Updated: Jan 7
Netflix saw its sharpest decline in 8 years this year. Between vaccinations, allowing people to head outside and the tidal wave of new streaming services the potential of new subscribers has slowed. Seeing this, Netflix has decided to take a stab at the gaming market. With the ability to stream video games seamlessly slowly becoming easier to do with the advent of 5G and faster internet services, Netflix will join Google, Amazon, and Xbox in the move to this new service.
This isn’t the first time Netflix has dipped its toe into the world of gaming. 2019’s Bandersnatch “interactive movie” was an effort to adapt gaming’s choose your own adventure stories into a movie. While “Stranger Things” Seasons 2 and 3 both received “old school” 16-bit games harkening back to the ’80s in which the show takes place. While neither of these saw too much success, they were smaller projects. Most likely testing the waters of the gaming market.
Netflix says its gaming service will be free to all subscribers and will feature no extra monetization (ads, in-app purchases). Its first foray into gaming will be focused on mobile phones first, with further development based on the success seen. Given Netflix’s ability to produce high-budget, quality movies, and shows, it will be interesting to see if they can transfer that into the gaming market. Given how the game market can be easily oversaturated and bloated, Netflix will have to dive in with a good idea or a famous IP to give players a reason to play.