Time for gaming and chilling.
Streaming giant Netflix officially confirmed that the company is in the “early stages” of expanding into games. Netflix previously partnered with Next Games to bring the game Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales to mobile. So the expansion plans could have stemmed from this successful partnership.
In April, Netflix reported that it experienced its worst first quarter in eight years due to the pandemic, missing its forecast by millions of subscribers. While the streaming service is still way ahead of its rivals such as Disney+, HBO Max, etc., the platform has been searching for a new feature to lure new customers. Netflix has claimed that video games will come at no extra cost to its subscribers and, for now, will focus primarily on mobile device games. “We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV,” Netflix wrote to its shareholders.
We’re excited as ever about our movies and TV series offering, and we expect a long runway of increasing investment and growth across all of our existing content categories, but 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.
Already full steam ahead, Netflix appointed the former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive Mike Verdu to spearhead their new video game initiative. And a recent Bloomberg report claimed that Netflix plans to add around 12 video games to its platform within the following year.
Netflix is no stranger to video games. They have already produced several popular video game adaptations over the years, including; The Witcher (currently creating The Witcher 2), Sonic the Hedgehog and a Resident Evil movie. It is also currently working on three Ubisoft titles: The Division, Beyond Good & Evil, and the Assassin’s Creed series. However, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings claimed in 2019 that the streaming service had no intentions of creating video games “We don’t compete with Fortnite better by doing something like [a streaming service] because we’re not very good at that,” he said at the time. “We compete by doing the most amazing TV shows you’ve ever seen, so you put down Fortnite and you come to watch our shows.” It appears that this recent slump in subscribers may have shaken up Netflix, causing the streaming giant to do a 180 on that decision.