Netflix Comeback With a Potential Cloud Gaming Service
Netflix might continue turning its fortunes around by entering the cloud gaming market. The company, which made its name by allowing users to watch popular movies and TV shows online for a monthly fee, may soon be doing the same with video games.
The move wouldn’t be Netflix’s first foray into the gaming market, but it would be a lot more complex than the mobile games it released last year and arguably even more of a hassle than its current streaming service. As tech giant Google discovered, launching and maintaining a cloud gaming platform is both a huge undertaking and a massive gamble. While there’s no indication that the company would launch its own hardware and store as Google did with Stadia, there’s a good chance that Netflix won’t take it easy either.
If it follows the pattern laid out by its streaming services, there will be an initial reliance on third-party content before a huge shift towards in-house media once the platform is established. Netflix’s gaming acquisitions would also suggest the company doesn’t intend to rely on other business’ properties solely.
While it was the first successful streaming service, Netflix would have some pretty stiff cloud gaming competition should it enter that particular market. Sony and Microsoft, who manufacture the world’s two most popular consoles, both have their own cloud gaming service, as does GPU manufacturer NVIDIA. There’s also Amazon, which doesn’t have as heavy a gaming slant as the other companies running cloud streaming services, but does own a livestreaming platform and also produces its own hardware.
While many tech stocks took a plunge earlier this year, Netflix’s share price was hit particularly hard. The streaming service managed to lose over 70% of its value in just six months. However, things have improved since then and Netflix recently reported it had acquired 2.4 million new subscribers in quarter three of 2022.
Next month, Netflix is launching a new subscription plan that cuts costs by running ads before and during shows and movies. The plan comes in at under $7, and is the cheapest Netflix has ever been. Aside from the ads, and a few shows that are unavailable due to rights issues, the cheaper service is the same as Netflix’s basic plan. The other plans are still available, so people who can’t tolerate being sold things during a Netflix binge have plenty of options.
There’s every chance the cheaper plan will draw in new customers who have previously shied away due to increasing costs. The addition of a game streaming service could also help Netflix stay relevant in an increasingly crowded streaming market. Or it could be a huge money sink that just sees them struggle to establish themselves in an emerging, yet competitive, medium. Time will tell.