Is Netflix set to dominate the cloud gaming market?

The company is well positioned to play a major role in the future of cloud gaming

Is Netflix set to dominate the cloud gaming market?

Netflix is set to become a major player in the cloud gaming space, according to research conducted by Savanta.

The cloud gaming market is one that’s rapidly evolving, with 33% of committed gamers and 10% of casual gamers having already used a cloud gaming service. Of those, 82% commented they were likely to use such a service again in the future.

Of likely repeat users, Spain leads the way with 44%, followed by 36% in the USA and 30% in the UK.

“Committed gamers, the audience Microsoft is targeting with its mooted $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, represents a significant - and lucrative - market segment. However, it would be short-sighted to discount the collective opportunity in casual gamers,” said Savanta senior vice president of media Shaun Austin.

“70% of our sample play mainly on their smartphone and over half (52%) prefer freemium games. The potential in this segment has certainly not been lost on Google as it deploys its new Playables initiative - and certainly not by Netflix. The latter recently announced that it is extending its offer from downloadable mobile games to a fully-fledged cloud gaming service, which will be accessible through connected TVs and laptops.”

Market pioneers

Netflix has a history of taking on new challenges and quickly emerging as a leader in the market. The company shifted its business model from by-mail rental to streaming in 2007 and quickly became a juggernaut in the space, and its move into mobile gaming has seen it become one of the most esteemed names in the industry.

22% of the 12,000 gamers surveyed by Savanta have already downloaded at least one Netflix game, with 77% likely to do so again. 45% of those who hadn’t heard about the service said they would use it in its current form. With the company already having a significant presence in the cloud streaming space when it comes to video, it’s clear that it already has a significant amount of expertise which it can leverage into the world of cloud gaming - and with its own ambitions to move into console and PC gaming, there’s a significant gap in the market following the shuttering of the Google Stadia.

“The failure of Google’s Stadia service suggests the committed gamer segment, one that obsesses over technical details like frame rates and data usage caps, is always going to be a tough one to crack. Google and Netflix have learned from this and are taking a very different strategy in following the likes of Facebook to target the casual market.

“Netflix is positioning games as a value add, rather than a destination. Games represent sticky content for a platform likely to be hit hard both by the cost-of-living-crisis and the Writers’ Strike. Moreover, Netflix’s IP in the gaming space could offer a host of brand extension opportunities, including product placement, for brand advertisers. Customers don’t need to give anything up, rather they have all to gain. If 45% of Netflix’s global audience of 238 million gives gaming a go, then Netflix could become a major force in cloud gaming space.”

We listed Netflix as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2023.

Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.