Netflix's Announced 'Video Game Streaming' Foray Fizzles Into Some Mobile Games Using Netflix IP

from the more-like-a-trickle-than-a-stream dept

You may recall that my colleague Karl Bode discussed Netflix’s response to real competition last month, dealing mostly with how Netflix has attempted to hand-waive concerns over losing subscribers in the face of increasing streaming options from the likes of Amazon, Disney, and Comcast. But buried down in the last paragraph was a reference to Netflix’s reported interest in video game streaming. Reports indicated that Netflix had hired an executive that had previously worked for EA, speculating that the company was getting into game publishing. There was no official word from Netflix as to what this game studio would actually look like, and the speculation was roughly what you would expect.

While Netflix has not yet confirmed what shape its video game publishing arm might take, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman has suggested that the effort could lead to “video games [as part of] its service in the next year.” The use of “video games” as a descriptor is key, as that differentiates the effort from the “choose your own adventure” TV specials that have become more common on the service since Black Mirror’s “Bandersnatch” special debuted in 2018.

A tantalizing thought, to be sure. Would Netflix, the company that largely changed the way the public consumes television and movie content, jump into video game streaming in some way to compete with Amazon, Google Prime, and the like? Given the lackluster adoption of such video game streaming services, and given Netflix’s reputation for redefining content via streamed services, such speculation certainly made sense.

But, no, Netflix is not getting into that sort of video game streaming service. Instead, the studio will build mobile gaming apps available to Netflix subscribers, chiefly utilizing Netflix intellectual property.

One month after its vague announcement of a new gaming-centric strategy, Netflix has explained how it will “publish” video games in the foreseeable future: as downloadable smartphone apps, available exclusively for paying video-streaming subscribers.

The news coincides with the company’s public launch of Netflix Gaming on Thursday as part of the service’s smartphone app… but only in Poland—and only on Android. The company’s American Twitter translated Thursday’s Polish announcement, which explains how the service works. It also announced the two games launching as part of the service today: Stranger Things 3, a 16-bit beat-’em-up that was previously available as a standalone Google Play purchase (and is still live on PC and consoles); and Stranger Things: 1984, a rebranding of a 2017 smartphone-exclusive game that revolve around slow, puzzle-solving movement through pixelated TV-series environments.

Yawn. The more detailed announcement is honestly underwhelming. On top of that, the way Netflix is attempting to silo this new gaming content behind the Netflix app for subscribers sounds like an absolute user experience nightmare.

To access this content, you’ll need to log in to Netflix’s Android app while using a Polish IP address, then open the region’s new “N Gaming” row of icons (pictured below). From there, pick either of those games, and the app will direct you to their Google Play download listings. Once downloaded, the apps in question will request your Netflix credentials before loading, and they will not work without an active Netflix membership.

The Polish IP part of this equation is a function of this all being in beta, so we’ll leave that aside. But accessing the Google Play store by first navigating a complicated menu in the Netflix app… only to then have to re-input your user name and password for Netflix into the game application? Come on now, this isn’t the efficient user experience Netflix made its name on.

And I’m also terribly confused why Netflix would even want to restrict selling its games only to Netflix subscribers. Why not sell to, you know, everyone? This reeks of console exclusivity, where gaming console companies strike deals with developers to only appear on their consoles as a way to drive more console sales. Is Netflix’s strategy really to use these mobile games to drive more people to subscribe or stay subscribed to its main offering?

If so, it’s a terribly weak move, and unlikely to work. Maybe the game catalogue will grow, but I can’t imagine anyone considering unsubscribing to Netflix changing their minds simply to play a Stranger Things mobile game.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: netflix

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Netflix's Announced 'Video Game Streaming' Foray Fizzles Into Some Mobile Games Using Netflix IP”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
12 Comments
Dialer Bangladeshsays:

Hosted & Cloud Dialer Call Center

AVYUKTA INTELLICALL is a leading company that provides End-to-End Call Center Dialer Solutions. In our 14 years of journey in this sector, we have gained a lot of customers through our excellent and prompt service along with after-sales service. We at Avyukta Intellicall provide 24*6 customer support to our customers through call/skype/email. Our main motive is to provide the best services to our customers.

About Predictive Dialer: Cloud-Based Predictive Dialer Software is a computerized system for the selection, which has the ability to quickly make multiple calls dialed, pulled from a database of phone numbers that connect to a variety of communication and telephone lines. The configuration and the number of agents who use this system will affect how much Predictive Dialer call center per hour.

For further information and queries, please visit our website: https://www.dialerbangladesh.com/ or call us on: +91-856-0000-600 ; +1-408-791-3820 or WhatsApp Us on: +91-856-0000-600 or Skype Us on: avyuktaindia

Anonymoussays:

I couldn’t care less about streaming or mobile gaming, but Gamepass, EA Play, and the like have been very positive additions and it will be interesting to see how they grow. It can hopefully be a revenue stream that allows them to continue to invest in single player games without the obscene profit margins of multiplayer.

PaulTsays:

It’s a strangely uncharacteristic move for Netflix to be sure. There’s 2 major reasons why Netflix has grown to where it is now – innovation and accessibility. They took the concept of streaming very seriously in an era where few were even looking at it at all, let alone trying to use it as a primary distribution method, and made it mainstream. Then, in an industry that loves to build itself around regional and technological restrictions, they expanded quickly to every country and device possible. This combination of reach and innovation gave them such a head start that it’s only recently that anyone he had the chance to actually catch up.

