With so many new streaming services, including Disney+ and HBO Max, Netflix has lost a significant portion of the streaming audience. So, to gain back past subscribers, the company will take the step into video games!
Introducing Mobile Games To Netflix
That’s right – Netflix plans to add video games to its library! According to a news release from the streaming giant, the company will begin by bringing some of the hottest mobile games to the service. Of course, in addition to new subscribers, the games can also advertise the latest shows on Netflix. Along with the announcements, company executives assured users that games wouldn’t cost anything extra. Sadly, there are no more details available as of now. While many of the investors thought the move seems like a good idea, others are not so sure…
“Few of the 3.5 billion mobile gamers in the world will add a subscription to Netflix in order to access its 2 to 3 new games each year,” Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter. He thinks that adding podcasts to the platform would be a better idea. Meanwhile, the platform could almost never hope to play more intense games built for PCs and consoles.
“To the best of our knowledge, only Sony, Microsoft, Google and Amazon have made any progress in streaming games, with Sony acquiring two companies (Gaikai and OnLive) that cumulatively spent over $1 billion trying (and failing) and with Microsoft, Google and Amazon the three leading cloud service providers in the world,” Pachter explained.
There are plenty of other problems with the idea as well…
Streaming’s New Endeavor
“While Netflix commented that it will initially focus on mobile games, we question whether the company has any idea how difficult the mobile games business has become,” Pachter continued. “The business graveyard is littered with the corpses of content companies that have failed at making mobile games, with Disney the most prominent failure. Even video game publishers like Activision, EA, Take-Two, Ubisoft and Nintendo have tried for years to create compelling mobile content, and each has had lasting success only through acquisition.”
Of course, if Netflix wants to publish higher-end games, it will need to design a new controller to support the games. Meanwhile, Netflix says it will work with Mike Verdu (Electronic Arts, Kabam, Zynga, and Atari). Sadly, some are not happy with this news, as Verdu has not designed nor produced a game in 20 years. “His oversight at other game companies has been varied (stops at Atari, EA, Zynga, a startup, Kabam, EA again and Facebook) with five of those jobs in the last 12 years. While he worked for mobile developers, his experience is limited, given that Zynga produced its first mobile game after he left the company, Kabam was sold only two years after he arrived, and he was at EA during a period of no growth,” Pachter said.
In the end, Pachter put it quite succinctly: “We won’t hold our breath waiting for Netflix to deliver the next iconic video game franchise.”