Netflix broke into the game field, will repeat the mistakes of Google and Amazon?

It’s not easy to open new businesses, but it takes a high degree of strategy and execution

Netflix broke into the game field, will repeat the mistakes of Google and Amazon?

It’s not easy to start a new business, but it requires a high level of strategy and execution

Epic and Apple dispute, finally ended, the “big brother” Netflix but quietly dry up a new line of work.

Many people know that Epic is dissatisfied with the “30% Apple tax” and the court. Unbeknownst to them, as early as three years ago Netflix fired the first shot against Apple.

At that time, Netflix bypassed Apple’s App Store by removing the option for new users to pay for their subscriptions through iTunes, thus avoiding Apple’s 30% tax. While Epic and Apple are at war, streaming giant Netflix is recruiting for a major attack on the gaming industry.

Netflix is looking for an executive to help it expand its video game business, The Information said recently, citing people familiar with the matter, and Reuters confirmed the news from a Netflix gaming executive. One option is to offer a subscription service for games similar to “Apple Arcade”.

At present, Netflix game strategy details are not yet finalized, and in the field of games has not been achieved. However, the subscription model implemented by Netflix has long been popular in the gaming industry. Especially in the field of cloud games, subscription services have been widely used, such as Microsoft Game Pass.

Therefore, in the recent rumors of Netflix to expand the game business, a number of industry professionals and media believe that Netflix or intend to layout cloud games. It is worth mentioning that when cloud gaming exploded in 2019, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said that the company did not want to get involved in the cloud gaming field.

This inconsistency between words and actions inevitably leads to speculation that Netflix is trying to break out of the traditional movie entertainment business as streaming competition intensifies. Games, perhaps it is the breakthrough Netflix choose.

Netflix ambiguous game has been a long time
Why say Netflix is not suddenly interested in games? There are two main points: game IP adaptations of film and television content; film and television IP adaptations of games. 2019, Netflix went online with the first season of “The Witcher”, and the series was released in one month to watch more than 76 million users. It also became one of the highest-rated TV shows in the U.S. market that year.

Netflix broke into the game field, will repeat the mistakes of Google and Amazon?

In some ways, the CDPR The Witcher IP is bringing huge traffic and subscriber attention to Netflix, while the Netflix episodes’ influence is feeding the Witcher game. By the numbers, the Witcher 3 physical all-platform sales increased 554% year-on-year in December 2019.

It is reported that the second season of Netflix series “The Witcher” was killed in April this year and officially entered the post-production stage. In addition to “The Witcher,” Netflix has produced or is in the process of producing numerous game related films and TV shows, including “DOTA,” “Castlevania,” “Resident Evil,” “League of Legends,” “Sonic” and “Cyberpunk 2077. It is understandable that regular film and TV productions are making a lot of noise with the help of game IPs.

In 2020, Netflix launched “Sword to High Score”, a documentary outlining where games come from, why they have changed, and where they will go in the future. Previously, Douban and IGN gave the production high scores of 8.7 and 8.0, respectively, and gave the following comment: “Netflix’s new documentary High Score is an extensive and fascinating love letter to the history of video games.”

Netflix broke into the game field, will repeat the mistakes of Google and Amazon?

Competitive Core believes that it is very difficult to achieve this kind of effect without a deep understanding of the game industry. As early as 2019, Netflix had planned to adapt its well-known series “Stranger Things” into a game. One is the cross console, PC, mobile platform game “Stranger Things 3: The Game” produced by BonusXP; the second is a handheld game based on the worldview setting of “Stranger Things” produced by Finnish studio NextGames.

In addition, Netflix has partnered with Telltale, the open-source distributor of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, to bring the latter’s games to the platform. Last year, the company also released a strategy game based on the American series “Magic Crystal: Age of Resistance”.

Of course, for Netflix, which has only just entered the regular gaming army, these poorly received games are obviously not enough to help it gain a firm foothold. Netflix has been thinking about how to find the mouth of deep-seated games on the basis of its own mature industry, and they have made some interesting attempts.

