Netflix’s Video Game Service Is Saying All The Right Things

Netflix’s Video Game Service Is Saying All The Right Things

As part of the company’s latest earnings report, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Chief Product Officer Greg Peters jumped on an investor phone call to talk about loads of things related to the future of the company. While discussing one of those things, their impending detour into video games, things got pretty interesting.

Former games writer Julia Alexander was listening to the call, and took note of what they were saying when it came to Netflix’s video game plans. Aside from the fact that Netflix will initially be targeting mobile games, Hastings says that they’re not expecting to, or planning to, make a profit from any video game development or offerings, and are simply using them as a means of increasing the overall value of a Netflix subscription, since the platform’s games aren’t going to be a separate or increased cost (yet, anyway).

What might be of more interest to you, though, is the way Netflix has approached mobile gaming. While there’s a stereotype that the biggest and most popular mobile games are built on predatory monetary and design principles, Hastings says hey, because we don’t need to worry about taking your money for these games since we’re already taking your money, we don’t care about any of that.

Then Peters says:

We know fans of those stories [core IP] is they want to go deeper. Interactive can provide an in-depth world to explore…we also feel our subscription model yields some opportunity to support some game experiences that are underserved by the dominant monetisation models.

We don’t have to think about ads, we don’t have to think about in-game purchases, or other monetisation, we don’t have to think about title purchase…we can just be laser focused on creating the most entertaining game experiences that we can.

We’re finding that a lot of game developers are really into that idea and focus and just putting their energy into great gameplay without worrying about those other considerations they’ve had to trade off instead of just making compelling games.

That is certainly a very cool thing to hear! It means nothing until we actually get to see and play Netflix’s games, of course, but as far as opening pitches go, it’s a good one.

Comments

  • // We don’t have to think about ads, we don’t have to think about in-game purchases, or other monetisation… //
    But they sure can think about simply increasing their whole service price again instead.

  • They haven’t mentioned the cursed word Exclusives.

    Netflix is going to go full Epic and Apple and snatch anticipated games that are in the final leg of development and steal them away to their walked garden with bags of undisclosed money.

    • If the only other way those games were going to be made was with predatory whale hunting imposed by a shitty publisher, they’re not stopping games from wider release because those games would never have existed.

  • They’re not really saying anything at all. For all we know we’re in for a revisit to the old days of cheap movie/series tie-ins that take key moments and recognisable characters then stretch them thinly over a formula. If it gets people buying and keeping their subscriptions, they’re happy. It may be not be the overt moustached villain nickle and diming you for every little thing we’re used to but it’s certainly someone with questionable motives posing as a friendly figure.

  • Damn, Netflix isn’t kicking around.
    It’s gonna be interesting to see if they put their money where their mouth is.

  • If it’s a Stadia style streaming service it’s going to be garbage anyway regardless of what they say.

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