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Netflix Won't Release A Game-Streaming Service: "We're Not Very Good At That"

"We compete by doing the most amazing TV shows you've ever seen so you put down Fortnite and you come to watch our shows."


A lot of big companies are getting into gaming with their own streaming services, including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and others, but don't expect Netflix to follow suit by expanding into the world of video games.

Speaking at the DealBook 2019 event, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings confirmed that the company has no plans to enter that market. Instead, Netflix is spending its time focusing on highly compelling TV shows and movies that will encourage people to put down the controller and boot up Netflix.

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"No," Hastings said when asked if Netflix might make a game-streaming service. "We're really focused on doing incredible series and films and unscripted."

Earlier this year, Netflix said the company competes more with Fortnite than HBO when it comes to entertainment usage. There are a finite number of hours in the day, and even fewer that people can spend consuming entertainment, so Netflix sees Fortnite as a competitor in that regard.

"There are a lot of other things people do to entertain themselves, including Fortnite. And the original quote was that we compete with Fortnite more than we compete with HBO. Fortnite gets a lot more hours of viewing," he said at the event today. "Ultimately it's about competing for those hours of viewing. But we don't compete with Fortnite better by doing something like [a streaming service] because we're not very good at that. We compete by doing the most amazing TV shows you've ever seen so you put down Fortnite and you come to watch our shows."

In 2011, Netflix announced plans to offer Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii games for rental by mail, though it scuttled these plans not long after announcing them. At the time, the company said it was "still considering" offering games to rent by mail but this never happened.

In the initial Qwikster announcement, Hastings himself spoke about how enthusiastic the Netflix audience was for games. "Members have been asking for video games for many years, and now that DVD-by-mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done," he said.

The next major new game-streaming service to launch is Google Stadia, which is primed to launch on November 19 in the US.

For more on what's new on Netflix in November, check out this roundup of all the new TV show and movies on Netflix.

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