Rumours are swirling around several outlets suggesting the streaming juggernaut: Netflix, is looking into hiring for an Apple Arcade-esque service.
Netflix has a long history of trying to have a foothold, in some capacity, within the gaming industry. From their origins, which saw them utilise their rent-by-mail services to send players games; to their more recent efforts, like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Minecraft: Story Mode, which utilized choice-based gaming mechanics into their streaming app.
More recently, they’ve been known for adapting renowned games like Castlevania, The Witcher, Dragon’s Dogma and Resident Evil to both critical and fan acclaim. Netflix has always been a small part of gaming, but more recently it seems they want a bigger piece of the pie.
In a series of reports from The Information, it appears Netflix is currently searching for an executive to oversee a gaming division within Netflix’s hierarchy—utilising a smaller Apple Arcade-like service. On top of that, reports suggest they may skip using ads on their platform, but that all the plans are still “very much in flux.” Reuters corroborated the report hours later.
Axios continued down this line of reporting to say they also have heard these rumblings, stating they believe Netflix would use a mixture of their own IP and games commissioned from indie studios to fill out their library. Axios believes this service wouldn’t come to fruition for some time though, “possibly launching in 2022.”
Netflix hasn’t confirmed or denied these reports, but in a statement made to Polygon said:
“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.”
Seemingly, there is something in the works, even if it’s just more of the types of experiences they’ve done in the past. A similar push was made in 2019 when partnering with the now-defunct Telltale Games on a Stranger Things title, but following that studio’s closure, things have been quiet. Regardless, it appears Netflix is exploring being the “Netflix of Games” rather than letting others take the title so easily.