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If we go back to 2018, we can see the first news articles relating to the possibility of Netflix entering the gaming market. There were reports of Netflix entering a deal with Telltale Games to bring a simple gaming experience to the streaming platform. By this stage, Netflix had already released interactive stories, where the user could determine how the story developed. Fast forward to 2022 and what has changed?
Primarily, Netflix remains a streaming service. By singing up for a monthly subscription, you have access to a vast selection of shows and movies. Some of the shows and movies are exclusive to Netflix, meaning you cannot watch them anywhere else, with Stranger Things being a good example. Netflix have also made several movies that are exclusive to the streaming service and millions of people have an active Netflix account.
In terms of gaming and as highlighted above, Netflix made some tentative steps in 2018. However, it was not until the end of 2021 that Netflix started to release actual video games to the market. Netflix took its first steps into the gaming industry by launching some mobile games for Android. The selection of games on the initial release was modest and they have also added games to the App Store for iOS users.
Some of the original game titles release by Netflix include Relic Hunters Universe, Into the Dead 2, Shatter Remastered, this is a True Story, Dungeon Dwarves, Hextech Mayhem Netflix Edition, Arcanium: Rise of Akhan, Dominoes Café, and Krispee Street. There are more than 15 game titles available in the Netflix catalogue as of April 2022 and that is sure to expand throughout the year.
Taking Dominoes Café as an example, there is nothing special about this game in terms of graphics or design. It is a simple table game, allowing you to play dominoes on a mobile device. However, it does make you wonder if Netflix could make a move into casino games. It would be difficult to add real money gambling games such as those found at Casumo, which is an NZ online casino that has received rave reviews. However, rather than offering a full-on casino gaming experience, Netflix may choose to add to Dominoes Café by including games of roulette, blackjack, and poker for example.
Looking at the subscriber figures for Netflix, they have over 200 million paid subscribers. This means they have a massive audience to which they can advertise their latest games. In addition, it means they have over 200 million people who enjoy the content delivered by Netflix and that could be unwelcome news for the likes of Microsoft and Sony. Netflix has not only proved to be a reliable source of entertainment, but it is also readily available across the planet.
The mobile games form part of a standard Netflix subscription, meaning you do not have to make any purchases to add the games to your mobile device. This is important because it immediately brings access to the games for over 200 million people, who do not have to pay any extra to play the games.
Could this prevent Netflix subscribers from paying for games from other companies in the future? It is unlikely for those who take their gaming seriously because there will always be big titles that are not available on the Netflix platform. However, for the casual gamer, it could mean they stop buying other games and stick to playing those available via their subscription with Netflix.
There is no doubt Netflix has a long way to go to compete with the likes of Microsoft and Sony but the fact they have made a start is going to have the gaming giants looking over their shoulder.