Game On: Netflix Levels Up with Cloud Gaming in the US!
Netflix has initiated trials of its cloud gaming service in the U.S., following initial tests in Canada and the U.K. This expansion marks a significant step in the company's gaming endeavors, building on its mobile gaming initiatives launched in 2021.
Netflix has strategically acquired gaming studios and licensed titles from individual developers, aiming to establish gaming as a major facet of its business. Through this cloud gaming service, Netflix allows its members to play games on smart TVs and TV-connected devices like Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, and more, using their mobile phones as controllers.
The move into cloud gaming puts Netflix in direct competition with other services such as Xbox Cloud Gaming, Nvidia GeForce Now, PlayStation Plus, and Amazon Luna. However, Netflix differentiates itself by offering its games for free with a Netflix subscription, many of which are tied to its popular shows like “Squid Game” and “Stranger Things.” The company has also been actively creating games based on its successful series, including “Love Is Blind,” “The Queen’s Gambit,” and “Narcos,” expanding its gaming portfolio to cater to a wide audience.
Netflix's gaming journey doesn't stop at mobile devices; it has now ventured into television gaming. The service is compatible with various devices, including Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Players, Chromecast with Google TV, LG TVs, Nvidia Shield TV, Roku devices, Samsung Smart TVs, and Walmart ONN. Members can use their mobile phones and a dedicated app to play these games on TVs. Netflix's approach emphasizes enhancing the user experience, and the ongoing trials aim to refine its game-streaming technology further. As the trials progress in the U.S., Netflix is actively working to make its games available on more devices, reaffirming its commitment to becoming a prominent player in the gaming industry.
A rollout or Beta in the GCC or UAE has not yet been announced. However, we do have Etisalat's cloud gaming service named Arena Pro in the UAE already with 100+ premium game titles and is compatible with multiple gaming controllers. The market for cloud gaming in the GCC is expected to grow significantly in the coming years with an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 40.05%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$90m by 2027.
Why should we keep an eye on these developments? Cloud gaming helps anyone with a mobile or smart TV become part of the gaming community. Buying expensive consoles will no longer be necessary and many industry experts see this as the future of gaming for big players like Sony and Microsoft. This will exponentially increase the number of users and will, therefore, make in-game advertising even more important in media planning.