Tuesday, July 20, Netflix confirmed that it’ll expand into video games, starting with ad-free games for mobile devices that it’ll offer on its existing service at no added cost to subscribers.
According to Greg Peters, Netflix’s COO ad Product Officer, “There’s a rich opportunity to continue to deliver and advance the technical capability to improve the quality of game experiences we can deliver across the range of devices.”
The company said it’ll experiment making games based on existing Netflix franchises so fandoms dive deeper into their favorite stories and characters, but it’ll try standalone games that are wholly original, potentially spawning spin-off shows or movies themselves. It’ll explore making games based on media existing outside Netflix’s galaxy — imagine a Netflix game based on a book series or comic.
The company also said, “We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation, and unscripted TV. 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.”
Netflix was clear about one thing that gaming won’t be, at least not at first: a new way to charge you money.
“We’re a one-product company,” co-CEO Reed Hastings said, and that product is an all-in-one subscription.
Netflix games won’t have ads, they won’t include in-game purchases, and users won’t have to buy individual titles. Netflix games will be part of the overall subscription, in the same way, that horror movies, reality TV shows, and award-winning drama series are all part of the same Netflix membership.