While Netflix has inspired small streaming companies such as Watched APK (Rokkr), the company is now looking at new avenues of entertainment. At the moment, they are focusing on the gaming development avenue.
A strategy that Arte does not follow: “We want to offer innovative creations that are adapted to digital use,” says Gilles Freissinier. The main thing is to support smaller studios in the production and edition of their games in a gaming scene that is dominated by US and Asian corporations so that European productions with concise, innovative perspectives and stories are available to a large audience to deliver.
You can now refer to a catalog of ten games, mainly playable on the computer – but also, like the recently released “Unmaze” as a mobile game on the smartphone or like “Vectronom” with Nintendo Switch. All are available through various large gaming platforms such as Steam, Playstation, the Apple Store or Google Play.
Competition pressure is growing
It is not yet known in what form Netflix will offer its games – as online stream, for download, also on other platforms. It seems certain, however, that in the long term only a dedicated platform with sufficiently exclusive content can meet the company’s goals mentioned at the beginning.
Google, Apple and Microsoft have already invested in their own game subscription offers, one of the most popular is Apple Arcade. So while the streaming competition at Amazon Prime is buying Hollywood studio MGM, the next investment at Netflix may be a game production company or studio that delivers its own content.
The number of subscriptions is not increasing as expected
Netflix’s announcement could also be related to the subscription numbers presented in the quarterly report: The number of new customers of the streaming service is lower than ever before – only 1.5 million were gained, the total number of subscriptions rose 209 million worldwide.
Netflix is suffering from its own success: especially in the USA, since the pandemic year 2020 at the latest, the younger target groups in particular have largely subscribed. Attempts are now being made to specifically attract older people to the service, but an expansion of the offer to include games could also convince those who are still undecided in the previous target groups.
Gaming is the pandemic winner
“Video games profited the most during the lockdown period,” confirms Gilles Freissinier: “Not just Fortnite or Animal Crossing – we were able to record 400,000 more downloads than before with our game ‘Homo Machina’, which was released in spring 2020.”
The high number of hits with the first game “Type: Rider”, published in 2013, showed that the games could reach a whole new audience who had not yet come into contact with Arte.
Success has to be evident in the long term
The start into the gaming business for Netflix is therefore very promising – a combination of film and series offers and video games has been tried and tested for many years. The question remains whether Netflix will be able to offer convincing game content in the long term and whether the expansion of the offer can actually be reflected in a concrete increase in users.