Netflix seems to have plans to add video games to its vast collection of movies and TV shows, and the new content could be arriving very soon.
Forget all about Netflix and chill, it’s time to git gud scrub: video games are coming to the popular streaming service and potentially as soon as next year, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The forecast follows the brand’s hiring of Mike Vergu, who formerly worked for Electronic Arts and Facebook’s Oculus branch, in the role of Vice President for Game Development. According to a close source who will remain anonymous, “the games will appear alongside current fare as a new programming genre – similar to what Netflix did with documentaries or stand-up specials.” You’ll be pleased to know that “the company doesn’t currently plan to charge extra for the content.”
Netflix has already gingerly dipped its toe into these particular waters, with two particular examples coming to mind; the first being Bandersnatch, the Black Mirror spin-off that allowed you to make decisions in the story, and the other being Minecraft Story Mode, which took a similar approach with an established video game franchise. These “choose your own adventure” stories are hardly on the level with AAA blockbusters, but the interactivity certainly shifted the experience more towards that direction.
This change of emphasis could signal another phase of the streaming wars, which have put the likes of Disney and HBO in fierce competition with Netflix for viewer’s subscription fees. But can these media giants really turn their hands to video games with as much success as their TV shows and movies? It’s unlikely that they’ll be able to take on the PS5 or the Xbox Series X as a platform for gaming in the near future, but as cloud gaming continues to grow with services like Google Stadia, streaming companies would be well-advised to reposition themselves to capitalise on the next industry shake-up.