According to a report by TechCrunch, VP of Gaming at Netflix, Mike Verdu has expressed that the streaming giant is “Seriously exploring,” cloud gaming. He made the statement at TechCrunch Disrupt, an annual event hosted by the website for start-ups and talks by various industry professionals. Verdu also revealed that Netflix would be opening an additional in house gaming studio in Southern California although further details are yet to emerge on where exactly it will be.
This will be Netflix’s second game studio, after the first opened in Helsinki last month. The new SoCal studio will be run by Executive Producer on Overwatch, Chacko Sonny, according to Verdu. This would be a significant addition to their staff and could indicate that the planned projects for Netflix Games won’t just be small-scale mobile offerings but potentially something far larger. Although Netflix are, for the moment, sticking to plans for their gaming catalogue to be focused on TV and mobile devices.
Netflix’s intention to break into the cloud gaming market is significant if the company goes through with it. However, it’s worth noting that some of the main successes in the cloud gaming industry so far have been major players in mainstream consoles. Steam Link, Xbox Game Pass and PS Remote Play all have catalogues sourced from decades of game releases, so were Netflix to begin from scratch it would either need to licence these games or commit to original content. The latter seems to be what they indicate as Verdu was quoted as saying about their catalogue “We hope over time that the balance is like, 50% Netflix IP.”
As the streaming market has become more saturated, Netflix has increasingly leaned on its original content to bring in and maintain subscribers. As we’ve previously observed, the Netflix games catalogue may prove to be an additional sweetener to subscribers, as indicated by their decision to include their gaming catalogue in the new ad-supported tier subscription. But whether or not this would be enough on its own to bring in customers is another question entirely.
We marked Netflix as one of our Top 50 Mobile Game Makers of 2022 for their entry into the mobile market and the signs we saw of big things to come. It seems that Netflix is ramping up to make their games more visible and hopefully more successful.