In the cut-throat world of OTT streaming services not just in India but across the world, streaming giant Netflix seems to have found a way to reportedly diversify its existing portfolio in a big way (via Bloomberg). It intends to venture beyond its staple programming that primarily includes movies and television shows.
In the year 2018, Netflix interactive film ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ garnered acclaim from a large customer segment and eventually won Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. In this innovative film, the viewers not only watched the goings-on but also had to make multiple choices for the movie’s principal character. Interestingly, each decision taken by the user resulted in a different ending for the film.
Bandersnatch was not meant to be a full-on video game experience but was nevertheless a unique adventure for regular OTT viewers who could step into the shoes of the movie’s main character and control his decisions with their TV remotes or other means. However, their new content strategy might apparently be much larger in scale and reach.
Netflix has purportedly hired former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive Mike Verdu as Vice President of game development. Verdu is also known for his work in the popular Oculus virtual reality device. Reportedly, video games will be available for Netflix subscribers sometime in the year 2022. And the good news is that, initially, the video games library could be used by existing customers at no extra cost.
If Netflix is able to successfully implement its video game content diversification strategy, the platform will certainly gain an edge over competing OTT platforms globally. Even if the strategy is replicated by its competitors subsequently, Netflix might always have the first movers’ advantage over other players. The video games’ inclusion will certainly add another dimension to the already saturated OTT market.
After the launch of the video games segment on their platform, the related possibilities are endless. The move may not only augment the Netflix customer base but also increase user engagement and could prove to be a major differentiating factor for the streaming giant.
Netflix has ostensibly already begun the work of assembling a team of gaming experts to effectuate the ambitious and innovative plan. Whether Netflix would later charge a premium for access to their video games segment or will they increase the overall subscription charges internationally, remains to be seen.