Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Netflix Are Getting Serious About Gaming

We are about to have a new player in the gaming space. Now netflix have dabbled in games. They worked with telltale on one or two things in the past, but they recently announced they were getting a bit more serious about it, and now we’ve actually seen an acquisition. Yes, now a lot of people are thinking, oh developers, being purchased by a big tech company. Well, we saw that happen to typhoon studios with google stadium. Look where that went well, let’s get into this and try to make some sense of what netflix are doing and what this could actually mean.

So netflix are ramping up their ambitions with the acquisition of night school studio, knight school, our kali based developer. They are behind, I think, they’re. Well, their most known game would be oxen free, which did fantastically well and they have been acquired by netflix. Now they were founded in 2014. They pretty much have reputation for well-written narrative games. That is what they do.

2016’s oxenfree did incredibly well and then, of course, they did a mr robot game, which I really should check out because I never caught. I never really um got onto that. Then they came out with after party a fun one. A game had college grads trying to beat satan in a drinking game. I think that’s a pretty neat idea and then they had next stop nowhere, which is an apple arcade space adventure now currently they’re working on the sequel to oxenfree, which is actually due out next year on the ps45 switch and pc and they’ve been purchased by netflix. It’s pretty interesting, so their founders said that this will let them stretch their narrative and design aspirations across distinctive original games, original games with heart, which I mean, of course they would say.

I’m also saying that basically, their explorations in narrative, gameplay and netflix’s track record of actually supporting, diverse storytellers are natural, pairing and uh that it just seems natural. Now that is an interesting thing. Netflix they’re known to be like a bit cut throat of when they decide to you know, cancel something after the third season when it isn’t really as good for like user acquisition, but in fairness, netflix, I mean a lot of sometimes it seems like a lot of the time. Why some of the netflix originals get a little bit uh, you know pretty critically. Uh you know in trouble is because netflix ends up being quite hands-off and just being like all right. Do your thing go? Make us content, which I think a lot of a lot of people working creative fields do appreciate, and of course, netflix have also came out with some great stuff.

Now the thing that we then think of, though, is okay. Well, what does this mean for us? What does netflix moving into the gaming space actually mean for people who like games, because I mean netflix moving into the streaming space certainly meant a lot for people who, like television, shows didn’t it well. This is all part of their expansion into games. The actual scope of this was unclear at the time. Of course, there was a few stranger things. Games kicking around.

There was the black mirror banner snatch episodes as well. That was really the extent of it. There’s a few mobile games that are currently being tested, um in certain territories by insiders right now, and a lot of that is stuff. That’s based on like shows and movies, but this is now acquiring a full studio and I think that does make things a lot more interesting, because we then have got to ask ourselves: is this netflix wanting to make tie-in games to the things that they’ve got the rights for, or is this netflix trying to get into the video games game? You know developing unique video games right, so I I mean it’s it’s interesting. I think if it is a lot of tie-in stuff, then a lot of us will be a lot less interested in that, but if it is just them acquiring developers, you know giving them the funding and the resources to make cool that feels new and unique. Then that would be good for us.

It’s just not right! Now we don’t really know what the strategy is. I mean we don’t even know what their distribution strategy is. You would think it would make a lot of sense to distribute via netflix, that app that everybody has now, of course, netflix the app it’s. You know you’re going to be running gameplay on that. If that was to happen, it would be streaming, but we haven’t really heard much of that. Have we so it’s an interesting little situation there.

Of course, some of the other things that netflix have done have, you know just been on phones right. So it’s a netflix thing, but it’s not exactly something you access on a netflix app. If you know what I mean so there’s a lot of thoughts there, especially as we contrast to say the likes of google stadia now. As for why night school? Well, that’s because they’ve actually had a bit of a pass with netflix uh, there’s the mr robot tie-in. Of course that’s not a netflix thing, but it is a tv show at night. School, though, were reportedly collaborating on a stranger things: game with telltale before telltale closed down, and that was apparently going to bridge the gap between the second and third season of that show.

