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Netflix Want to Expand Into Gaming

To say that the writing had been on the wall for Netflix’s clear and decisive move into the heart of the gaming industry (or, at least, we presume that’s what they’re hoping for) would be, in many ways, something of an understatement.

For around 18 months now, many writers, critics and users have commented on the streaming giant’s growing interest in the gaming industry. While, for instance, their original series have been toppling onto the cutting room floor left, right, and centre for years, original titles like Witcher have thrived – and even been confirmed for subsequent series and spin-offs, even before the success of the initial series was confirmed.

That is, of course, just one example, but anyone who has been on the platform in recent months will have no doubt noticed a growing focus in this arena. In October of 2020, the streaming giant announced that they would be releasing an original series based heavily on the massively influential Assassin’s Creed franchise from development studio Ubisoft. Furthermore, their investment is clearly high – just last week, Netflix announced that Assassin’s Creed would enjoy blockbuster screenwriter Jeb Stuart (of Diehard and The Fugitive fame) was on board to write the screenplay.

So, while other platforms are holding fast to their superhero titles, for instance, Netflix has been homing in on what is, arguably, one of the most lucrative and flourishing industries of the 2020s: the next-generation gaming industry.

Now, however, their interest in this massively influential portion of the entertainment sector is growing wider still, with news that the streaming giant is ready to incorporate games into its subscription service. Read more below.

From the Cloud to the Brick-and-Mortar Casino, Here’s The Lay of the Gaming Land in 2021

The games industry is pretty unique. Straddling both real-world spaces – from conventions to casinos, to esports arenas to living rooms – and online spaces – shared universes that bring together thousands of players at a time, to compete alongside or against one another.

Beyond the massive development that has occurred within the realm of tiple-A and indie development – and particularly in recent years – there exits a wealth of peripheral content, services, and other platforms which effectively transform gaming from a habit into a way of life.

There exist guides covering all manner of gaming-related niches and subjects, from strategy to world building to making waves in the online streaming arena, learning how to become a casino whale, and ‘personal branding’ as it pertains to esports and professional gaming – to name just a few.

And, in completement to those guides, there are events. Digital events, in-game events, and arena-based eSporting events which are steadily gaining traction the world over.

Services like cloud-based games streaming represent yet another major, though relatively new, component of the new generation of gaming – one which was ushered in by yet another cornerstone of the entire industry: advanced hardware in the form of dedicated, next-gen consoles.

Where is Netflix Hoping to Fit in?

Until their recent announcement, Netflix held a strong – though undefined – position on the periphery of the gaming industry. Its growing interest in creating high-budget, blockbuster-style series based on popular gaming franchises was one of the factors that continued to enable the platform to set itself apart from the likes of HBO Max and Amazon Video. This was, of course, a growing concern for the streaming platform; how to hone in on popular franchises without stepping on the toes of their rivals.

Concurrent to this, of course, was the rise of cloud streaming services. While the writing had been on the wall before 2020 – Google’s stadia project was first announced in 2019, for instance – last year saw the landslide release of a number of services from Amazon, Microsoft, and Nvidia.

One thing that they all had in common? The fact that they were frequently billed to be the ‘Netflix of gaming’. Their ability to offer libraries brimming with instantly playable content, all for a modest monthly subscription fee, made them the perfect gaming-complement to Netflix’s movie and TV services.

Now, however, it appears Netflix saw the memo, and has decided that they will take up the reins as the true ‘Netflix of games’. While there have been no definitive announcements from the streaming platform yet, rumours abound that Netflix has been approaching gaming industry execs with a view to taking them on board, and beginning a strong and resolute advance into brand new waters.

Quite how this will take shape remains to be seen, but it could spell big changes for the entire online entertainment industry – and, of course, widen the playing field further for billions of gamers around the world.


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