As Netflix’s gaming strategy grows ever bolder following its first tentative steps into the market, the streaming service has now revealed it’s “seriously exploring” its own cloud gaming offering.
That’s according to Netflix’s vice president of gaming Mike Verdu, who, speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt (thanks TechCrunch), explained the company saw the technology as “a value add” for subscribers. “We’re not asking you to subscribe as a console replacement. It’s a completely different business model. The hope is over time that it just becomes this very natural way to play games where wherever you are.”
Addressing the elephant in the room – the dramatic failure of Google’s game streaming service Stadia, which will cease operations in January, a little over three years after its initial launch – Verdu noted that while Stadia was a “technical success” and was “fun to play games on”, “it had some issues with the business model.”
While Google’s initial proposition was that Stadia users would purchase individual games rather than gain access to them via an all-inclusive subscription model, Netflix would presumably take the latter approach. To date, its forays into gaming – so far limited to a relatively small range of mobile titles – have been included as part of a regular Netflix subscription.
Elsewhere in his TechCrucnh Disrupt conversation, Verdu confirmed Netflix will be opening a new internal game development studio in Southern California. Lead by former Overwatch executive producer Chacko Sonny, this will be Netflix’s fifth studio, following its establishment of a new internal Helsinki team and acquisitions of Oxenfree developer Night School Studio, Boss Fight Entertainment, and Next Games.
Sonny departed Blizzard in September last year, after five years with the company.