As part of the company’s latest earnings report, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Chief Product Officer Greg Peters jumped on an investor phone call to talk about loads of things related to the future of the company. While discussing one of those things—their impending detour into video games—things got pretty interesting.
Former games writer Julia Alexander was listening to the call, and took note of what they were saying when it came to Netflix’s video game plans. Aside from the fact that Netflix will initially be targeting mobile games, Hastings says that they’re not expecting to, nor planning to, make a profit from any video game development or offerings, and are simply using them as a means of increasing the overall value of a Netflix subscription, since the platform’s games aren’t going to be a separate or increased cost (yet, anyway).
What might be of more interest to you, though, is the way Netflix has approached mobile gaming. While there’s a stereotype that the biggest and most popular mobile games are built on predatory monetary and design principles, Hastings says hey, because we don’t need to worry about taking your money for these games since we’re already taking your money, we don’t care about any of that.
Then Peters says:
We know fans of those stories [core IP] is they want to go deeper. Interactive can provide an in-depth world to explore...we also feel our subscription model yields some opportunity to support some game experiences that are underserved by the dominant monetization models.
We don’t have to think about ads, we don’t have to think about in-game purchases, or other monetization, we don’t have to think about title purchase...we can just be laser focused on creating the most entertaining game experiences that we can.
We’re finding that a lot of game developers are really into that idea and focus and just putting their energy into great gameplay without worrying about those other considerations they’ve had to trade off instead of just making compelling games.
That is certainly a very cool thing to hear! It means nothing until we actually get to see and play Netflix’s games, of course, but as far as opening pitches go, it’s a good one.