In its latest financial results report, which covers the last quarter of 2021, Netflix (which has reported a growth of 8.28 million subscribers, slightly lower than expected, which has led to a drop of 20% in the price of its shares) has openly bet on video games. Microsoft’s recent purchase of Activision has turned his eyes to the current undisputed giant of streaming, and to his declared plans to break through in the industry of the video game.
“Without a doubt, we are going to get into video games, and not just to be there or to release press releases, but pleasing our customers by offering them the best in the industry,” said Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix in the talk with the shareholders. In the course of it, he has not given specific data on the subject, but he has revealed some keys to his strategy.
Regarding Microsoft’s strategy of buying other people’s properties to grow, he stated that “we are open to licensing great IPs from the game that are very recognizable, and I think you will see some of it throughout the coming year”. However, his focus is on Netflix’s own IPs, with ‘Stranger Things’ as the clear standard-bearer: “proof that you can build a franchise from scratch instead of resorting to another that It has been running for fifty years,” said Ted Sarandos, director of content for the platform.
The Netflix Metaverse
Without closing any doors (COO Greg Peter said that “we are going to experiment and test different options”), Netflix’s long-term plan is clear: “we focus on our ability to create properties that are connected to the universes, characters and stories we are building elsewhere and that they enhance their value for the fans of those stories.” Again, the veiled reference to ‘Stranger Things’ is clear.
Although from Netflix they have not made an express reference to Microsoft, they do Between the lines, the potential of a subscription service focused on video games such as Game Pass is recognized. Says Peters that the movement in the video game sector “is an endorsement of the thesis that we have about subscription as a model to connect consumers around the world with gaming experiences.”
It is still early, admits Peters, to advance more. While they launch their first games (in Spain there are 13 available), “we have been parallel building capacity for in-house development, with our own game studio and hiring some amazing creators.” 2022 may be the year we see if Netflix’s first serious steps in the industry are as defining as they promise from the platform.