Netflix has been making strides towards expanding its services beyond streaming movies and TV shows. In recent years, the company has begun to venture into gaming, and now it seems that Netflix has its sights set on cloud gaming.
Cloud gaming, also known as gaming on demand, is a relatively new concept in the gaming industry. Essentially, it allows users to play video games remotely on servers located in data centers, rather than on a local console or PC. This means that users can play games without having to own expensive hardware or worry about updates and installations.
To further explain how cloud gaming works, it essentially uses cloud computing technology. Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence – over the internet (“the cloud”). In other words, instead of having to maintain physical hardware and software on-premises, users can access computing resources from remote data centers.
Cloud computing offers many benefits, including scalability, flexibility, cost savings, and the ability to access resources from anywhere with an internet connection. Cloud computing is already widely used in many industries, including e-commerce, healthcare, and finance, and it has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses and individuals access and use computing resources.
In 2021, the company announced that it had hired Mike Verdu, a former executive at Electronic Arts and Facebook, to lead its gaming division. This first move signaled that Netflix was serious about expanding into gaming, and cloud gaming in particular.
Since then, Netflix has acquired several indie game studios, including mobile game developer Next Games and the studio behind the hit game “Oxenfree”, Night School Studio. It has also opened new studios dedicated to gaming, with the first one established in Helsinki, Finland, and another opened in Southern California.
This 2023, the streaming company is set to add 40 games, releasing a few every month. This would include exclusive titles from Ubisoft. Netflix currently already has 55 games in its lineup, and it seems that the streamer is also working on bringing its mobile game offerings to TV. An app developer uncovered a code within the Netflix app that suggests such, with one line reading, “A game on your TV needs a controller to play. Do you want to use this phone as a game controller?”
The potential benefits of cloud gaming for Netflix are clear. By offering cloud gaming as part of its subscription service, Netflix could attract even more users and increase engagement among its existing subscriber base. Additionally, cloud gaming would allow Netflix to offer a wider variety of content without having to make significant investments in hardware or software development.
However, entering the cloud gaming space won’t be easy for Netflix. The competition in the gaming industry is fierce, with established players like Microsoft and Sony already offering cloud gaming services. Additionally, the technology required to offer high-quality cloud gaming experiences can be expensive and complex.
However, it should be noted that many big players also haven’t had much success in this space. Google already shut down its Stadia platform early this January, while Amazon’s Luna is still struggling to gain attain mainstream adoption. Verdu said that he thinks these companies failed not because of the technology but because of their business model.
Another important consideration for Netflix’s aspirations for cloud gaming is the potential impact on internet infrastructure. Cloud gaming requires a reliable and high-speed internet connection, which could be a challenge in areas with poor internet connectivity. Additionally, streaming high-quality games requires a significant amount of bandwidth, which could strain internet infrastructure in areas with high demand. It will be important for Netflix to work with internet service providers and technology companies to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place to support cloud gaming on a large scale.
Despite these challenges, there are reasons to be optimistic about Netflix’s potential for success in the cloud gaming market. The company has a massive user base and a proven track record of creating compelling content that keeps viewers engaged. Additionally, by focusing on mobile games initially, Netflix can test the waters of the gaming industry without making a significant investment.
In conclusion, Netflix’s aspirations for cloud gaming are a logical next step for the company as it continues to expand its services beyond traditional streaming. While there are challenges to overcome, there are also clear benefits to offering cloud gaming to its subscribers. Only time will tell if Netflix can successfully enter the gaming industry, but for now, it seems that the company is on the right track.