Move aside Xbox Game Pass, Netflix wants to be the Netflix of games and we now have confirmation of those ambitions from Netflix itself.
As part of its earnings call for Q2 2021, Netflix confirmed to investors that it was indeed pursuing an expansion into gaming but don’t expect sprawling AAA titles, at least not yet.
“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,” the firm told investors.
That seemingly innocent statement is rather loaded but it requires reading further into the Shareholder Letter.
When addressing competition Netflix reports that, according to Nielsen, Netflix only accounts for 7 percent of US watch time.
Granted, Netflix has the highest percentage of watch time but, compared to cable and broadcast, streaming just barely competes.
Looking within the streaming space, Netflix acknowledges that it isn’t just competing against the likes of Disney+ and Hulu but YouTube and TikTok as well.
In order to grow its footprint then, Netflix has to offer something of a carrot to viewers and programming just isn’t enough anymore.
Will it work? Well there is a mobile game service we can look to although it’s not exactly easy to find a straight answer regarding whether Apple Arcade is successful.
Apple lumps its services into one category which includes things like Apple TV+, Apple One and more. While that area is showing growth year-on-year, where that growth is coming from is unclear.
We’re sure Netflix has access to more data than we do if it believes games are a carrot worth investing in and how bad could it be really?
At worst we get games that nobody wants to play and at best we get some fun time wasters to dive into when “there’s nothing to watch”.
There’s no word on when we can expect games from Netflix but we suspect it will be a while before we see any movement on this project.