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This article was published on May 25, 2021

Netflix might bring playable games to your screens next year

Could Netflix gaming be the Netflix of gaming?

Netflix might bring playable games to your screens next year
Napier Lopez
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Napier Lopez

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Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.

It’s been clear for a while that gaming subscriptions are some of the next big things in tech, but no one has quite cornered that market just yet. Now it seems all but certain that Netflix is planning to throw its hat in a ring that’s already been populated by the likes of Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Nvidia.

Over the last few days, several reports have emerged concerning Netflix’s gaming ambitions, including ones from The Information, Reuters, and Axios. Those are all reliable sources, so it’s pretty clear gaming is in the cards for Netflix’s future. Here’s the summary of the reports:

  • Netflix is actively searching for an executive to lead the move into gaming.
  • The service might look a bit like Apple Arcade, offering a collection of games for a fixed fee, although according to Axios, Netflix seems to be aiming for a smaller set of more curated content.
  • The company seems to be planning downloadable games, suggesting current plans are mobile-first, but it doesn’t seem that streaming games a la Stadia are out of the question
  • The games will not have ads, thank god.
  • The company seems to be focusing on third-party titles, but it hasn’t ruled out creating or buying a first-party studio.
  • The service is currently planned for 2022.

Of course, it’s still early days, so even assuming the rumors are true, any of this information is subject to change.

It’s somewhat surprising that the company appears to be focusing on downloadable games first; you’d think it might be able to leverage its video streaming skills for streaming games. If anything, downloadable games seem to run somewhat counter to what Netflix is all about. Before Netflix, most people used to have to rent or download movies, but the streaming platform made it so that people could just pick a title and start watching.

Then again, considering Google’s struggles with Stadia, perhaps it’s not all that weird that Netflix might want to take a more cautious approach before going all-in on streaming.

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