Update: A Netflix spokesperson sent over this statement after we published the story below. “Our members value the variability and quality of our content. It’s why we’ve continually expanded our offering – from series to documentaries, film, local language originals, and reality TV. Members also enjoy engaging more directly with stories they love – through interactive shows like Bandersnatch and You v. Wild, or games supported by Stranger Things, La Casa de Papel, and to all or any the Boys. So we’re excited to try to do more with interactive entertainment.”
The Information has reported that “Netflix is looking to rent an executive to oversee an expansion into videogames, a symbol it’s stepping up its efforts to grow beyond traditional filmed entertainment, consistent with people conversant in things .” (The report is stuck behind quite high paywall, just to warn you, though Reuters has condensed it.)
There’s no official job listing for this role (at least, not that we’ve spotted), but the report’s authors claim that various gaming industry execs are approached a few potential role at the corporate .
It won’t be the primary raid games from Netflix, with crossovers found within the Stranger Things computer game , or maybe the amount of choose-your-own-adventure flicks on the platform, like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, or maybe the finale of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
But it does sound like Netflix may have even bigger things future.
If the report is true, it shows a somewhat different stance from Netflix, which seemed to keep a respectful distance from game development for the foremost part, being content to adapt hit game franchises into flagship series just like the Witcher, or titles supported Tomb Raider or maybe Resident Evil.
CEO Reed Hastings has acknowledged the draw of massive games like Fortnite, acknowledging that the battle royale shooter may be a bigger competitor for users’ time than any of the opposite big TV streaming services: “We compete with (and lose to) Fornite quite HBO.”
Back in 2019, though, Hastings spoke at the ny Times’ Dealbook conference, and made it clear that, despite increased interest in game streaming by many major players within the tech and entertainment worlds (Google Stadia, Project xCloud) Netflix wasn’t planning on getting into on the action.
“We’re really focused on doing incredible series and films and unscripted,” Hastings said, shutting down the thought of Netflix fixing a standalone platform only for streaming games.
We don’t know needless to say whether Netflix would be looking to publish its own games supported existing Netflix IP, or offer something of a platform for third-party titles. The report does state that “One option the corporate has discussed is offering a bundle of games” during a similar vein to Apple Arcade. Apparently, the games won’t feature advertising, the report says.
Netflix is that the master of the casual binge, and that we don’t expect to ascertain it releasing long-haul open-world games, as such. More plausible are downloadable games, within the same way Netflix subscribers can download episodes for offline viewing, but we’d be surprised if game streaming wasn’t an enormous a part of Netflix’s strategy going forward – streaming being the technology that Netflix is made on, after all.
One issue Netflix has been mindful of is that the quality of users’ internet connections – it offers a low-resolution basic plan that lets viewers watch its content without having a high-speed fibre optic connection, while more recently we have seen Netflix offer mobile-only streaming plans to make sure that subscribers can gain easy (and cheap) access to low-resolution content on alittle screen.
Gaming will only be more demanding on home internet, though rising connection speeds and external server hosting for game streams (as with Google Stadia) may offer an answer here.
A big part of Netflix’s streaming strategy over the past few years has been in producing its own content – ensuring it doesn’t need to pay as many licensing fees to other studios, and may rely increasingly on Netflix-made content.
If Netflix is looking to delve more into gaming, then, it’d be that we see it create its own in-house studio, though the failure of other players during this area should possibly provides it pause.
Amazon has famously spent years failing to urge its gaming division so as , with multiple cancelled projects including team shooter Crucible (which only got as far as Early Access) and a highly problematic / colonial MMO called New World.
Gaming could also be where the cash is, but Netflix would have best to defer to some established developers if it’s looking to bring gaming to its home screen.