Netflix is the world’s most popular streaming service because it was the first company to achieve such an incredible scale. For a monthly fee, users get access to plenty of original Netflix content as well as TV shows and movies that Netflix licenses from other studios. This simple home entertainment recipe was the obvious replacement for movie rentals that involved physical disks or tapes. The instant access to content made Netflix streaming so popular and that’s why everyone else in the business launched their streaming services to rival Netflix.
Before long, gaming companies attempted to launch subscription services similar to Netflix’s model, but for gaming. These game streaming services were often called “Netflix for games,” with various companies attempting to become the dominant game, streaming provider. Unsurprisingly, it turns out that Netflix might want to be a “Netflix of games” as well, and the new service could be Netflix’s biggest launch in more than a decade since it first entered the streaming market.
A report from The Information said a few days ago that Netflix has been talking to game industry executives about joining the company in recent weeks. Netflix has already created games based on Netflix shows in partnership with third-party gaming studios, but the streamer is reportedly looking to boost its gaming investments. Netflix is supposedly considering the launch of a bundled service similar to Apple’s online gaming subscription Apple Arcade, which costs $4.99 per month.
Netflix hasn’t exactly confirmed its interest in offering gaming products, but it told Polygon that it’s “excited” to do more with interactive gaming:
Our members value the variety 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 based on Stranger Things, La Casa de Papel, and To All the Boys. So we’re excited to do more with interactive entertainment.
Interactive content refers to TV shows and movies that adopt a Choose Your Adventure style, where viewers can pick what happens next — Bandersnatch was Netflix’s first interactive show.
As IGN points out, Netflix already hosts plenty of gaming-based content, including the Dota, Castlevania, and wildly popular series The Witcher. It’s also making other TV shows based on games, including Magic: The Gathering and League of Legends. Also, Stranger Things and Stranger Things 3: The Game are already available to users on other platforms.
But these gaming-related initiatives aren’t game-streaming products, as Netflix is hardly scratching the surface in this space. It’ll need a lot more than that to entice gamers and convince them to pay a monthly fee for access to a collection of games or a bundle that will offer both gaming and TV content. Then again, Netflix’s current service can only grow so much, and expanding into gaming seems like the logical move for the future.