Report: Netflix wants to expand into gaming

The Witcher
The Witcher (Image credit: Netflix)

What you need to know

  • Netflix is reportedly looking for an executive with video game experience.
  • The streaming service has hosted several shows based on video games, and it's also made
  • It's considering offering games to subscribers in a bundle, similar to Apple Arcade.

Netflix is apparently trying to get into the gaming industry, according to a new report. The company has been shopping around for an executive with gaming experience as it looks to expand its offerings to entertainment media.

The report comes from The Information (opens in new tab), which cites anonymous inside sources who say that Netflix has approached gaming industry veterans with offers to join the company. What they expect this new hire to do, however, is unclear, with the sources saying that the strategy is up in the air. One idea is to offer a bundle of games to subscribers in the same manner, like Apple does for Arcade subscribers (good thing it didn't compare its services to Xbox Game Pass because they're not really all that similar).

Netflix and gaming aren't exactly strangers -- the company has of course produced some of the best gaming adaptations to date, like the animated Castlevania show and The Witcher (which takes at least some inspiration from the games). It's also dabbled in video game adaptations of its shows, such as the Stranger Things games that have cropped up for mobile and consoles.

The service has tried its hand at interactive shows before, such as the film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which mimicked a choose-your-own-adventure story.

Netflix later released a statement to multiple outlets saying, "Our members value the variety and quality of our content. It's why we've continually expanded our offering - from series to documentaries, film, local language originals and reality TV. Members also enjoy engaging more directly with stories they love - through interactive shows like Bandersnatch and You v. Wild, or games based on Stranger Things, La Casa de Papel and To All the Boys. So we're excited to do more with interactive entertainment."

That might sound like a confirmation, but "interactive entertainment" doesn't necessarily mean games. We'll have to see what the company comes up with. In the meantime, if you want to catch up to Netflix on console, get yourself a good Xbox Series X headset.

Rachel Kaser is a Windows Central gaming contributor, who's been writing since 2013 and gaming since the age of five. She's covered everything from gaming news, reviews, and analysis -- if it exists in gaming, she knows about it. She also contributes to Future's other sites, iMore and Android Central. If you want to hear her opinions on games, pop culture, tech, and everything in between, follow her on Twitter @rachelkaser.

  • Ha! Good luck.
  • Stick to the interactive content, Netflix. Games is a whole other beast.
  • No, stay in your lane.
  • Exactly. Hey Win Central, deliver our message to them.
  • As both Amazon and Google have proven, it takes too long to develop good modern games so starting up a whole new operation from scratch is going to lag tbe market (and competitors) indefinitely. Nonetheless: 1- NETFLIX is spending $17B on video content this year.
    2- Their subscription customer base is plateauing. 200M and growing...slowly. Sticking to the knitting will only get them so far and no more. They need to do *something* new.
    3- Even a third of that budget can buy a few *existing* studios or, more likely, buy limited, non-exclusive distribution to their subscribers. Something like XBOX LIVE GOLD or, what Sony is planning for video on PSN but in reverse. The NETFLIX Brand is powerful and they have an in to millions upon millions of households. They need new ways to monetize that asset. Gaming, and game streaming in particular, is a reasonable extension. They might start by buying Stadia. Don't pooh pooh it just yet.
  • Well said, most people don't understand the implications of relevancy especially for a profit driven business like Netflix.
  • You're getting in way over your head, Netflix. There will be tears, there will be lost money.