Interactive Streaming

Preview image of “Interactive Streaming”
  • The streaming platform is feeling its way into gaming
  • Photo: Mollie Sivaram - Unsplash

Netflix starts expansion into
gaming as new business strategy.

Streaming service Netflix has announced its intention to expand its own portfolio with gaming content. As early as next year, users will be able to find video games in their media library as part of their regular Netflix subscription, in addition to films and series. For the time being, the service will focus on mobile devices and will not include in-game advertising or financial transactions.

“Fortnite means more competition for us than HBO,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said, hinting at the move as early as 2019. The company remains well ahead of streaming rivals such as Disney+, but has gained far fewer subscribers than hoped in recent quarters. Mike Verdu was brought on board as Vice President of Game Development to support the new business segment.
Verdu was previously a managing director at EA and later at Facebook, where he was responsible for developing games and other digital content for the Oculus virtual reality headsets.

This is not the first time the streaming giant has ventured into the gaming world. The interactive TV experiment “Bandersnatch” already caused a stir in 2018. As an immersive, non-linear film, viewers were able for the first time to choose between a series of options via touchscreen or remote control and thus, actively influence the course of the plot, similar to a video game. A rapid hype developed in the social networks to explore all possible storylines, which led to the overnight worldwide fame of the format. More recent Netflix productions such as “Stranger Things” and “Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not To Steal” were also able to build on the success and bridge the gap to
interactive storytelling.

In Europe, a first test run for the gaming offer has begun: In Poland, subscribers can now exclusively download two games free of charge via their Android