Netflix wants to get into cloud gaming (oh, and it's making 55 more games) - MrLiambi's blog


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Tuesday 18 October 2022

Netflix wants to get into cloud gaming (oh, and it's making 55 more games)

Netflix is thinking about launching a cloud gaming service.

The streaming giant, which has been toying with gaming by releasing a few mobile games, made clear it's considering going beyond iOS and Android to reach people on their PCs and TVs. Ironically, Google recently announced it's giving up on its cloud gaming effort, Stadia. Nevertheless, Netflix VP of games Mike Verdu told TechCrunch at Disrupt it wants to let subscribers play over the cloud.

"We're very seriously exploring a cloud gaming offering so that we can reach members on TVs and on PCs", Verdu said. "We're going to approach this the same way we did with mobile, which is start small, be humble, be thoughtful, and then build out. But it is a step we think we should take to meet members where they are on the devices where they consume Netflix".

Netflix has simultaneously announced it has 55 more games in development. In its latest letter to shareholders, Netflix said:

"Beyond TV and movies, we're coming up on the one-year anniversary of our gaming launch. As we've said, this will be a multi-year journey for us to learn how to please game players. Our first year was about establishing our gaming infrastructure and understanding how our members interact with games. We now have 35 games on service (all included in every Netflix subscription without in-game ads or in-app purchases) and we're seeing some encouraging signs of gameplay leading to higher retention. With 55 more games in development, including more games based on Netflix IP, we're focused in the next few years on creating hit games that will take our game initiative to the next level. More generally, we see a big opportunity around content that crosses between TV or film and games. For example, after the launch of the anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (49 million hours viewed) in Q3 use of CD Projekt's game surged on PCs."

Netflix's mobile games are available when you log into your Netflix profile. Pocket-lint has a guide that explains how they work. But, basically, when you open the Netflix mobile app on your phone, you will see a games row and games tab where you can select new games to download. On tablets, you will see the games row or be able to select games from the drop-down menu to play.

When asked how Netflix can avoid the fate of Stadia, which failed to take off despite the might of Google behind it and incredible streaming tech powering it all, Verdu said Netflix considers gaming features to be a "value add" to its business model. "We're not asking you to subscribe as a console replacement, so it's a completely different business model . . . The hope is over time that it just becomes this very natural way to play games wherever you are." Verdu also revealed Netflix is opening a gaming studio in California. It'll be led by Chacko Sonny, who previously served as an executive producer at Activision Blizzard.

As of right now, Netflix hasn't announced any plans to monetise gaming. Its games are free to download on your device, and they are free of advertising and in-app purchases. But you need a Netflix subscription.

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