For example, Netflix launched the “Black Mirror: Pandasnaki” interactive movie has attracted widespread attention. This practice of embedding game features in the content of episodes clearly carries a strong interactive gaming attribute and brings a fresh experience to the audience.

Netflix broke into the game field, will repeat the mistakes of Google and Amazon?

And this kind of attempt, in the domestic game circle has also had success stories. For example, New One Studio’s “Invisible Guardian”, which sold more than 1.4 million copies in its first year online, was even named “the light of domestic games” by players.

Recently, Netflix executives have also said that the company would love to do more in the interactive entertainment space. In terms of business development lines, Netflix has been expanding its intersection with the gaming sector from series to movies, original shows, documentaries and game products. But is that enough?

It’s not that simple to delve into the gaming space
Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings has said that Fortnite poses a greater threat to Netflix than other streaming video services due to the amount of time children and teens spend on it. This is not just about the large volume of games intercepted, but also about the expansion of the game content ecosystem eating into the streaming industry.

In 2020, the famous American rapper Travis Scott held a virtual concert called “Travis Scott’s Astronomica” in Fortnite, which attracted 12.3 million simultaneous online players and was watched by 27.7 million players worldwide. A total of 27.7 million players worldwide watched the concert.

Netflix broke into the game field, will repeat the mistakes of Google and Amazon?

In the current fashionable concept, this is part of the “meta-universe”. Not long ago, Tencent’s “Peace Elite” cooperated with Chinese mainland singer Hua Chenyu and also held a virtual concert. Players and fans have mixed feelings about this “meta-universe performance”, but it is clear that the rise of in-game virtual concerts represents the trend of the game itself toward digital scenes.

It is true that in this development process, the streaming entertainment content provided by Netflix will be integrated into it. Therefore, entering the gaming industry seems to be an unmistakable thing for Netflix. Ma Xiaoyi, senior vice president of Tencent, said, “Games are a kind of content, but among the content, I think games are the one with the greatest growth potential.

As long as technology advances fast enough, games will actually eat most of the dividends of technological progress.” Back to the present, the reason why the news of Netflix entering the game field swept the whole network is also because the two have common points in technology and mode. In recent years, Google, Amazon Internet giants of mutual technology have laid out the field of cloud games.

Sony, Microsoft and other host game manufacturers also provide cloud game services such as XCloud and PlayStation Now.

Netflix broke into the game field, will repeat the mistakes of Google and Amazon?

Meanwhile, the subscription service developed by Netflix has become one of the representative business models in the cloud gaming industry. Even Apple’s entry into the game camp “vanguard” Apple Arcade also adopts this subscription model. Outside the industry, the subscriber base is also the top pillar to support the development of the game industry. As of the end of the first quarter of this year, Netflix has 208.64 million subscribers worldwide.

In theory, these hundreds of millions of subscribers can be transferred to games seamlessly. Going back to the cloud gaming track, there are not many cases for Netflix to look at. For example, Microsoft and Facebook have been unable to get Apple approval to offer cloud gaming on iOS devices, forcing them to remove key features or offer the service through their browsers. In addition, both Xbox Game Pass and Apple Arcade have their own characteristics behind their game subscription services. These include game development capability (which affects the volume and richness of the product library), and inherent game ecosystem stock accumulation. If you cut from the perspective of self-research games, Google has become a typical case.

In February this year, Google announced that it would not further invest in its internal team SG & E (Stadia Games and Entertainment) to develop its own game studio. In other words, games are not a low-threshold business and take a long time to accumulate and settle. Conclusion: The news that Netflix, the top streamer, is trying to enter the game/cloud game field with its own mature subscription service as an entry point is certainly exciting. But the “predecessors” to explore the journey is always bumpy.

Before Netflix, including Google, Amazon and other Internet giants have stepped into the game industry first, the performance is mediocre. As for Apple, it tries to build the game research and transportation ecology, and launches “Apple Arcade” subscription service, but there are few buyers. In a word, the game industry has long been the era of traffic is king, the strength of game creation is the foundation. If Netflix to its own technology and services to add code game business, may be a good breakthrough, but must not be the game as a straw that can be pulled at any time.

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