Netflix Hints at Expansion into Gaming and Moves Into Billion-Dollar Business

Netflix Hints at Expansion into Gaming and Moves Into Billion-Dollar Business

Executives at Netflix have indicated that the streaming giant’s future may well include more gaming, as reported by Deadline. A recent earnings call included plenty of talk about what might be in the works.

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Known primarily for its strong slate of movies and original series, as well as acquired programming, Netflix has previously tried some interactive and video game tie-in approaches with properties like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Stranger Things.

COO and Chief Product Officer Greg Peters explained, apparently with a smile, that “We’re in the business of creating these amazing, deep universes and compelling characters and people come to love those universes and want to immerse themselves more deeply and get to know the characters better. We’re trying to figure out all of the different ways that we can increase those points of connection and deepen that fandom and certainly games is a really interesting component of that. Whether it’s gamifying some of the linear storytelling we’re doing like interactive with Bandersnatch and we’ll continue and we’ve actually launched games themselves as part of our licensing and merchandising effort and we’re happy with what we’ve seen. There’s no doubt that games are going to be an important form of entertainment and important modality to deepen that fan experience so we’re going to keep going.”

CFO Spencer Neumann added that “We’re a business that continues to learn and so far the learning has been good so we’re happy how it’s played and out and hopefully we’ll continue to learn,” but Hastings did clarify that there are no plans to pivot entirely to a new stream of content. “We do want to expand. We’ve got a lot to do in terms of different types of entertainment. I don’t think there will be a second act, in the sense of AWS and Amazon Shopping, I’ll bet we end up with one, hopefully gigantic, very defensible profit pool and then continue to improve the service for our members, by expanding in category.

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I wouldn’t look for any large secondary pool of profits.

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The now-dominant Netflix was at first associated as the company whose incredible success as a mail-in DVD rental service resulted in the Blockbuster chain going out of business. The comparison to Amazon, which started as an online bookstore and whose worldwide performance has put a strain on many brick and mortar stores, is reasonable given the way both companies have continued to adapt to meet customer demand.

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