Streaming media giant Netflix will soon add mobile games to its subscription. This will be their biggest expansion to new types of entertainment since they started streaming in 2007.
The news came when the company was discussing its second-quarter earnings report. The report shows that the surge in users from 2020 has slowed. Netflix’s subscribers in the United States and Canada are also decreasing. But despite this, compared with 2020, profits have increased by 19%.
The leap into games will be a multi-year expansion. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings spoke about the reasoning for getting into games. He stated that the company wants to be a more important part of people’s lives by expanding the subscription service.
Greg Peters, Netflix’s Chief Product Officer, said their first focus will be mobile games. After that, the plan is to expand to consoles and TV sets. The games will be tied to Netflix’s most popular content at first, before potentially moving to original titles. The opposite is also an option according to Peters, as there may be a TV series or movie inspired by the games.
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Competing for Subscribers
While one might argue that platforms such as HBO or Hulu are Netflix’s main competitors, they would be wrong. Netflix revealed that games like Fortnite are their biggest competition, taking valuable screen time.
While competing for that screen time, Netflix could look into expanding further. That would mean expanding to podcasts, blogs, and even live streaming. The latter could even be connected to the foray into video games, as live streaming games is incredibly popular at the moment.
The main competitor there would be Amazon. Not only with Amazon Prime Video but with their streaming platform Twitch. According to Twitch Tracker, the website averages almost 2.8 million viewers per day. Along with that, Nielsen SuperData reports that Twitch had $2 billion in revenue for 2020. Netflix could be looking to take a slice of that pie as it continues to expand its content.
Building on the Interactive Experience
Netflix’s first foray into the gaming world was the interactive special Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. From there, they published many Stranger Things games but they were never featured on the actual streaming platform. This move would see them combining the two.
Netflix has also been actively recruiting for expansion into gaming. They brought in former Facebook VR Content Head Mike Verdu to serve as Vice President of Game Development.
Netflix’s VP of Original Content Cindy Holland is also serving as an advisor to MILE creator Genvid. There is a possibility that the two companies could work together on further interactive content.
There is still no word on what type of games Netflix will be offering as it is still quite early. But the move could help Netflix retain its spot as the top subscription service.