As Netflix sees its subscriber growth slowing after the pandemic boom and new streaming services from the likes of Disney, HBO, Apple and others provide increased competition, the company is looking to expand into video games, according to a new report from The Information (paywall), summarized via Reuters.
The report states that the company has spoken to numerous executives from the gaming industry and is looking for someone to lead a new gaming division inside the streaming giant. The report does not mention whether Netflix is looking to create its own in-house studio or publish video games made by third parties.
In addition, we don’t yet know whether the company is planning to offer downloadable games or compete in the growing category of game streaming with the likes of Microsoft’s Project xCloud, Amazon’s Luna, and Google’s Stadia.
However, Netflix is apparently exploring the creation of a subscription service that will offer a bundle of games to its customers, in a similar fashion to Apple Arcade or Xbox Game Pass. Furthermore, the company has reportedly ruled out advertising as a way of monetization.
A Netflix spokesperson made the following statement to Polygon:
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.
Back in 2019, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings acknowledged the appeal of major games like Fortnite, famously stating that "We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO", indicating that the company may have set its sights on gaming for quite a while.