We learned a few days ago that Netflix is planning to expand into the video game market and that the new service may debut next year.
So far it was all rumors, but today the company has officially confirmed this information.
In its letter to investors, Netflix refers to its interactive movies under the name Black Mirror Bandersnatch as a first effort that has contributed to its future video game offering.
We’re also in the early stages of further expanding into games, building on our earlier efforts around
interactivity (eg, Black Mirror Bandersnatch) and our Stranger Things games. We view gaming as another
new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV.
Games will be included in members’ Netflix subscription at no additional cost similar to films and series.
Initially, we’ll be primarily focused on games for mobile devices. We’re excited as ever about our movies
and TV series offering and we expect a long runway of increasing investment and growth across all of our
existing content categories, but since we are nearly a decade into our push into original programming,
we think the time is right to learn more about how our members value games.
The company explains that it will offer its games to its subscribers as part of its current plans, which means there will be no additional payment to access those titles.
Initially, Netflix will focus on mobile games, although it’s unclear what kind of content gamers can expect and how it will be delivered. Presumably, these will be games that can be played on smartphones and tablets.
The big question is whether Netflix will be able to make the game a smash hit in the same way it revolutionized its streaming business by releasing original content. Much depends on the type of games you introduce and how easily subscribers can play them.