Netflix is entering the game field, this is true. In a quarterly letter to shareholders, the video streaming service company announced that it is currently in the “early stages” of expanding into the gaming sector. On the earnings call, Netflix founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings stated that they are “pushing” it, while COO and Chief Product Officer Greg Peters said that gaming is “a core part of our subscription service “. Netflix will start with mobile games—because most of its members have mobile phones and there are many developers on the platform—it will use its existing movie and TV assets, but it will also obtain game licenses from other places. Create its catalog, just like it does in terms of entertainment. Peters said that Netflix will also give the green light to independent games, which may one day become Netflix’s original movies or series.
Hastings has repeatedly pointed out that the battle royale game Fortnite is one of Netflix’s competitors-alongside YouTube, TikTok and…sleep. Well, Netflix is now trying to come to lunch at Fortnite, although unlike many mobile games, Netflix games don’t seem to be free. They will be provided for free as part of the Netflix subscription. Think of it as a bunch of kinds of things, competing with Apple One (in addition to more Apple services, it also offers products like Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade) and more mainline game subscription services (such as Xbox Game Pass), Google Play Pass, EA Play and PlayStation Now, etc.
But Peters is not worried about locking the game in a subscription model. In fact, he believes—just like other game subscription service providers do—it allows Netflix to focus on “game experiences that are currently under mainstream monetization models and game services”. We don’t have to think about advertising. We don’t have to think about in-game purchases or other monetization. We don’t have to think about buying by title. Peters pointed out that Netflix has had conversations with many developers who are “investing all of their creativity into great gameplay, rather than worrying about other factors.” “
Another important reason for Netflix to enter the game field is participation. Although movies and TV shows provide a linear inclusive experience, games allow fans to shape their journey. Peters added: “We are committed to making these amazing worlds, wonderful storylines, and incredible characters. We know that fans of these stories want to go deeper. They want to get involved. They actually want to be a little bit more involved. Guide their energy where to go. The great thing about interaction is that, first of all, you can provide the universe and provide a lot of time for people to participate and explore. They can also provide a little intentionality. Where do they want to explore? What characters? What are the world’s Where? What part of the timeline? I think we can do a lot of exciting things in this area.”
Now, this is not the first time Netflix has set foot in the game field. It has previously worked with developers to develop several Stranger Things games-and provides a series of interactive games on its platform, such as Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, You vs. Wild and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend, in addition to Children’s slate. But Peters pointed out that this expansion into the game field is a multi-year effort for Netflix, and why it started with mobile games on a relatively small scale. However, it will not stop there. Peters said that although mobile is currently the main focus of Netflix games, it will eventually bring them to all devices, including TVs, smart devices, and-well-game consoles.