Netflix is always trying to stay ahead of its streaming competitors and their recent announcement proves the company is set on standing out.
After rolling out Downloads For You (downloadable movies and tv shows based on your watch history), Fast Laughs (the Tik-Tok-esque feature that gives viewers clips of comedy content on the go), and Smart Downloads, which deletes episodes you’ve already watched to free up space on your device, the streaming giant announced plans on Wednesday to add gaming to the platform.
Making the decision to add gaming opportunities makes sense especially after researchers noticed a spike in gaming activity during the pandemic. Still, the decision doesn’t come without hurdles. According to CNN, several other media companies have attempted to add gaming to their roster in the past (Google’s Stadia and Amazon’s Crucible) but have ultimately failed, so the pressure for Netflix to succeed is significant. Netflix also doesn’t plan on charging subscribers for the added feature, so that means all of the family members logged into your account will have easy access.
Leading the gaming charge is Mike Verdu, who previously worked as vice president at Facebook Reality Labs and as senior vice president of Electronic Arts (EA), but critics say Netflix isn’t ready to take on the new addition. It’s too early to tell whether gaming will gain a permanent place in the entertainment platform, and a date has yet to be announced for the roll out which means no Outer Banks treasure hunt game yet.
Netflix boasts an impressive 207.64 million subscribers with Amazon Prime Video as its competitor at 200 million. The company was founded in 1997 and has steadily grown to include original movies and series as well as blockbuster movies and nostalgic TV like Love Jones, The Parkers, and Girlfriends.