What is Netflix Gaming?
Netflix, the popular streaming service, has recently launched Netflix Gaming, in addition to its premium membership, which allows subscribers to view TV episodes and films.
Netflix Gaming will be available to users who have a premium Netflix membership at no additional cost. Netflix claims that their games will be free of advertisements and in-app purchases, providing customers with a clean and enjoyable gaming experience.
Netflix is constantly experimenting with different types of interactions, whether it’s Netflix Gaming or their new ‘Quick Laughs’ feature. ‘Quick Laughs’ is a Tik-Tok-style short video reel in which the user reacts to hilarious snippets from Netflix series’
When did Netflix Gaming launch?
The entertainment company started to roll out Netflix Gaming to both Android and Apple devices on the 2nd of November 2021. You can find it on the home page, scrolling down or on Android, as a ‘Games’ tab.
How will it work?
Netflix users currently have access to 12 games, as of writing this, however Netflix plan to launch some popular titles to their audience.
To actually play a game on Netflix Gaming, you have to follow through and download it from the App Store, or Google Play Store via the Netflix Gaming tab, as these games are exclusive to Netflix, and won’t be publicly published to the App Store / Google Play Store.
Netflix partners with RocketRide Games
With recent news of Microsoft purchasing Activision Blizzard and Zynga purchasing Two-Take, it’s surprising Netflix hasn’t partnered with a gaming company to get a massive advantage on their competitors.
Rather, Netflix has partnered with RocketRide Games, a Canadian games agency, to help expand its video game library. So far, the partnership has released two games: Dominoes and Kittens, with more on the way.
“In the race to entertain consumers around the world, we continue to compete for screen time with a broad set of firms like YouTube, Epic Games and TikTok, to name just a few, but, we are mostly competing with ourselves to improve our service as fast as we can.”Reed Hastings, co-CEO of Netflix via an Investors Call
What games will Netflix Gaming release?
Netflix has previously experimented with user engagement. Users could choose their own path through the episode and create their own ending in the 2018 special episode of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. It’s not quite a ‘game’, but it’s the closest equivalent Netflix has to a game so far.
The racing mobile game was first released in October 2016, but was removed from app stores in order to be made exclusive to Netflix in September 2021, with Netflix releasing a teaser to advertise it.
If Netflix Gaming follows this course, it could be concerning because these games were previously available to the general public but have only recently become exclusives.
“Just as we’ve continuously expanded our offering by adding new genres, unscripted, film, local-language programming, animation, on and on, we think we have an opportunity to add games to that offering and deliver more entertainment value to our members”Greg Peters, COO and Chief Product Officer Netflix via an Investors Call
Netflix already has several mobile apps that promote their own shows on the Google Play App Store and the Apple App Store. Both ‘Stranger Things 3: The Game’ and ‘Stranger Things 3: The Game’ have surpassed one million downloads, which gives Netflix a massive opportunity to create future games based on their shows.
If Google couldn’t do it, what makes Netflix different?
Remember Google Stadia? Google’s Cloud Gaming Platform, which was published in 2019, never really took off, and despite the fact that regular updates are continuously being released, we haven’t heard anything exciting or seen anything that offers a new user experience.
The technology for cloud gaming exists, but gamers haven’t seen a compelling incentive to switch to Google Stadia — so how will Netflix revolutionise the gaming industry?
What’s next for Netflix Gaming?
With Amazon Luna, Playstation Now, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Google Stadia all delivering cloud-gaming experiences; Netflix Gaming has a lot of catching up to do.
If Netflix Gaming want to go down the mobile gaming route; they’ll have to compete with Apple’s Arcade and Google Play’s app store if they want to go after the mobile market.
If Netflix Gaming wants to compete with console and computer industries; they’ve got a big task ahead of them, with large giants already leading the way.
Our bold prediction:
Netflix Gaming will partner with Google Stadia.
Google Stadia already has the technology in place and would be a great fit for Netflix’s audience.
We’re excited to watch this space!
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