The dream of a “gaming Netflix” has long been the most exciting prospect in the industry, and now Netflix itself has finally entered the gaming space with its own gaming service. At this point, we’ve already seen some of the biggest companies in the world trying to enter the gaming space – and fail universally. Even companies that focus on games, such as Sony, haven’t completely fallen for a successful game streaming platform.
Netflix is the gold standard for streaming movies and TV, so from the outside it makes sense that it also knows how to make a great streaming service for games. However, streaming a game and streaming a movie are two completely different beasts. More than that, however, creating an attractive gaming service is not at all similar to creating an attractive TV and movie service. Looking at how the platform has unfolded, as well as the backdrop to Netflix’s business as a whole, it looks like a desperate move by Netflix to differentiate itself from its competition – companies that have already had lunch. .
Read the room
There are many examples of why gaming, streaming or otherwise, is not a space that businesses can just easily slip into.. Google Stadia and Amazon Luna had the might of two of the world’s largest companies behind them, and both services struggled to take off. I’m sure Netflix has no shortage of cash, but throwing a war chest at a games service won’t make it work like magic.
Even if it did, Netflix has yet to show how much it is prepared to invest in games. The service launched with five mobile games, and Netflix only made one power game by acquiring Without beef developer Night School Studios. The streaming giant is only dipping its toe in water when it comes to content.
The problem is, non-gaming companies are trying to integrate gaming – both consumption and creation – into their own structures. Netflix might have a great pipeline for making series and movies, but that won’t apply to making a game. Google was so poor at running its own game studio that it has it. closed even before producing a single title.
Television and movie streaming were once Netflix’s game, and no one else could even compete. Now there are tons of options, each with exclusive content that has helped them break Netflix’s deadly hold on an industry it built. We have seen reports that it is losing followers fast and the pivot to gaming seems to be one way to fix that. It seems like an easy power play on paper. You just need to run a few games on the service that people are already using, right? Who wouldn’t subscribe to Netflix if they had all the TV and all the movies, more free games? Its idealistic, but does not inherently work in practice.
Responsive in-game movement can be doomed to failure, especially if Netflix’s game launch is any indication of how it plans to continue this service. The five games, which are already a slim offering, are all small mobile games that have mediocre reviews at best. A serve with bad games, or even just good ones, will not appeal to many players. Unlike TV and movies, people won’t just binge on a boring game.
The games are not passive. They aren’t something that you can just throw in the background and half-pay attention. Netflix is the king of dumping tons of content on users. Some are bad, some are good, and every once in a while there’s a gem that really takes off. Games don’t work like that. It will take time and work to develop and deliver a quality game library. There won’t be these hits to be found otherwise.
Netflix, at least in its initial rollout, hasn’t shown it’s serious about games. He made two games based on Strange things, but both are small-scale, seemingly low-budget titles. He owns a studio, which barely had time to start working on a game for the service. Nothing in the build-up to rollout indicates that Netflix is still truly dedicated to gaming as a core branch of its business – and you can’t be successful in gaming with half measures.
We do not care?
The last and most important aspect that Netflix seems to have missed out on is that just having games won’t make people care. Again, we can go back to Stadia and Luna as great examples. Neither cloud gaming service has offered gamers the kind of “platform seller” that pushes gamers to adopt platforms. Exclusives are an obvious draw, but even having strong third party games could job. Shooting hoops and Explosion of cards aren’t exactly games that turn heads. If a launch lineup isn’t very exciting, why should potential players sign up for it?
Having games on one service is not a selling point. The cereal boxes have games on them. You can play games on the back of an airplane seat. It’s hard to be in a situation where you can not play a game these days, as long as you’re near everything with a screen. The difference is the quality, not the quantity. At this time, Netflix doesn’t provide any reason to keep people away from playing on console, PC, or even other mobile games. Until he scores big, quality games, I prefer to do the maze and word search on the back of a box of Lucky Charms.