Netflix confirmed that it would expand into video games before and during the company’s Tuesday earnings call, starting with ad-free games for mobile devices on its existing service. And the best thing about this new feature – it comes at no added cost to subscribers.
With this new feature, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix aims to extend its library of IPs and offer video games based on its cinematic or television content, as well as standalone games which could be spawned into movies or television series. This is Netflix’s biggest expansion into a new entertainment medium since it released its first original show in 2012, which comes at no further expense to the subscribers. As our previous report suggests, Netflix already hired a former Facebook and Electronic Arts executive to push things further, and we might expect to see video games on Netflix as soon as next year.
However, Netflix sketched out pretty broad ambitions for the game developing division of the company, indicating that it might ultimately pursue console games for PlayStation and Xbox, as well. It’s worth noting that the company’s app already ships out with all major consoles, so it’s only a matter of time when Netflix’s standalone AAA gaming titles become a thing on PlayStation, Xbox, or any other gaming hardware for that matter. But for the time being, the world’s largest streaming service focuses primarily on games for mobile devices.
Admittedly, offering video games based on its existing content without increasing the subscription fee is an exceptional way of promoting content and attracting more subscribers. And while it won’t make Netflix any richer in the short run, an increased number of subscribers attracted by a broader selection of entertainment mediums is certainly going to increase the company’s revenues in the long run. But that’s not the only benefit; adding video games to the platform propels Netflix further away from its direct competitors – none of which offer video games on their streaming services.
With everything said, Netflix isn’t alone in its gaming expansion. Amazon is investing heavily into its proprietary game streaming service, Luna, while Google puts its money on Stadia and Youtube, and Apple, which also produces original movies and series for its service, expanded into gaming with Apple Arcade. All these services differ from Netflix’s announced game streaming in one aspect – they’re all paid services offered as standalone products. Netflix’s unique approach makes the games part of its one and only monthly subscription fee.
In the end, Netflix is currently competing with Fortnite more than HBO in terms of subscribers, which could only fuel the company’s efforts to create exceptional gaming titles even further. Joining the world of video games, and perhaps even conquering it one day, reveals Netflix’s ultimate plan: to win time away from other activities and its competitors by providing an overall better experience with incredible on-demand content that isn’t plagued by annoying advertisements. And the best thing about it is that it’s all included in the existing subscription fee.