Netflix announced a few weeks ago that their first two games are in the beta stage and will be released to the public soon. Why did Netflix feel so inclined to start a new division? We don’t think the answer is as simple as “why not?” or “we have to try and stay competitive.”
Companies that specialize in gaming such as Ubisoft (Just Dance), Activision Blizzard (World of Warcraft), Epic Games (Fortnite), or even mobile developers have found luck in this space with gaming more and more on the rise. It’s fully plausible that Netflix or even Disney+ see real potential in this space and want a piece of the pie.
How Do They Do It?
- 1. Hire out the help. Often times, companies license out their IP (Intellectual Properties) to other companies to use them in gaming or advertising. A prime example of this could be found in the Kingdom Hearts games. Square-Enix (Final Fantasy) and the Walt Disney Company collaborated on number of Kingdom Hearts games dating back to the early 2000’s and have sold more than 21 million copies of this continuing story.
- 2. Recruit the experienced. Recently, Netflix went out and poached a former EA Executive to run Netflix’s gaming division. As reported by Bloomberg, Mike Verdu and the Netflix team plan on “remaining well ahead of streaming rivals” as it looks at find creative ways to stay relevant in a demanding space. It’s also important to note that Netflix starting it’s own gaming division, it’s looking to broaden the offerings for the existing and expanding market. During that same interview with Bloomberg, Netflix as of late isn’t planning on raising prices, but wants to find ways to keep users engaged and happy, while strives to use their established IP and strengthen the awareness within and the product.
- 3. Acquire a company. We as DejaViewstream have advocated for companies like the Walt Disney Company to go out and acquire the companies that do it best. Disney, under no shock at all, have struggled in making a name for themselves in the gaming space. Now note, Disney has had success with Epic Mickey and other family oriented games, but nothing as big as a Fifa or a Witcher. This could be due to the lack of interest in a IP centered game as gamers have specific tastes and know what they want. It could simply be due to the lack of resources allocated to creating a game-centered franchise.
- A third Epic Mickey!!! Though it flopped, the game still had it’s moments.
- A continuation of Kingdom Hearts. (Not the Melody of Memory 2020 version, but the 2002, 2004, or 2005 version).
- A Capcom inspired game. Sit back and watch Mickey Mouse fight Iron Man.
- How about a MMOG (or a massively multiplayer online) game? Think Marvel meets Star Wars meets Pixar and so on. We’ve seen this style with Disney Infinity, but imagine it with better graphics!
Why do you see streaming services getting into the gaming industry? What games interest you and what types of games would you hope to see brought to the streaming offering? Is a Stranger Things mobile app enough to keep you subscribed for another month?
Gregory Bertrand is a film and television enthusiast. His degree in Early Childhood Education is from Saint Cloud State University and he’s currently teaching in a school. When he isn’t shaping young minds, he spends his time researching, analyzing, and documenting Walt Disney contractual obligations while streaming a slew of old and original content.