Netflix has had a rough quarter. Between a heavy hit to their share price and some bad press over the crackdown on account password sharing, they’ve lost a little of the shine that once made them the ultimate in video streaming. Despite these recent woes, however, Netflix does have some exciting news for gamers! They will be expanding their Games catalog significantly this year. Let’s take a look.
What is the Netflix Games Service?
In 2021, Netflix launched their Games service. They wanted to allow subscribers to get even more for their bucks, with access to a range of iOS and Android games for free. This allows mobile gamers to enjoy games without purchasing them from the app store or suffering through endless in-game ads. So it’s more like the Play Store for free than Google Stadia or GeoForce.
However, the original launch catalog was just a little skinny, coming with only 5 titles to its name, and they went into 2022 with only 17 games listed. A great start, but a little underwhelming as a ‘service’!
Growing the Database
Luckily for mobile gamers looking to get more bang for their Netflix subscription buck, we’ve been promised a drastic expansion to over 50 titles by the end of the year. That’s much more like it!
Additionally, these won’t be tired ports or remakes. They’re also making a game (pun intended) attempt to tie the two platforms together meaningfully, rather than run the Games side separate to their programming. Many are being integrated with the wider Netflix subscriptions offerings. Fans of the internet comic artists, the Oatmeal, will be thrilled to know that they’re not only reinventing his Exploding Kittens board game for mobile devices, but also launching a tie-in TV series. The game is set to go live this month, while the TV show will hit the streaming service early in 2023. If you’re looking for a little hilarity, tongue-in-cheek humor, and a lot of fun, put that one in your diary.
There’s a lot of potential for more of the same juicy vertical integration from the Netflix catalog, too. They already have tons of shows in their catalog based on popular video games- think The Cuphead Show, The Witcher, DOTA: Dragon’s Blood, and Castlevania. It’s even lent its support to some third-party games, like the League of Legends-based Hextech Mayhem. While video game ‘movies’ were once the bane of Hollywood, there’s been a big push in recent years to capitalize on the beloved IPs that have been brought to life on gaming platforms.
They’ve also brought some of their favorite series to life on the Netflix Games platform. Fans of Stranger Things can enjoy three games based on the title: Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales, Stranger Things 3: The Game and Stranger Things: 1984.
The Colliding World of TV and Games
There’s doubtless a lot more to come, as they’ve also onboarded not one, but three game studios to their larger brand, including the well-known Next Games. This means we should see a slew of in-house development from them soon, and possibly even a breakout to the wider gaming industry. We’ve also seen them bring key gaming brands, including Minecraft, Pokemon, and Pac-Man, to life. We’re even seeing a growing market for gaming music, with people wanting to take the iconic tunes of their favorite games into their daily life, be it in the car or at the gym
One of the most interesting new trends and intersections of the gaming and TV worlds, however, has to be the ‘interactive experience’. We’ve seen this done artfully with fully-interactive shows like Trivia Quest as well as interactive episodes from popular hits like The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and even Black Mirror.
Are you keen to explore the expanded Netflix Games catalog? Do you enjoy the blurring of boundaries between the TV and gaming world? Or would you rather see them stay separate entities? Be sure to let us know!