Netflix plans to start publishing videogames
Bloomberg reports that Netflix has recently hired Mike Verdu, a former EA and Oculus executive, to lead a Netflix game-publishing team.
It’s still unconfirmed what kind of games the team will be working on, and how these games will be distributed. But Bloomberg reporters say that the games will be part of Netflix’s streaming service starting next year:
The idea is to offer video games on Netflix’s streaming platform within the next year, according to a person familiar with the situation.
According to Arstechnica, we’re talking actual video games here, not the “choose your own adventure” kind that has already been on Netflix for a while, such as Black Mirror Bandersnatch.
Arstechnica note that Netflix have been growing their stake in video game franchises, with exclusive TV Shows based on DOTA, Castlevania, and the Witcher. This could give them leverage to work with video game companies, such as Konami to revive the Castlevania franchise.
Video Games Streaming – A growing industry that still needs to find its audience
Video Games streaming has become a growing industry and seems to be the next battleground of streaming services. Playstation Now, Amazon’s Luna, GeForce Now, Google’s Stadia, and more, are all fighting for a share of the cake.
Gamers I know are much more suspicious about the future of such technology, than the companies trying to push for it: The Lag/ping and video quality are two complaints I hear often about these services. (In my opinion, in order to convince gamers that this technology is the right direction, a platform should provide at least one game with hardware requirements so “out of this world” that people would understand the potential.)
Google had to shut down their Stadia game publishing team earlier this year, and the service itself has been receiving lukewarm reviews. Amazon’s Luna appears promising according to reviews, but is still in “early access”. Ultimately, all these services seem to share the same flaws: library not on par with expectations, and streaming speed/ping hit and miss depending on your location and internet connection.
Whether or not Netflix will be able to leverage their experience in video streaming, and their huge amount of customers, to overcome the issues of video game streaming, remains to be seen.