So, it’s seems rather strange that this big announcement is restricted to a single country and device type. Even more so when you realise that even the titles being offered are not new. I hope that this turns out to only be a small initial volley in a much bigger plan, that’s been artificially crippler by the terms of existing licences on games that were chosen simply because Netflix are the originating IP holder… but it has probably killed any excitement that anyone had when they first heard the news, and that’s going to take a lot more work to regain now.

Anonymoussays:

Nothing in the Ars article pointed to them doing game streaming or having ?announced? a game streaming foray. The title of this article talking about ?Netflix’s Announced ‘Video Game Streaming’ Foray? is inaccurate, from what I?ve seen, or rather never seen with regards to reports that Netflix was interested in game streaming. It?s all been speculation.

jump into video game streaming in some way to compete with Amazon, Google Prime

This is a typo. Google Prime is something that doesn?t exist.

And I’m also terribly confused why Netflix would even want to restrict selling its games only to Netflix subscribers. Why not sell to, you know, everyone? This reeks of console exclusivity, where gaming console companies strike deals with developers to only appear on their consoles as a way to drive more console sales. Is Netflix’s strategy really to use these mobile games to drive more people to subscribe or stay subscribed to its main offering?

You answered your own question. Console exclusives do drive sales and are rather lucrative. Netflix making games based off their properties subscriber-exclusive is a move meant to increase subscriber retention.

nerdragesays:

lame, Netflix

Netflix should think about what they want the end state of their gaming initiative to be. The form that makes sense is: you watch Witcher, then the Witcher game is one click away to play. They should adapt their interface so that Witcher or Stranger Things is a header that takes you to either the show episodes or the games or spinoff movies if they have then, and why not a link to buy merchandise too? They can try this out with one game in one test country if they like.

Hatur1943says:

Thanks

Thanks for the info. I love to watch video games streaming on Netflix. I used to watch live streaming on video games on the YouTube channels. This would be my first time, watching video games streaming on Netflix. I am glad I have found this post while searching for the online casino bonus coupons. Because I need to recharge my Netflix account and my parents won’t give me enough pocket money so, that is the only option for me to earn money.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Report this ad??|??Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
12:25 Australian Privacy Commissioner Says 7-Eleven Broke Privacy Laws By Scanning Customers' Faces At Survey Kiosks (6)
10:50 Missouri Governor Doubles Down On 'View Source' Hacking Claim; PAC Now Fundraising Over This Bizarrely Stupid Claim (45)
10:45 Daily Deal: The All-in-One Microsoft, Cybersecurity, And Python Exam Prep Training Bundle (0)
09:43 Want To Understand Why U.S. Broadband Sucks? Look At Frontier Communications In Wisconsin, West Virginia (8)
05:36 Massachusetts College Decides Criticizing The Chinese Government Is Hate Speech, Suspends Conservative Student Group (71)
19:57 Le Tigre Sues Barry Mann To Stop Copyright Threats Over Song, Lights Barry Mann On Fire As Well (21)
16:07 Court Says City Of Baltimore's 'Heckler's Veto' Of An Anti-Catholic Rally Violates The First Amendment (15)
13:37 Two Years Later, Judge Finally Realizes That A CDN Provider Is Not Liable For Copyright Infringement On Websites (21)
12:19 Chicago Court Gets Its Prior Restraint On, Tells Police Union Head To STFU About City's Vaccine Mandate (158)
10:55 Verizon 'Visible' Wireless Accounts Hacked, Exploited To Buy New iPhones (8)
10:50 Daily Deal: The MacOS 11 Course (0)
07:55 Suing Social Media Sites Over Acts Of Terrorism Continues To Be A Losing Bet, As 11th Circuit Dumps Another Flawed Lawsuit (11)
02:51 Trump Announces His Own Social Network, 'Truth Social,' Which Says It Can Kick Off Users For Any Reason (And Already Is) (100)
19:51 Facebook AI Moderation Continues To Suck Because Moderation At Scale Is Impossible (26)
16:12 Content Moderation Case Studies: Snapchat Disables GIPHY Integration After Racist 'Sticker' Is Discovered (2018) (11)
13:54 Arlo Makes Live Customer Service A Luxury Option (8)
12:05 Delta Proudly Announces Its Participation In The DHS's Expanded Biometric Collection Program (5)
11:03 LinkedIn (Mostly) Exits China, Citing Escalating Demands For Censorship (14)
10:57 Daily Deal: The Python, Git, And YAML Bundle (0)
09:37 British Telecom Wants Netflix To Pay A Tax Simply Because Squid Game Is Popular (32)
06:41 Report: Client-Side Scanning Is An Insecure Nightmare Just Waiting To Be Exploited By Governments (35)
20:38 MLB In Talks To Offer Streaming For All Teams' Home Games In-Market Even Without A Cable Subscription (10)
15:55 Appeals Court Says Couple's Lawsuit Over Bogus Vehicle Forfeiture Can Continue (15)
13:30 Techdirt Podcast Episode 301: Scarcity, Abundance & NFTs (0)
12:03 Hollywood Is Betting On Filtering Mandates, But Working Copyright Algorithms Simply Don't Exist (66)
10:45 Introducing The Techdirt Insider Discord (4)
10:40 Daily Deal: The Dynamic 2021 DevOps Training Bundle (0)
09:29 Criminalizing Teens' Google Searches Is Just How The UK's Anti-Cybercrime Programs Roll (19)
06:29 Canon Sued For Disabling Printer Scanners When Devices Run Out Of Ink (41)
20:51 Copyright Law Discriminating Against The Blind Finally Struck Down By Court In South Africa (7)
More arrow