With the announcement of an upcoming smartphone sport/TV collection crossover challenge Netflix is continuous its sudden pivot into the gaming area. This follows a number of strikes so as to add video video games and experimental interactive content material to its streaming TV and movie platform.
The new Netflix announcement reveals in May this yr it would launch an unique model of the smartphone sport Exploding Kittens. The launch of the sport precedes an animated TV collection of the identical identify to be launched subsequent yr that will likely be produced by Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead, Silicon Valley) and Greg Daniels (The Office).
“The co-development of a game and animated series breaks new ground for Netflix,” stated Netflix’s head of Adult Animation, Mike Moon. “And we couldn’t think of a better game to build a universe around than Exploding Kittens, one of the most inventive, iconic and original games of this century!”
The crossover launch of a sport and TV collection by Netflix follows on from the hiring of Mike Verdu final yr to go a brand new sport improvement division. Verdu previously labored for Electronic Arts on video games similar to The Sims.
In November final yr the primary fruit of Netflix’s new gaming ambitions appeared on its Android and iOS apps. Dubbed Netflix Games the brand new web page on the streaming app supplied subscribers entry to a lot of unique ad-free smartphone video games. Some of the video games even tied in with Netflix exhibits similar to a retro 8-bit Stranger Things sport.
Another arm to Netflix’s blurring of the boundary between movie or TV content material and gaming has been its ever increasing experiments with interactivity. Beginning in 2018 with a choose-your-own-adventure episode of Black Mirror titled Bandersnatch, Netflix has more and more been trying to discover new methods of turning conventional audio-visual storytelling content material into extra game-like experiences.
The Netflix interactive know-how has principally been deployed to date in kids’s content material, though the corporate has experimented with interactive Bear Grills Man Vs Wild documentaries and a guided meditation piece referred to as Unwind Your Mind.
Most lately Netflix has actually pushed its interactive know-how within the route of gaming with a month-long experiment working in April referred to as Trivia Quest. The present/sport presents subscribers a brand new 10-minute interactive quiz day-after-day for your entire month.
This diversification of Netflix’s content material comes because the streaming service faces a significant slowdown in subscriber development. Following an enormous spike in new sign-ups firstly of the pandemic in 2020, issues rapidly slowed down for the streamer.
Last yr was the bottom 12 months of latest subscriber development for Netflix since 2015. And it’s maybe no shock, as new companies have flooded the streaming market over the previous few years forcing shoppers to turn out to be slightly extra selective over the place they ship their cash.
A report Netflix despatched to its buyers mid-last yr supplied insights into how the corporate could also be positioning itself. Instead of trying to broaden into different types of televisual leisure similar to dwell sport, information, and even broadcast channels, the service sees its foremost rivals as video games, YouTube and TikTok. From Netflix’s perspective the long run is about dominating all types of display time and never merely streaming motion pictures or tv exhibits.
“We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV,” Netflix stated to buyers final yr. “We’re excited as ever about our movies and TV series offering and we expect a long runway of increasing investment and growth across all of our existing content categories, but since we are nearly a decade into our push into original programming, we think the time is right to learn more about how our members value games.”
The new Exploding Kittens sport/TV crossover announcement is more likely to be the primary in an entire host of multi-medium tasks from Netflix. The firm has additionally made its curiosity in attracting players clear by lining up a huge array of video-game-adjacent tasks, from animated and live-action Assassin’s Creed collection’ to animated exhibits primarily based on Tomb Raider, Tekken, Arcane, Splinter Cell and Pokemon.
It’s undeniably an bold gambit from a service that has been instrumental at ushering in our new period of streaming. As Disney+ and HBO Max jostle for probably the most interesting movie and TV content material Netflix appears to be pivoting. Is the way forward for leisure some sort of multi-screen expertise the place you play a sport in your smartphone whereas concurrently watching a narratively related collection in your TV? Potentially … or possibly Netflix merely is aware of individuals tinker on their telephones whereas watching TV and it needs a chunk of that display time too?