The newest entry from the franchise takes inspiration from the historical epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms, set during the turbulent final years of the Chinese Han Dynasty, and sees the player take the role of a beggar as they climb the social ladder and battle for dominance, hoping to become ruler of one of China’s 14 regions.
Reigns: Three Kingdoms expands on the principles previously exposed within the franchise with the implementation of a new battle system.
Although Reigns has previously been available on a variety of platforms, including both iOS and Android, the latest game in the franchise prior to this (Realms: Beyond) was released exclusively on through the Apple Arcade on mobile devices. It’s unclear at present whether Devolver were dissatisfied with its deal with Apple or whether Netflix offered more favourable terms than Apple was willing to pay in exchange for the game.
It's also worth noting that Netflix have built a name for themselves with a series of interactive shows and movies based on IPs such as Black Mirror, Jurassic World: Camp Cretacious, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It’s possible, although unconfirmed, that the streaming service saw potential for its next interactive effort, given that the Realms franchise has a branching narrative.
The future of gaming?
Subscription services have become more and more popular in recent years across all forms of media, ranging from streaming giants such as Netflix, specialty services such as Shudder, or gaming services such as PlayStation Plus. These services offer consumers access to a catalogue of options for a fraction of the price of purchasing them individually. Although Netflix has struggled to engage subscribers with its gaming offerings, the company has been making steady steps to boost its profile, quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the games space.
Earlier this year, we listed Netflix as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.