At the start of the pandemic, the rapid growth in subscribers to the streaming industry was unbelievably fast. Talking about Netflix, it added 4.4 million new subscribers in the third quarter of 2021. The growth suggested new content but then came a slight saturation.
In the entire industry, people resorted to sharing passwords and IDs and there came a saturated growth (inevitable after a rapid rise). Although there are still new movies to watch on Netflix, the growth became stagnant, and they had to do something to keep the new base growing. That’s when Netflix added games to their domain.
Netflix Gaming History
Netflix games started in November 2021, and it had 5 popular series turned games. Although these games are supported on smartphone devices only, it was considered a great perspective to an already dominating service. To understand how the streaming business gets affected by this, we must look at this from a whole different angle.
The first angle to observe is what we call the “All-you-can-eat” concept. When the pandemic started, some industries topped the charts as most in-demand and profitable industries. We saw a rise in E-commerce stores and many businesses put on hold their retail establishments.
Not only were E-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay were soaring high, but many marketplaces also pivoted to it. We saw Facebook release a marketplace for shoppers. Now, let’s look at Netflix.
Netflix wanted to become the one-stop for all your entertainment needs. If social media is out of the picture, streaming shows and playing games is what most smartphone users do daily. With this launch of a new gaming category, they are more than equipped to improve their ratings and grow consistently.
What’s surprising is how this game feature add-on came in just an app update and nothing more. No extra charges, no compatibility issue, no external device, etc. Although Netflix doesn’t have a library filled with games, it is slowly making strides in the area.
The second angle to observe is Netflix’s efforts to unite with the gaming industry. Netflix has a big chunk of the user base. If we look at services like Microsoft Xbox Gamepass, they are exclusive to people with gaming consoles and desktop users. Netflix makes the bold move to make the gaming industry capitalize on their platform by offering them a chance to put games on their service.
If we look at the movies and show the perspective of Netflix, over the years, Netflix changed from being a VOD service to an Original Productions company. Not only that, but their originals were also commended by the best of directors, actors, writers, and more.
Over the years, Netflix united more superstars for the screen than any other. It is trying to do the same with gaming giants like Sony, Tencent, Epic Games, and more.
Any future gaming industry looking to break into the market will need to have a pre-defined team to run operations for Netflix.
Because creating games for Netflix would require a different infrastructure, development, standard, and more. Furthermore, Netflix has only launched this feature for Android and iOS. It’s possible to be playing games on smart TVs as well.
Moving forward, we have a quote from Phil Spencer, who is Microsoft’s Head of Games, who said the following:
“When you talk about Nintendo and Sony, we have a ton of respect for them, but we see Amazon and Google as the main competitors going forward”
This goes to show you how the future does not belong to the big consoles at home. Sure, they are great in their way, but people are slowly migrating to the smartphone revolution for gaming needs as well.
Companies are developing special gaming phones with better fan cooling, bigger battery life, sharper screens, and improved refresh rates. At this rate, future gaming would be on Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games. Netflix just had to get in before anyone else did. But it turns out it’s not the only one.
This goes way back to Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud as the first gaming platforms for smartphones. Even Amazon has Luna, a cloud gaming service to facilitate its stream users. They also have Prime gaming whose subscription can get you channels and shows free as well.
“We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation, and unscripted TV,” quoted Netflix.
Currently, Netflix only has five games that are:
- Stranger Things: 1984 (BonusXP)
- Stranger Things 3: The Game (BonusXP)
- Shooting Hoops (Frosty Pop)
- Card Blast (Amuzo & Rogue Games)
- Teeter Up (Frosty Pop)
It is said to add more games in future developments and updates. Another neat feature of Netflix games is how they are ad-free. You’ve probably played enough free versions of games to know how annoying ads are. Not only is a Netflix subscription giving you ad-free movies and TV shows, but now games.
The industry of gaming will take a mild hit if it doesn’t adapt to the change of Netflix making its way into the gaming industry. Netflix has already dazzled its users with interactive features and its endless library. It is ready to embrace new developments and progress in 2022 and beyond.