Netflix announces game streaming plans three weeks after Google blast

Netflix announces game streaming plans three weeks after Google blast

The Netflix logo in front of a cell phone showing

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After Google Stadia recently announcedentirely inevitable collapsing, launching a new streaming game service might seem a bit brave. But then, if you’re Netflix, you certainly have at least some of the infrastructure in place. The streaming giant has made clear its intentions to jump into this space. And indeed announced the opening of a new game studio, led by former Blizzard director Chacko Sonny.

For a long time, cloud streaming games (allowing you to play a game over an internet connection on technology stored elsewhere) was a goal that many failed to achieve.. From OnLive to Microsoft’s Mixer to Google’s Stadia, it’s a graveyard of failures. But Netflix is ​​apparently always ready to step over corpses.

Reported by ProtocolNetflix VP of Game Development Mike Verdu spoke at TechCrunch disrupts yesterday, saying, “We are very seriously exploring a cloud gaming offering.”

It’s not really a surprising decision. Netflix has been making moves in the gaming space for a while now, buying up companies As Without beef Night Dive developersand publishing dozens of mobile games, including the excellent In the breach. More recently, Netflix paid for the mobile development of Sam Barlow’s latest FMV title, Immortality. But despite being a company known for bringing TV and movies to your TV, their gaming offering has all been entirely separate mobile downloads. Linking the two clearly makes sense.

Well, that makes sense in a universe where video game streaming has always proven to be a smash hit. Despite being offered in various guises by Xbox’s Game Pass Ultimate, Sony’s PlayStation Plus (absorbing PlayStation Now), Amazon’s Luna, and Nvidia’s GeForce Now, none have become explosive breakthroughs, making obsolete home consoles. And Google Stadia’s recent embarrassing flop will surely have put off many other sniffers on the market.

Read more: How to actually play Netflix’s surprisingly awesome games

Stadia’s failure is easily attributed to the lifespan of Google’s pop-up type products, but it’s important to note that this was an attempt to offer true game streaming independent of any other service. . Where console releases require, you know, console and GeForce Now overlay your own previously purchased collection of games, this failed attempt was the “Netflix for gaming” we’ve long been promised. So, perhaps it makes sense that the next attempt to make it come from Netflix itself.

Protocol says Verdu wants to take a slow and cautious approach, “in the same way we did with mobile”. With 35 mobile games already released and 55 more on the way according to a recent earnings report, it would be a bit silly for them not to give it a try.

TechCrunch quotes Verdu saying that Netflix would not seek to compete with consoles, but rather that “it’s an added value”. What about Stadia? Verdu attributes this to “problems with the business model”. The technology was there, he claims, but it did not reach customers. However, Verdu is reportedly undecided whether Netflix will develop its own controller.

On the same panel, Verdu revealed that Netflix was opening its own game development studio in Southern California, led by former Surveillance executive producer, Chacko Sonny, who left Blizzard for “a little time off” during the 2021 reshuffle in the company after Cosby-gate. “He could have done anything, but he chose to come here,” Verdu said during the conference. “You don’t bring people like that into your organization to build the next big thing in gaming unless you feel like we’re really here for the long haul and for the right reasons.” The goal is for half of the games released by Netflix to be their own IP in the future.

Heck, if games start popping up next to movies on my Netflix menu and I can play them right on the TV screen, I’m not going to say no! And given the company’s focus on mobile gaming, that’s a lot less technological demand than trying to run high-end AAA blockbusters with almost no latency.


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