Netflix just about owns every household and television in America. “Netflix and Chill” is a term we’ve added to the lexicon now and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Statistics show that around 60.23 million Americans are currently subscribed. That’s one sixth of the country. This is a staggering number. Despite Netflix’s success, people think that the rise of rival streaming companies will cause Netflix to take a hit. So, it stands to reason that a desire to innovate is a must if the company wants to compete and survive. It seems that Netflix is now shifting their attention to the video game community with new shows in development and Netflix IP’s getting official console releases.
To start, this year at E3, Netflix will be having it’s very first showing and panel at the event. Hoping to capitalize on the ever-present binge culture, Netflix will be discussing the creation of games based on their most popular franchises. In a tweet from Geoff Keighley the following was stated along with the subsequent picture: “This year at @e3 we are welcoming @netflix for a special #e3Coliseum panel with updates and news about its plans in the gaming space” (Twitter, 2019).
This shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise to anyone. Movies aren’t the only visual medium that have spawned video game tie-ins. Hit television shows have had their day switching remotes for controllers. Lost actually had a game release titled Lost: Via Domus on PS3 and Xbox 360. Much like the show, it doesn’t hold up all. Another example, AMC’s The Walking Dead saw a game release in 2013. No no no. Not the narrative masterpiece by Telltale (RIP) featuring legends like Lee and Clementine. I’m talking about the AMC branded brain killer, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. You remember? The terrible shooter? It was terrible.
But that’s not to say that Netflix will have the same problems that other television tie ins have had. Reports are that Stranger Things will be one of their first releases as they branch out into gaming. With enough money and talent behind projects like these, it is entirely possible that we could see a wave of narrative adventures becoming hits in no time. 2018 has already proven the value of single player stories to both casual and hardcore gamers. I cite God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Spider-Man PS4 as my proof. Pre-established audiences of Netflix originals will no doubt be hungry for more content and that is precisely where Netflix will be looking to make their mark (and money, of course).
I’ve already talked at length about my hopes for The Witcher as a Netflix program a few months back. In hindsight, it seems like video game to show adaptations were the first stepping stone for Netflix to reach new possible subscribers.
It will be interesting to see what is brought to E3 by the streaming giant. Will there be a few titles announced live at the event? Will possible deals between Sony, Microsoft, and Netflix make viewing on each platform even more streamlined? Or is this just an early peek in the door and no major announcements will happen? We’ll hopefully find out sometime between June 11thand June 13thwhen E3 2019 kicks off. Keep an eye on “Good Game Report” for more E3 news coverage.