Netflix (opens in new tab) has confirmed it plans to move into gaming with its first port of call being mobile gaming. The move has been anticipated for a long while now but during its Q2 2021 earnings report, Netflix revealed some key details.
Stating that "we view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV," the company cited its past gaming efforts in the form of Black Mirror's Bandersnatch, and its Stranger Things games. The thinking is that subscribers will gain access to its games "at no additional cost similar to films and series" which should entice a fair few more people into the world of gaming.
As it stands, Netflix is one of the best movie streaming sites (opens in new tab) out there with a huge variety of both original and classic films available. Clearly, the company is keen to expand into gaming in a similar way. In the earnings report, the streaming giant explained that "since we are nearly a decade into our push into original programming, we think the time is right to learn more about how our members value games," so basically this is the natural next step.
In an accompanying interview video, Netflix COO and CPO Greg Peters explained that the focus is on "mobile devices" with the plan being a "multi-year effort that we're going to start relatively small". What does that mean for you? Maybe keep on top of the best smartphones (opens in new tab) out there so your phone is ready for the experience although, presumably, much of the content will be transmitted via the cloud so the priority for you might be a good screen rather than needing high-end hardware to run any of Netflix's games.
Peters went on to explain that the focus is on its original IPs so we're guessing there may be some crossover between the games and shows you partake in but no specific franchises have been named. The likes of the Fear Street series of movies certainly seem like the kind of thing that could be made into a game or two, for instance.
Whatever the plan, Netflix won't be taking advantage of ads or in-game purchases or other forms of monetization with Peters keen to stress that their subscription model means this just isn't necessary.
For now, mobile is the focus for Netflix but there are suggestions that its games could come to other devices. We're not sure if the best video game consoles (opens in new tab) need a gaming presence from Netflix but it could be a viable option further down the line. As Peters puts it, the plan is to "try a bunch of different games through a variety of different mechanisms to see what's really working for our members," so expect to see some experimentation from the company over the coming months and, possibly, years while it figures out if gaming is truly for it or not.