Netflix has come up with a brilliant idea of expanding its boundaries and include gaming services as part of its subscription. For a very long time, Netflix has been the top video streaming platform across the globe. With innumerous content and an ever-expanding library of movies and TV series, Netflix has been numero uno in the field of digital entertainment.
But what could have happened to led Netflix to expand its customer base by allowing gaming content in its platform? The answer to that question can be found in the declining subscriber base of Netflix over the past few months. In an attempt to secure its customer base and expand its business, this step was taken as it seems. However, the decision came as quite a surprise, and many existing subscribers are happy about it. Furthermore, Netflix has also announced that it won’t charge anything extra for the added gaming service.
Why Choose Video Games?
Adding video games to the Netflix library is sure a bold move. But it will give Netflix an additional edge over its competitors. None of its rivals can boast the facility of providing gaming services as of yet. Many are considering this move by Netflix to be nothing short of genius. However, this move comes with its fair share of risks.
The video streaming services provided by Netflix are always a fan’s favorite. But how will the platform do in a completely different field of vision? The concern grows especially with dedicated gaming platforms that host a great library of different games. But Netflix is hopeful the venture will be a successful one. There are many reasons for Netflix to try its hands in the field of gaming. According to various sources, Netflix has reported the worst slowdown in its subscriber’s growth in the last 8 years. The company has managed to gain fewer subscribers than it usually does over the estimated period.
How come Netflix reported a loss of subscriber base while it’s still the number one video streaming platform?
The thing is, although Netflix did enjoy its fair share of growth during the pandemic period. However, its outreach slackened with the beginning of the new year. It has reportedly struck the lowest number of subscriber growth since 2013. The summer of 2021 was not a very pleasant period for businesses.
Netflix had a soar of subscribers last year with the onset of lockdown restrictions. As people were staying home, binge-watching hours increased by several magnitudes. However, with the lifting of the pandemic restrictions, people started to come out of their cocoon and left the binge-watching life behind. As a result, Netflix suffered a loss in the growth of its subscriber base. This was obvious as people cared more about going out and exploring the world than staying at home and bing-watch.
Netflix’s Poor Business Performance
Because of this lifting of the lockdown restrictions, people stepped out of their houses after a long time. Thus it was only natural that they will prefer to enjoy the outside world more than involving in further digital activities—this directly impacted Netflix’s business. With stunted subscribers growth in the month of April-May, Netflix reported its lowest subscription revenue collection in a year-on-year comparison. To understand the extent of this loss, one can imagine the pain of airing original content and still losing subscribers. In its weakest first-half performance ever since 2013, Netflix managed to gain only 5.5 million subscribers. This figure showed how stunted the growth of subscribers was for the first half of the year.
Majorly this slack in performance comes from last year’s tremendous success. With the ongoing pandemic restrictions in place, people were forced to binge-watch on OTT platforms. Drawing from this situation, Netflix rose to prominence, adding around 25 million subscribers alone in the first half of last year. However, this year was not so bright for the biggest video streaming company in the world. As people started to hop out of their house confinements, they preferred to engage more in outside activities. Thus the overall rate of binge-watching fell considerably, and so did the growth of new subscribers.
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How Does Netflix Plan To Engage Video Gaming In Its Subscription Plan?
According to an official letter by Netflix, The venture into the games category is one of their many new interests. Netflix wrote, “We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation, and unscripted TV.” Sources have also confirmed that the company has hired expert video game executive Mike Verdu to help them with their new venture. Mike Verdu is a former Electronic Arts Inc. and Facebook Inc. executive who has sound knowledge of the video game industry.
Verdu will be joining the company as the vice president of game development. This will require him to report directly under chief operating officer Greg Peters. On Facebook also, he fulfilled similar responsibilities. Verdu has years of experience working on several popular gaming titles with Electronic Arts. In addition, he has actively participated in developing Plant v/s Zombies, The Sims, and the Star Wars franchise.
What’s really happening?
Verdu has also previously worked as the chief creative officer for Zynga Inc. The idea of the project is yet to be disclosed fully. But sources close to the higher management have revealed some plans in bits and parts. According to this reveals, Netflix plans to offer video games on their website alongside the streaming services. The games are supposed to appear in a new programming genre. Furthermore, Netflix has also decided not to charge any extra bills for the added hospitality and service to its customers.
No sooner than the announcement got public, Netflix’s shares shot up to $563.45 in the premarket trading. The stock also appeared to have risen by 1.3% this year. This success is just one of the reasons why Netflix had such a visionary idea. According to reports, Netflix has opened a hiring process for the recruitment of a gaming team. Developers can apply directly on Netflix’s website. This move by Netflix is deemed too bold by many critics. However, Netflix has managed to gain its share of followers after the announcement went public.
Emphasizing Interactive Shows
The world’s most popular video streaming platform has not gained popularity overnight. It was a result of years of research and hard work. Earlier, Netflix enjoyed a great deal of limelight with interacting programming in their video content. Therefore, it was a great idea to come up with “choose-your-own-adventure-style-shows” This gained Netflix huge popularity. Shows like Black Mirror and Carmen Sandiego are the two most popular examples of the interactive category. The story also predicts Netflix’s ability to explore the unknown and achieving success with bold moves. In any case, the future will tell how this recent maneuver of Netflix goes.