Netflix has experimented in gaming on occasion, perhaps most notably with the hugely popular “choose your own adventure”-style film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. According to multiple outlets in the last few days, Netflix could be moving deeper into gaming, Netflix of games, with a new package for Netflix subscribers.
The first story was published on Friday by The Information, which stated that Netflix is looking to recruit an executive to oversee new gaming activities and that the company is exploring a package of games similar to Apple Arcade. (Several hours later, Reuters confirmed that Netflix is planning to recruit a gaming executive.) As per The Information, the company has also decided not to incorporate ads in the Netflix of games. Netflix’s plans, however, are still “very much in flux,” according to The Information.
Axios, on the other hand, shared more information from its own reporting in a report released Monday. Consider the forthcoming service, which will be available to Netflix users, as a “smaller Apple Arcade” bundle that will include both licenced Netflix IP and games developed from indie studios, according to an Axios source. However, the service could take a while to arrive, with “possibly launching in 2022.”
Though Netflix hasn’t verified that it plans to expand its gaming activities – Netflix game series, the company did leave the door open in a claim obtained by both The Information and Polygon, which stated:
Our members value the variety and quality of our content. It’s why we’ve continually expanded our offering — from series to documentaries, film, local language originals and reality TV. Members also enjoy engaging more directly with stories they love — through interactive shows like Bandersnatch and You v. Wild, or games based on Stranger Things, La Casa de Papel and To All the Boys. So we’re excited to do more with interactive entertainment.
Netflix has a number of titles focused on popular video games that are currently available or in development, including Castlevania, Resident Evil, and The Witcher, indicating that the organization recognizes the appeal of video games as IP. It’s not impossible to imagine Netflix marketing its shows through new games, or, in the ultimate ouroboros, creating a new game that becomes a new Netflix show in the potential – Netflix of games.
Netflix appeared to be on its move in 2019 — it had collaborated with Telltale Games on a hidden Stranger Things game that was cancelled before it was released, according to a source who unfolded, “Netflix was just getting into the space and didn’t really have a games group in place yet.” Minecraft: Story Mode, on the other hand, was saved by Telltale and is now available on Netflix in some form.