Streaming Service Giant Netflix Is Adding Games To Its Platform
As video streaming increasingly became part of everyday life many companies realised this was a market worth tapping into.
16:27 23 August 2021
It is hard to believe television is less than 100 years old. Since the first electronic television was successfully demonstrated in 1927 in San Francisco, designed by 21-year-old inventor Philo Taylor Farnsworth, we have been introduced to several new technologies, including streaming services.
Streaming services are seeing rising usage all over the globe. In 2019, the revenue of subscription video on demand (SVoD) services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, reached nearly 16 billion USD. The US market also accounted for more than 40% of global SVoD revenue. For comparison, the United Kingdom only accounted for 4%.
That said, the United States producing more revenue share than the United Kingdom is not surprising. After all, one of the services that made digital video streaming famous is Netflix, which was founded in Scotts Valley, California. Netflix launched its online streaming service in 2007 and then single-handedly created binge-watching culture through its original show House of Cards. Shows like Stranger Things, Scandal, Tiger King, and Outer Banks have reiterated just how significant Netflix and America's influence is on the global streaming industry.
As video streaming increasingly became part of everyday life, partly because of its choice and convenience, many companies realised this was a market worth tapping into. As a result, Amazon launched Prime Video in 2011, followed by HBO’s stand-alone streaming service in 2015. Most recently, we saw Discovery launch a real-life entertainment service (dPlay) in October 2019. dPlay offers content from several of its popular channels, such as The Food Network. A month later, The Walt Disney Company launched Disney+. The platform distributes original movies and shows, including the mini-series WandaVision.
Still, competition aside, Netflix is at the top of the video streaming leaderboard. The company has spent nearly a decade successfully experimenting with original movies and shows, and now, the California-based company is shifting its attention to a new content category: gaming.
Netflix Makes A Move Into The Gaming Industry
In July 2021, Netflix disclosed in a letter to shareholders that it is developing games for its platform. The news comes after Netflix hired Mike Verdu, the former gaming executive at Facebook. Verdu also worked at Electronic Arts, where he was responsible for the mobile game studios that managed popular titles such as “Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes” and “The Simpsons: Tapped Out.”
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Initially, the company plans to focus on mobile games before expanding, and as per the shareholder letter, Netflix stated these games come at no additional cost to subscribers. This decision is admirable from the company as it was possible the public may have felt, if Netflix charged more, that moving into gaming was just another way to take money out of their pockets — and the company certainly is not short on cash. As it stands, NFLX stock has a market cap of nearly $300 billion.
Additionally, the decision to add games to its platform at no additional cost to members also demonstrates Netflix was influenced by other established sectors in the gaming industry, such as online gambling. People don’t like jumping through hoops, which is why many online casinos, especially in the United Kingdom, offer no wager free spins to counter the packages of free spins that come with tricky wagering requirements. Gamblers want to get started right away without having to go through additional steps. They don’t want to be tricked into doing something that has strings attached. Netflix users might have felt similar if they got ready to play the games, only to find out they had to complete additional requirements and pay more.
Ever since Netflix was founded in 1997, it has been on an ever-changing journey. However, one fact has always remained the same: the American over-the-top content platform and production company is a pioneer in multiple spaces of the entertainment industry. When Netflix started offering on-demand movies with a monthly subscription in 2007, it was called ground-breaking.
After it started producing original films and TV shows in 2011, it positioned itself as the central name in digital video streaming. In 2018, after releasing one of its first interactive movies, where viewers make decisions for the main character, Netflix was believed to be paving the way for future filmmakers and screenwriters.
Now, moving into the billion-dollar gaming industry, we can only imagine what Netflix will be called next. Good things, we presume, as long as everything goes to plan. There is reason to believe it will, though. After all, when has Netflix ever failed at moving into a new space?