plans UFC Broadcast for FX

    UFC matches will return to FX  – but not on a permanent basis. ESPN has been showing preliminary bouts to UFC pay-per-view events for the last while on ESPN and ESPN2, and then showing the main card on its ESPN+ subscription video service. In September, the early lineup will air on FX, which the UFC [...]

  • fundo logo

    Google‘s Area 120 Is Testing Fundo, a Crowdfunding Service for Creators (EXCLUSIVE)

    Google’s skunkworks lab Area 120 has been quietly testing an events-centric crowdfunding service for YouTubers, Variety has learned. Called Fundo, the service allows creators to invite their fans to virtual meet & greet sessions and other paid online events. A Google spokesperson confirmed the testing in a statement provided to Variety: “One of the many [...]

  • Telling Lies - Logan Marshall-Green

    Sam Barlow's 'Telling Lies' Government-Surveillance Thriller Game Sets Release Date

    After more than two years in the works, “Telling Lies” — the investigative thriller from acclaimed game creator Sam Barlow — is ready to take the stage. The game, produced with and released by Annapurna Interactive, will be available next Friday, Aug. 23, via Steam and Apple’s Mac and iOS app stores. “Telling Lies” will [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Will Stop Letting Copyright Holders Seize Revenue via Manual Claims on Very Short Music Clips

    YouTube is pushing back against overzealous copyright policing by music companies. Starting in mid-September, the video giant will forbid copyright holders from making manual claims to commandeer revenue generated by YouTube videos that include very short music clips (e.g., five seconds of a song) or “unintentional” music (like music from passing cars). “One concerning trend [...]

  • Chelsea Handler memoir book buy online

    Chelsea Handler Bonds With Alexa in iHeartRadio Smart Speaker Promo

    iHeartRadio has teamed up with Amazon to promote Chelsea Handler’s podcast “Life Will Be The Death Of Me.” Beginning this Thursday, users of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker and other devices with Alexa built-in can opt to get their mornings started with Handler cracking jokes and exchanging banter with the smart assistant. Users simply have to [...]

  • David Messinger, Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Hires CAA Veteran David Messinger as CMO

    Activision Blizzard tapped David Messinger, a former 15-plus-year veteran of CAA, as its first corporate-wide chief marketing officer. Messinger, based in Santa Monica, reports to Coddy Johnson, Activision Blizzard’s president and COO. It’s the first time the video-game company has appointed a CMO who will oversee the global marketing operations across all of Activision Blizzard [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content