It’s hard to find a company that does just one thing, these days. However, the gaming industry seems to attract more than its fair share of businesses hoping to expand their portfolios and bank balances. It is, after all, one of the most lucrative sectors on the planet, with an upper echelon of titles earning billions for an already well-off batch of developers. GTA V alone recently topped $6 billion dollars USD in earnings to date.
Getting into a Lucrative Business
These almighty cash cows are a rarity, though. Most creators find themselves somewhere between cents and millions – yet there’s no denying the perennial appeal of putting out a platformer or shooter to a captive audience. One of the more unexpected companies to get involved with gaming recently is, of course, Netflix. The streaming service now has a catalog of 16 titles on the Play Store.
The wording of a recent headline pushed out by the company does suggest that Netflix is eying a monthly release cycle for its games, which vary in terms of their genre and visual design. For March, Netflix will add a trio of new apps, namely, This Is a True Story, Shatter Remastered, and Into the Dead 2: Unleashed. Unfortunately, hardly anything in Netflix’s repertoire is actually new.
For some reason better left to future sages, Netflix keeps picking up games that already exist somewhere else or have been previously canceled. A good example is Asphalt Xtreme, which ceased to exist in 2017, only to reappear four years later as an exclusive Netflix title. This bargain-basement, scattergun approach to providing interactive content is a bit unusual yet there are still some gems in the basket.
This is a True Story
Into the Dead 2: Unleashed, a zombie FPS that’s already well-established on the Play Store, is arguably Netflix’s best shot at wooing gamers. While there’s a feeling that the company has already missed the boat on zombie games, the flesh-eating baddies never really went anywhere. Evil Dead: The Game came out earlier this year, as did Dying Light 2. The genre continues to thrive in some unexpected places, too.
Both Resident Evil 1 and 2 have related board games while casino game developers such as Microgaming regularly push out zombie-themed slots. Zombie Hoard, which is playable at www.superseven.com, is a good example. The game combines classic slot play with cartoon graphics to create a rather humorous take on the world’s favorite brand of shambling corpses. The online casino offers another two zombie-themed slot machines: Zombie Queen and Zombie Circus.
Elsewhere in Netflix’s March release bundle, the app “This is a True Story” tells the somber tale of an African woman’s daily quest to find water. It’s part game, part fundraiser, as it seeks to get players involved with Charity: Water, an organization that has sourced $370 million USD in donations for developing countries since 2019. This altruistic approach to gaming isn’t rare – look at This War of Mine – but it does give some purpose to Netflix’s aspirations in the gaming industry.
There’s no denying it, though – these are strange times in the TV streaming space. Other services have tried and failed to do something similar to this in the past. Also, with their recent issues with losing subscribers (i.e. price hikes, ad-based tier), maybe gaming is the next frontier for the once streaming giant? Now that they find themselves in a crowded field of streaming competitors. Time will tell if Netflix’s gamble on gaming will pay off. We’ll all be watching. Or, will we?
Will you be playing games on Netflix? If so, what games would you like to see next on the platform? Let us know in the comment section below.