Now this is a project that was not announced or officially cancelled, or anything uh kind of just disappeared following telltale’s claps, so who knows what’s going on there, but it could show that there was a good relationship at one point, though, of course that would be night school actually working on netflix branded content which to some of us you know, we might think. Oh, a good, stranger things game by a really good studio. I mean cool. I like stranger things, lots of you probably like it too, that would be nice, but perhaps there’s people who, like games we’d, be wanting something a little bit more games first, rather than games or playing second fiddle to the other thing and essentially being a sort of a tie-in project to expand a franchise. Of course, though, this is a big tech company coming in right now, I would say that, when it comes to respecting creativity, netflix certainly get more of a pass than google right um, so really just to obtain the news part of this video. That’s essentially, it’s there’s a lot of spook, because old stadium has not worked out that well really for anyone has it.

I mean some developers basically signed a sheet of paper and got a bunch of money for free, but other than that I mean look what happened with typhoon studios. You know people don’t want that that to happen to night school. We then also think of amazon luna like their streaming service for games. I forgot that existed so did I I mean I logically knew, but it’s not been a part of the gaming experience of anyone I know at all. So with that said, what do you think um? So just a little bit of clarification, so uh actually bloomberg covered in the past uh. When was this, this was uh earlier this year they covered uh the move and they had someone familiar with the situation say they do offer.

They do plan to offer it as a part of the streaming platform. Okay, so it is part of the streaming platform not going to charge extra for that content rolling it in as a kind of here’s a bonus, your netflix sub. So almost kind of the you know the mirror of if xbox game pass started, selling movies. That makes a hell of a lot of sense, but we have the problem of will netflix offer downloads because, obviously they offer downloads for shows, but that feels a bit different to how streaming works. Yeah, that’s just playing a video file versus yeah. Here’s a game you’re going to run it on your.

Like. I don’t know about you. My smart tv is like a year and a half old and the thing runs like already you know. Smart tvs are awful awful contraptions when it comes to how well they’ll just run a bit of software yeah, which is certainly interesting, because I mean if it’s going to be controlled via remote and like I don’t have it. So it’s like one of those phillips amber light ones. It’s like it’s not super expensive.

It’s not super cheap either, but sometimes like the input like you get on the controller, adjust it freezing for five seconds and then all of your inputs get queued and then all execute at once like this is the kind of chaos that people are used to in a smart tv you that sort of thing well, how does that even measure the gaming experience yeah, you have to consider like what’s obviously a netflix app can go in anything, so will the netflix app then restrict uh the gaming side of things to phones or to consoles or pcs? In that front, that’s kind of what you sort of expect um, the one of the interesting things about it all is they have just like this kind of lets? You know where they’re going with it. This lets you uh, understand who’s. You know who’s making the decisions. So you know what decisions are that person? What have they made in the past? What are they likely uh to move into so they’ve got um mike verdu? Is it like yeah, it’s mike verdu, who used to be an ea, uh executive producer, I believe uh. He then went on to work at um. Facebook he’s actually, I believe, netflix picked him up from facebook where he was working on the vr and ar side of oculus.

He also worked as uh chief creative officer for zynga back in the day uh. This is like 2009 2012, something like that. So you’ve got the kind of mobility person who’s going to be doing that element of things as opposed to someone who’s used to console game development, or something like that. So that’s it’s likely not going to be super in that sense, yeah and it’s probably going to feel similar to apple arcade. I think, based on this acquisition, because apple arcade are going very heavy on the you know. These aren’t really.

You know incredible video games most of the time. It’s a lot of the smaller narrative things that you can just sort of. You know the kind of things anyone would be happy enough to pick up on the phone that said, apple arcade does have games that are, like you know, a little bit more core gamer focused, but not that many of them stuff like fantasia and I think, which is apparently a great rpg, but one of the other things is you’re asking whether or not they um you know. Is it’s going to be tie-ins, or is this going to be a new segment of the netflix market? It seems that, based on the five games that they’re uh the five mobile games they currently have, it is going to be an additional segment of their market, as opposed to just tie-ins, because the five games have nothing to do with the shows. Let’s see, they’re called uh, oh my goodness, yeah, so they’re called shooting hoops, teeter-up uh card blast, that’s three of them, so they have nothing to do with the shows they’re. Just what you know no harm to the devs, but they seem.

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