Netflix and video games, new love stories? The streaming platform is no longer hiding its new strategy: entering the gaming world to diversify its offer and its revenues at a time when streaming enters a more competitive environment (HBO, Disney , Amazon Prime Video, etc.). This trend has been visible since the summer of 2021, a time when management has officially announced their desire to look play if the grass is fairly green.
Since then, information in this direction has increased. The latest, in early March 2022, with Netflix’s acquisition of Next Game, a Finnish video game development studio, cost 65 million euros. Next Game is known as a game specialist free play, these are free games where paid elements appear to go through the level or open worlds or settings. Already, in the fall of 2021, Netflix bought the Night School studio.
The video game industry is very heavy
Concretely, what does the game look like on Netflix? In early April 2022, the streaming platform launched Trivia Quest, a game in the form of a series inspired by the famous Trivial Pursuit. The goal is to answer a general knowledge question every day to improve a hero and help him fight an enemy that gets all his knowledge and expertise from the world. The idea remains the same in a series: to maintain suspension and distortion, to establish loyalty over a specific period of time, but also to engage users, who are grateful to be directly involved in fiction. Interactive series are popular and represent a buoyant market.
Netflix wants to enter the world of gaming, because it knows a happy universe there. By 2020, the worldwide video game industry has generated more than 180 billion dollars in turnover: a record that could even be beaten in 2021 then in 2022 and 2023. The gaming world never ends with doing business ( the biggest brands have invested a lot of money in two or three years) and more and more players are rushing to their screens for a fun session, the most popular games are HTML5 games, which is praised by most users for their ease, their simplicity and the joy they evoke. .
The Netflix model has run out of steam
This desire by Netflix to penetrate the video game therefore responds to a desire to follow consumer trends, but also to diversify as its model experiences its first loss of steam. In France, in 2021, the number of subscribers fell for the first time since its launch. And starting in 2022, management has indicated it wants to change its multi-account policy: now consider charging more for a subscription for an account that is available to multiple people. This desire to change the rules is motivated by the fact that the American company will feel an impact on its ability to finance new projects.
The idea of Netflix is also to expand its palette to capture a new audience while retaining its subscribers. Because to play video games on Netflix, you don’t have to go directly to the platform, but download the applications dedicated to each game using your Netflix access codes, which require you to save a subscription.
This strategy should not have an impact on the series and movies developed by Netflix, as this industry remains the main activity and the main offering. In any case, not immediately, because the entry into an important new market, even if it is buoyant, will not bear fruit in a few weeks. In addition, the investments made are not yet on a remarkable scale, it is a gateway to observe how this repositioning creates value. The idea, for now, is to take advantage of this arrival in the gaming world to associate Netflix’s successes with games. For example, by taking over the universe of the Stranger Things series, the platform has developed and is where it is the source of many video games where Netflix sees strong business potential.
Netflix’s strategic bet could be a success or an obvious failure. It’s only time to say whether the streaming platform is right or not to change course. For now, he continues his investment in the world of series and films. The promising scenarios and series that have been aired have only recently been purchased, suggesting that traditional streaming still has a bright future ahead of it.