Netflix to offer original mobile games to subscribers for free

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 20
Netflix on Tuesday offered additional details on its push into gaming, saying its first steps will be to create original titles that existing subscribers can access at no additional cost.

Netflix


Last week, Netflix announced the hire of former EA and Facebook executive Mike Verdu, who is set to head up the streaming giant's gaming division under the supervision of COO Greg Peters.

In a second quarter earnings report on Tuesday (PDF link), Netflix hinted at plans to enter the crowded gaming market, saying the endeavor will be treated as a new content category similar to the company's foray into original films and unscripted TV.
We're also in the early stages of further expanding into games, building on our earlier efforts around interactivity (eg, Black Mirror Bandersnatch) and our Stranger Things games. We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV. Games will be included in members' Netflix subscription at no additional cost similar to films and series. Initially, we'll be primarily focused on games for mobile devices. 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.
There's no word on what Netflix intends to bring to the table, but the company could initially lean on its deep content library and concentrate on value-added content. As noted by The Verge, Netflix recently extended an existing TV deal with Shonda Rhimes to include feature films and games.

With a growing podcast lineup, the company has shown a willingness to create spinoffs based on popular shows and prominent personalities. It could do the same with games.

Also unclear is how Netflix games will be distributed. The company might release them individually through the App Store, though it could conceivably go the route of Apple Arcade and Microsoft's xCloud by fielding a first-party network.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    applguyapplguy Posts: 169member
    How would one play a game with a Roku remote? I guess that’s for Mike Verdu to know/figure out and me to find out. Sounds like an input peripheral nightmare. 
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 8
    bleabbleab Posts: 23member
    applguy said:
    How would one play a game with a Roku remote? I guess that’s for Mike Verdu to know/figure out and me to find out. Sounds like an input peripheral nightmare. 
    The article stated that they are going to focus on mobile gaming first. There is also nothing keeping Roku from releasing:

    A. gamepads that use the same protocols as their controllers
    B. new streaming boxes that are bluetooth compatible

    Note that Roku already lets you connect to a smartphone through their app, which means that you can also connect to bluetooth headphones that are connected to the smartphone. They also have StreamBars - Roku branded soundbars - that connect to Roku devices using the same protocol that their remotes use. So if Roku has to do this in order to keep Netflix gamers from fleeing to other hardware, it would be easy and simple to do.
    edited July 20 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 8
    bleabbleab Posts: 23member
    "The company might release them individually through the App Store"

    Yeah right

    "though it could conceivably go the route of Apple Arcade"

    Not happening

     "Microsoft's xCloud by fielding a first-party network"

    We have a winner! Google, Nvidia, Microsoft and Amazon all tried to create "Netflix for games". Well now we are going to have Netflix do a Netflix for games.

    Thinking that they are going to do anything but what Google and the rest have done is hilarious. Netflix isn't an app developer like Apple, Microsoft, Nvidia and Google. Netflix is their sole app and they have it on every conceivable platform. They also don't have platforms to push like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google (plus Nvidia if you count GPU-based hardware platforms). They also don't have hardware like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Nvidia and Google. Meaning that they are going to add a "games" section to their existing TV and movie sections in the Netflix app. 

    Forcing Google, Microsoft and Amazon to make PWAs when they have less than 100 million subscribers combined - with the vast majority of them on Microsoft (who get xCloud as a throw-in for the existing XBox and Windows centered GamePass subscriptions) and most of the rest on Nvidia - is one thing. Telling Netflix - the #2 streaming app in the world behind YouTube - that they can't add a major feature that is going to be present on Android and the other competitors is a whole other matter. We are going to see if Apple is going to stick to their "need to review each individual app for security, content etc." guns or if they are going to have to be forced to let Stadia, xCloud, GeForce Now and Luna through in order to accommodate Netflix.
    dysamoriabyronl
  • Reply 4 of 8
    bleab said:
    Telling Netflix - the #2 streaming app in the world behind YouTube - that they can't add a major feature that is going to be present on Android and the other competitors is a whole other matter. We are going to see if Apple is going to stick to their "need to review each individual app for security, content etc." guns or if they are going to have to be forced to let Stadia, xCloud, GeForce Now and Luna through in order to accommodate Netflix.
    By that logic, Apple wouldn't be enforcing its rules against YouTube - but they have done, and will continue to do so. There will be more pressure placed on Apple because of this, but I see it as unlikely that Apple will cave. Time will tell.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 8
    amar99amar99 Posts: 87member
    Using "subscriber" and "free" in the same sentence is a bit misleading, considering Netflix raises their monthly subscription fees all the time (yearly, on average). It's still true, but just ... barely.
    edited July 21 StrangeDaysdysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 8
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,755member
    Not free. Included in the subscription.
    StrangeDaysdysamoria
  • Reply 7 of 8
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,584member
    Agree, not free. That’s like saying they added some new shows “for free”. One pays for the service, and it regularly goes up in price to cover costs.
    edited July 21 dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 8
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    So by how much of an increase to the monthly fee will Netflix claim is justified for the “added value” of games, in which I have absolutely no interest? This is cable TV bundling all over again...
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