Today, Netflix executives explained how the largest video-streaming company in the world plans to expand into video gaming for its almost 210 million subscribers. While the process will eventually include titles for all game platforms, it will be incremental and begin with lower-cost mobile titles.
This is the most significant shift in the company’s content strategy since House of Cards was launchedthe initial of hundreds of its own shows. It has since grown to rely on licensed reruns from Hollywood studios for its content.
The company’s most recent shareholder newsletter states that gaming is a new content category. It is similar to our expansion into animated films, original films, and unscripted television. “We are as excited about our movies and TV series offerings and we expect a long runway for increasing investment and growth across all content categories. However, since we are almost a decade into our push to original programming, we feel it is time to learn more about the value of games.
With the recent hiring of Mike Verdu (a respected veteran in the game industry who has previously worked for Electronic Arts and Facebook), the company announced its game plan for gaming a few weeks ago.
Netflix executives gave more detail during today’s quarterly earnings call. They began by stating that the games would be a free addition and not a separate offering.
Reed Hastings, the company’s co-CEO, has stated that Netflix’s main competitors have been neither other streaming services nor legacy cable or broadcast TV. However, executives believe that Netflix will continue to grow with legacy audiences in the coming years.
It’s not the games that people play, but all of the entertainment they do, even for long hours. Hastings has cited Fortnite as an example of the hugely popular video games. Netflix, like Fortnite is focused on providing as much engagement (time spent on the platform) as possible.
Greg Peters, Chief Product Officer and COO of the company, stated that they see it as an extension to their core entertainment offerings. “We believe we have the opportunity to add more games and deliver greater entertainment value to our members by doing that.”
The company’s mobile gaming efforts are not the only ones. A touring virtual-reality experience, Viva Las Vengeance, Army of the Dead’ will be available in Los Angeles, New York, and two other cities next week. Plans to expand in 17 additional cities in the coming months.
The movie was one of Netflix’s most popular films of the quarter. It was viewed by 75 million households within its first four weeks. As it attempts to make the movie a series, the company is already planning a spinoff and prequel.
According to executives, the idea of expanding into the gaming business was heavily discussed internally over several years before the company decided to go ahead. This process had resulted in some of the company’s most successful expansions into new content categories.
Peters stated that the expansion of the gaming offerings will be similarly a multi-year endeavor. We’ll start small, grow and then increase our investment. We are excited to see the many ways that we can offer a product that is different from others.
What will this mean for existing game stores and services?
Peters first mentioned games that are built on the company’s intellectual property, just as it has done with previous licensed games based upon its long-running hit Stranger Things. __S.26__
Peters stated, “We have these incredible worlds and great people.” We know that people want to explore more. (Narrative). Universes offer a lot of time for people to engage and explore. We can do many exciting things in that space.
Mobile titles will be the company’s first focus. These games are typically more affordable than those for consoles, PCs or virtual reality devices and can usually be made quickly. Peters stated that even though there are hundreds of thousands of mobile titles on Apple’s App Store or Google’s Android Store there is still a chance for a title to stand out among the rest.
Peters stated that the subscription model allows Peters to concentrate on certain things that aren’t covered by current services. We don’t need to think about advertising (or other revenue-generating schemes). We can be focused on creating the best gaming experiences possible. Without having to compromise on other aspects, we can concentrate on great game play. It’s possible to do many things to make it unique.
The Netflix approach is reminiscent of Apple’s Arcade offering, which has been around for nearly two years. The Arcade subscription costs $4.99 per month and includes 180 ad-free titles. These titles can be played on all Apple devices including iPhones, iPads, Mac computers, and the latest Apple TV streaming devices. The $29.99 per-month One subscription bundle includes Arcade and Apple TV+.
Peters stated that the Netflix development plans include other platforms than mobile.
Peters stated that mobile “we think mobile is an enormous opportunity.” “The majority of our members have smartphones that can play these games. While it will be our primary focus, ultimately we view all platforms as opportunities. We believe there is a great opportunity to offer services across a variety of devices.
Peters stated that the approach will be experimental, creating many games to “maximize learning opportunity.” Some titles will be extensions of company I.P. while others could be standalone titles. It is possible for some of these titles to become a series or film. To help executives learn faster, the company will license titles.
The biggest question is how do you decide if games are winners? The company will use the same metrics (publicly very mysterious) to measure its success with its games and features.
Peters stated, “Is it more compelling to members.” If we can see the benefits of retention, members will be more loyal to us. Retention is valuable. Retention is also important if people talk about the game.Published on Wed, 21 July 2021 at 01:21:23 +0000