Netflix is set to become even more useful for users looking to pass time as the company has announced plans to introduce video games to the platform.
The streaming service became a lifeline for people across the globe during lockdown, providing hours of entertainment with its library of films, TV shows, documentaries and shorts.
It already provides everything you need for a dedicated binge-session or some easy background noise, but subscriptions are set to become even more worthwhile, with games being added at no extra cost.
The company announced its plans in a letter to investors on Tuesday, July 20, explaining it is in the early stages of expanding into games and that mobile video games would be the first platform for its expansion.
Netflix said the time had come to ‘learn more about how its members value games’, with the venture likely helping to set the platform apart from competitors such as Disney+ and Amazon Prime.
With games coming at no extra price, independent telecoms analyst Paolo Pescatore noted the plans could prove costly.
Per BBC News, Pescatore commented, ‘The company will have to dedicate significant resources including time and investment with no guaranteed success. For sure this is a long-term play as Netflix needs to strongly think about retention and engagement.’
Netflix expanded on its foray into video games today:
– Games will be included in the subscription
– Initially focused on mobile devices
– Netflix is competing for screen time across all entertainment, with key competitors such as TikTok (Video) and Epic Games (Fortnite). pic.twitter.com/JNGWp3h1a7
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 20, 2021
Pescatore also pointed out that Netflix will find competition in the gaming industry by introducing games to its platform, adding that it could be years before the service manages to successfully establish itself in that market.
Netflix has previously dabbled in more interactive usage of its platform with the release of Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch, which allows users to make decisions to determine what happens to the character in the film, in a similar way to controlling a video game.
The streaming service has reported a total of more than 209 million paid members, plus expectations of a further 3.5 million new customers in the three months to the end of September.
In its latest financial update, the company noted that the coronavirus outbreak had ‘created some lumpiness’ in its membership growth by resulting in a higher growth in 2020, when more people were staying at home, and a slower growth in 2021.
In its statement, the company said, ‘We continue to focus on improving our service for our members and bringing them the best stories from around the world.’
Netflix plans to continue putting more money into the production of shows, expressing its hopes to ‘increase its share of screen time in the US and around the world’.