They say that the video game, and more specifically, the video game in the cloud -the one that does not need cables or consoles-is one of the technology businesses of the future.
Although Google’s attempt to conquer this new way of mashing buttons with Stadia has ended in tragedy, companies with no experience in the sector are still interested in the bet.
Among them is Netflix, a company punished on the stock market for the drop in subscribers, which is now closing the year by turning around its business model.
Recently, the company has acknowledged in statements to ‘Techcrunch’ that it is “seriously studying” getting into the business. “It’s a completely different business model. The hope is that over time it will become a very natural way to play wherever you are, ”says Mike Verdu, vice president of Netflix, specifically about cloud gaming. The company has five studios and is working more or less intensely on developing 55 titles.
Most companies understand that this way of mashing buttons is a means through which the player can enjoy their games anywhere.
It can also serve as a hook to attract the attention of those who are not regular users and do not have a console resting on the table in the living room.
On paper, everything is advantageous. However, does Netflix have what it takes to take on the titans of the business, Xbox and PlayStation?
In Principle, Nothing to do with Stadia
On paper, Netflix is not studying the launch of a different platform, unlike the one that gives access to the other movies and series it has in its portfolio. It would be an addition, as is the case with the video games for ‘smartphones’ that it has been offering to its clients for approximately a year now and in which it continues to invest.
Indeed, it could serve in the future to increase subscription prices or put new options on the table of the more than 220 million users it has around the world.
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Taking this into account, the Netflix service would be different from Stadia: a completely independent platform launched by a company recognized, such as Google, for its performance in businesses other than video games. It would also allow the service to differentiate itself further from its direct competition in the streaming business.
Enough to Compete with the Big Ones?
Xbox has turned Game Pass, its streaming game platform, into the mainstay and principal business of the company. To date, it has more than 25 million subscribers, which is why Microsoft has invested millions of dollars in purchasing companies such as Activision or Bethesda. PlayStation, meanwhile, is mulling over its plan to be as competitive as possible in the business.
It is more difficult for experienced computer and console players, who have been in this for many years, to change. The streaming gaming platform could become a serious competitor for the two companies among more casual users.
The Competition Jumps to Mobile
The same applies if we do not refer to video games designed specifically for ‘smartphones’. Netflix intends to continue competing in this segment.
A few days ago, it announced an agreement with Ubisoft (the company behind sagas such as Assassins Creed or Far Cry) to develop several video games that will be available to users of its streaming service.
In recent months, PlayStation has repeatedly stated that it intends to compete in this arena and is investing accordingly. Meanwhile, Xbox has plans to create its own ‘apps’ store outside of Apple and Google (Android), where it would market titles designed to be played on mobile phones, as revealed by the company in a letter shared with the competition authority in the United Kingdom.
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