A new report suggests Netflix is trying to break into the video game industry, something many companies have failed to do in the recent past.
A full-fledged gaming division may be forming at Netflix after reports surfaced of the streaming service meeting with game industry executives. Streaming services like Netflix and HBO Max have seen a massive jump thanks to the ongoing pandemic. However, it’s worth noting that Google Stadia was supposed to be gaming’s Netflix with its cloud-based gaming infrastructure, but Google took a big step away from the game streaming platform when it closed all of its internal development studios.
Where Google is failing, Microsoft and Amazon hope to succeed, as each company has its own cloud gaming service. Microsoft’s xCloud allows Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers to stream over 100 games on PC and mobile devices. Meanwhile, Amazon’s Stadia equivalent Luna has a channel subscription system that lets players subscribe to a specific developer. The subscription gives access to all released or published games by the developer and any new releases on day one. However, Amazon has had bad luck comparable to Google’s on the development front, having canceled its Lord of the Rings MMO and Crucible since Amazon Game Studios’ formation.
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As stated by The Information (paywall) and summarized by Game World Observer, Netflix is reportedly in the process of creating a dedicated gaming division. Sources told The Information that Netflix has met with veteran game executives about joining the company in recent weeks. While this news is still yet to be confirmed, many are not surprised the company is looking at entering the gaming market. Apparently, Netflix is contemplating releasing a “bundle of games similar to Apple’s online subscription offering, Apple Arcade,” and the streaming giant is also reportedly deciding whether or not games on its service will be ad-free.
This isn’t Netflix’s first time interacting with the games industry, which lends the idea a bit more credibilty. The company previously licensed Stranger Things: The Game and has produced several interactive, gamified TV shows on its service, as well as the risky but fascinating Black Mirror: Bandersnatch interactive film.
If Netflix is looking to break into the gaming scene, then a Stadia situation could very well happen again. Amazon is learning its gaming lesson right now with Amazon Game Studios. Amazon has already canceled one game, shelved another after placing it back in beta, but still hopes to find success with its New World MMO. Netflix should learn from its competitors and figure out why some of the world’s biggest tech companies have failed thus far, while Microsoft – with its massive, dedicated gaming arm – continues to thrive in the same space.
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