After months of reports and speculation, the OTT giant has finally announced that the company is working towards expanding in the gaming sector starting with ad-free games for mobile devices like phones and tablets that it’ll offer on its existing subscriptions at no additional cost.
In the quarterly letter to shareholders shared by the American video-streaming company announced that it is currently in the “early stages” of expanding into games. The COO and chief product officer Greg Peters said that gaming is a “core part of our subscription offering”.
The company said that it will start with mobile games as most of its members have phones, and the other benefit of the platform is the number of developers.
The games will draw off from the company’s already existing film and TV properties, as well as it will also license games from elsewhere to build out its catalogue, just as it does on the entertainment front.
Peters said that Netflix will also greenlight standalone games, which could one day turn into a Netflix original movie or series.
The only experience Netflix its game has in gaming is the ‘Stranger Things’ game which was first launched on iOS and Android in 2017 and ‘Stranger Things 3’ which was available on consoles like the PS4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch. Along with these Netflix also has experience in interactive TV like ‘Black Mirror Bandersnatch’, ‘Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal’, ‘You vs. Wild’ and ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend’.
As of now, there are no details on what types of games will actually be available and also there’s also no word on how games will be delivered to Netflix subscribers.
Initial reports suggested that the service would be similar to Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud or Google’s Stadia where the game runs on a remote server and video is streamed to the player. Although Netflix has got the streaming portion already covered, it doesn’t really possess the game-optimized servers.
Netflix could also go with the subscription service like the one Apple provides with its Apple Arcade where the user has to download the game separately on the phone but the subscription gives access to paid games.
On the question of why is Netflix foraying into games, Peter said they want the customers to engage further as games allow fans to fashion their own journey. Peters added: “We are in the business of making these amazing worlds and great storylines and incredible characters. And we know the fans of those stories want to go deeper.”