Does Netflix’s Move into the Gaming Sector Bode Well for the Industry?
It is not too shocking to hear that one of the main pillars of a specific sector or industry wants to freshen things up and expand into a similar category as well. That is precisely what the streaming giant Netflix has done as their VP of Gaming, Mike Verdu, has said that they are exploring a cloud gaming offering and are opening a gaming studio in Southern California.
That does not mean they are going to go into the gambling sector and begin making online casino games for you to play as you are binging “Orange is the New Black” for the 10th time at this moment, but this could be a serious shakeup for the company that we will dive into today.
Isn’t This Just Stadia?
In a way, yes. For those of you that are unfamiliar with what exactly Stadia is or was depending on when you are reading this article, Stadia was Google’s attempt to go into the gaming sector for people to play video games without an expensive gaming computer or even a gaming console but due to the failure to have user adoption on their service, are shutting down in January 2023.
Stadia has come out and said that they believe the issue was their business model and not the technology behind the gaming service itself. This could be an interesting service to have with Netflix as they were built on being able to see your favorite things and now have an additional way to bring users onto their platform.
Why This Could Actually Work
This could sound completely insane to some people, but I believe Netflix will be able to have a successful gaming sector of their business model for a few reasons. One thing is that they have the IPs of some of the most talked about series in the world, such as “Stranger Things” or “Squid Games,” as well as licensed IPs to make the user feel more connected to their worlds and could potentially tell other stories along the way.
They have someone who was very successful in the gaming world at producing games, as their newest studio is being led by Chacko Sonny. Gamers will probably recognize the name, but he was the former executive producer at Blizzard Entertainment on the smashing success game known as “Overwatch.”
Verdu even talked about how this means Sonny is brought into the vision as he stated, “He could have done anything, but he chose to come here. You don’t get people like that coming to your organization to build the next big thing in gaming unless there’s a sense that we’re really in it for the long haul and in it for the right reasons.”
With five different studios developing and perfecting games, this could be great. However, we have seen the first variation of gaming with Netflix as the company has done a choose-your-own-adventure with some of their programs before, and that is the first iteration of more gaming feel at the broadest levels. Having someone that can develop scripts and exhilarating games of all different types of genres is great, but this also could have been just Netflix creating console games for their biggest IPs, and it feels like it would have been better.
I am not going to jump in and say this is going to be a smashing success or imminent failure, as we have seen some companies evolve into the gaming world with a seamless transition while other media giants have struggled to the point of calling it quits on that front. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and that will come with time, but right now, there should be optimism towards the idea and skepticism about the result until they prove otherwise.
What games would you want to see be available for a Netflix Cloud Gaming service?