Are video games the new streaming frontier for Netflix?
Is Netflix Games the next phase of the streaming frontier? Netflix seems to think so.
Netflix has slowly been making a big push toward gaming throughout the past few years and that has never been clearer than at the impressive showing at Geeked Week 2022. Between a new single-player role-playing game set within Shadow and Bone‘s Grishaverse and acquiring the indie darling Spiritfarer—color me impressed.
I don’t know that Shadow and Bone: Destinies will be as good as an AAA open-world game, but the fact Netflix is branching out and creating games based on its hit properties is an exciting notion. Even Too Hot to Handle is getting what appears to be a dating simulator adaptation.
Netflix has been plagued by no shortage of troubles as of late, between the subscriber loss, stocks plummeting and difficulties with password-sharing, many have become concerned that Netflix will lose its status as the top dog in the streaming world, especially as competitors like Disney+ and HBO Max close in.
But the inclusion of video games with subscriber streaming bundles would be a fascinating way to explore a new frontier that no other streamer has tapped into just yet.
There is precedent for this sort of subscription package for digital gaming with the Xbox Game Pass and Playstation Plus, but no other entertainment streaming service has a similar set-up like Netflix does at the moment.
Of course, adding games to Netflix isn’t enough. At least some of the games need to be genuinely good. I admit I haven’t played any Netflix games myself, but the Geeked Week announcement that arrived earlier today got me excited for the future.
And Spiritfarer is a great game that I have played on Switch. Not only that, it’s a sizable game that takes about 25 hours to beat, but up to 40 hours or more for completionists.
The fact subscribers will be able to play it as part of their subscription is pretty cool and Netflix achieving the rights to exclusive mobile ports for popular games like Spiritfarer and Oxenfree appears to be a strategic and savvy business move. Not to mention their partnership with Devolver and other notable gaming studios. This could mean big things for the indie gaming world, too.
Is Netflix Games the new streaming frontier?
The other advantage Netflix Games has over Xbox and Playstation is its library of shows. If Shadow and Bone, The Queen’s Gambit, Stranger Things and Too Hot to Handle can get spin-off games, what else could we see in the future?
And on the flipside, Netflix has already tapped into creating live-action and animated television series based off of popular video game properties like the recent Cuphead Show, based on the popular indie game and the upcoming Dragon Age: Absolution. I wonder if Netflix might acquire the run-and-gun game for its platform in the future.
Beyond that, a live-action Resident Evil series is coming soon, a new Castlevania series, an animated Dragon Age series was announced for December, a Tomb Raider anime is in development, and Netflix is also developing projects for Assassin’s Creed, Bioshock and Horizon Zero Dawn.
There is also no shortage of anime adaptations and spin-offs like the upcoming Cyberpunk: Edgerunners and Tekken: Bloodline. Netflix appears to be settling into a niche where video games are developed into series and vice versa.
The best part is that Netflix mobile gaming allows fans to play without microtransactions or ads. It’s all included in your subscription. I admit that playing on mobile isn’t always the best way to play and some might be turned off by that, but who knows? Maybe in the future Netflix will have a console or something akin to the Steam Deck.
Which Netflix Games are your favorite and which are you most excited to watch?