Netflix Confirms It's Doing More Gaming-Style "Interactive Entertainment"
New signs suggest that Netflix is staffing up to expand its efforts in games.
Netflix has only dabbled in the gaming space over the years, but the streaming giant is reportedly ready to expand those efforts. In addition to telling GameSpot that it's "excited to do more with interactive entertainment," a report suggests it's looking to recruit members of the games industry to help the initiative.
According to The Information, Netflix has begun recruiting for an executive to lead future video game initiatives. The company has sought out senior figures in the games industry, and it has discussed creating a service similar to Apple Arcade. (A subsequent report from Axios also cites a source who indicated that Netflix's plan is for a "smaller Apple Arcade" that would be offered to subscribers.) It has also decided that, like its video service, the potential video game service will not have ads.
Netflix seems to confirm its intention to put more focus on games shortly after the news started making the rounds.
“Our members value the variety and quality of our content. It’s why we’ve continually expanded our offering--from series to documentaries, film, local language originals and reality TV," Netflix told GameSpot. "Members also enjoy engaging more directly with stories they love--through interactive shows like Bandersnatch and You v. Wild, or games based on Stranger Things, La Casa de Papel and To All the Boys. So we’re excited to do more with interactive entertainment."
The Axios report says that the gaming service won't launch in the near future and may not be seen until 2022, although it also notes that plans could change. The service would consist of both licensed Netflix IP and original works.
Netflix has long given signs that it's interested in games. As recently as April, Netflix executives hinted during its earnings call that more investment in interactive media may be coming. It's had interest in games for at least a decade, but the company has also acknowledged in the past that running games services is a challenge.
To date, Netflix has worked on a few high-profile interactive media projects. In 2018, the company helped produce Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, a choose-your-own-path film that's basically an FMV game; it's published a handful of other interactive films since then. Netflix also worked on adapting Stranger Things into a game for other platforms.