Is Netflix making an aggressive move in the video game business? There was definitely talk about the company’s latest earnings call to back up all the smoke that’s been rising in Hollywood.
When asked directly by moderator Nidhi Gupta of Fidelity Management & Research, founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings said that “in a way, we are now playing with Bandersnatch and we have some very basic interactive stuff.”
But it was Greg Peters, chief operating officer and chief product officer, who added more smoke to the fire when he spoke, with a smile, about the billion-dollar video game business.
“We’re in the business of creating these amazing, deep universes and compelling characters, and people come to love those universes and want to dive deeper and get to know the characters better. We’re trying to figure out all the different ways that we can increase those connection points and dig into that fandom and certainly games are a really interesting component of that. Either gamifying some of the linear storytelling that we are doing as interactive with Bandersnatch and we will continue and have actually released the games as part of our licensing and marketing effort, and we are happy with what we have seen. There is no doubt that the games will be an important form of entertainment and an important modality to deepen the experience of the fans, so we will move forward, “he said.
Netflix Doesn’t Hit Q1 Subscriber Targets, Blames Covid-19 Issues, But Beats Financial Forecasts
Netflix to spend $ 17 billion on content in 2021
Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann added that the company has “dabbled” into gaming. “We are a company that continues to learn and so far the learning has been good, so we are happy with how it is played and developed and hopefully we will continue to learn,” he said.
Netflix has dabbled in video games by launching games around shows like Stranger Things, so it’s very possible that it will add to this in the future rather than doing everything it can to try and compete with Microsoft and Sony on Xbox or Play station.
‘The Witcher’, ‘You’ and ‘Cobra Kai’ will return to Netflix in Q4 2021
But Hastings suggested that the company doesn’t expect to have a big “second act” the way Amazon did by moving to web services and physical shopping, but that it hopes to dive further into licensing and merchandising. “We want to expand,” he said. “We have a lot to do in terms of different types of entertainment.”
“I don’t think there is a second act, in the AWS and Amazon Shopping sense, I bet we end up with a profit pool, hopefully gigantic and very defensible, and then we continue to improve the service for our members, expanding in category. I would not look for any large secondary profit group.