Netflix and Gaming

A lot has been written this week about Netflix’s move into gaming, and about its Q3 projections for subscriber growth, which are lower than expected. Some publications are conflating these two things, and drawing a conclusion that the gaming move is somewhat of a jarring pivot as it foresees an end to its market dominance.

But at Axonista, we take a different view. Netflix was first to innovate many of the streaming service features we take for granted today, making many bold choices along the way, so we see this as an obvious next step as Netflix continues to carve a path of innovation through the market sector it helped to create.

The lines between live action and video games are becoming more and more blurred. Up until now, it’s been game makers getting closer to movies. For example, Naughty Dog’s blockbuster The Last of Us (which is currently being adapted into a TV series for HBO) was movie-like in its epic and emotional storytelling, but very much still a video game. In contrast, movies and TV shows have not moved as far towards video games – yet!

With interactive experiments like Bandersnatch, Netflix has already begun to blur the lines further, albeit in a rudimentary way, with a vast amount of unexplored territory ahead.

With a show like Stranger Things Netflix has complete creative control, and two universes to explore, so we could see game / series crossovers, game-only characters, side-quests, character backstories, or even stories told from the monster’s perspective, as part of an extension to the show. 

As fans of both shows and video games, we can’t wait to see what happens next!

First published in Rerun, our weekly newsletter about the future of interactive video – sign up here.

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