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Netflix exploring video game market – report

By Kara Santos Published May 24, 2021 4:05 pm

Netflix is reportedly considering entering the video game market and is looking to hire veteran gaming executives.

Citing “people familiar with the situation,” an industry report obtained by The Information published on Friday (May 21) says that over the past few weeks, Netflix approached various executives with industry experience. 

According to the report, a subscription-based video game service would be similar to Apple Arcade, which gives subscribers unlimited access to its selection of games. 

While the company’s long-term plans to get into video games aren't set in stone, the report notes that any Netflix-developed games reportedly won’t feature ads.

This wouldn’t be Netflix’s first venture into video games, as it continues to dabble in interactive entertainment.

The streaming giant has brought the “choose your own adventure” driven narrative similar to video games to hit shows such as Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch as well as Bear Gryll’s You vs. Wild interactive series, which puts the viewer in control of key decisions using the television's remote control.

Back in 2017, the streaming giant also launched an official Stranger Things mobile game in partnership with BonusXP based on the hit show starring Millie Bobbie Brown. The retro action adventure game featuring 8-bit graphics featured characters and locations featured in the show's second season.

Stranger Things 3: The Game, the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series, which was also developed by a third-party gaming studio, was released for the console and PC in 2019.

In recent years, Netflix has proved successful in producing live series adaptations of video game titles like The Witcher and anime adaptations of gaming franchises, including Dota, Dragon’s Dogma, Castlevania and the upcoming Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness.

In a statement, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed with Polygon that the company is “excited to do more with interactive entertainment” in the future. 

Our members value the variety and quality of our content. It’s why we’ve continually expanded our offering—from series to documentaries, film, local language originals and reality TV. Members also enjoy engaging more directly with stories they love—through interactive shows like Bandersnatch and You v. Wild, or games based on Stranger Things, La Casa de Papel and To All the Boys. So we’re excited to do more with interactive entertainment.”

As reported by Gamespot, Netflix executives hinted back in April during its earnings call that more investment in interactive media may be coming, as the streamer has been interested in games for at least a decade.

However, the streaming company has also acknowledged that running a dedicated game-streaming service could pose a challenge with stiff competition. Back in 2019, Netflix said they would continue to focus on "highly compelling TV shows and movies."

With the boom in the video game industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, major companies including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Electronic Arts are all getting into gaming with their own streaming services.

(Images via Netflix/Stranger Things: The Game on GooglePlay)