Since Netflix Games launched in 2021, the company has tried to put more focus on the offering. They have acquired the distribution rights to new games and expanded their offering. But it's been clear from the beginning that the brand wanted to have its own games, as well. This week, the company announced a move that will help them on that journey: the hiring of Joseph Staten as Creative Director.
What is Netflix Games?
Netflix Games is a digital storefront launched in 2021 by streaming giant Netflix. It offers users access to a variety of new and upcoming titles, as well as previously released ones. Users can download the games directly onto their Android or iOS devices for no additional fee, as it is all built into the existing subscription.
The service launched in 2021 with 6 titles - 2 of which were from their own Stranger Things IP, though not developed in-house by the streamer. Today, the platform has dozens of games available to players from a variety of genres. The offering includes a game that seems to be a dating SIM in the same realm as Love Island, a SpongeBob cooking game, and even the Exploding Kittens mobile game.
Expanding the Netflix Games catalog
But Netflix isn't content to simply offer access to third-party games; they want to create their own. That's where Joseph Staten comes in. As Creative Director, he will lead the development of original games for the platform. He brings a wealth of experience from his time as an award-winning game designer at Bungie and Microsoft.
Staten's goal is to create games that are "fun and replayable" for viewers - something Netflix can offer beyond traditional TV, movies, and documentaries. He'll be looking at different types of genres, including RPGs (role-playing games), MOBAs (multiplayer online battle arena games), and other interactive experiences.
The idea is to create original content that viewers can sink their teeth into and want to come back for more. It's an ambitious project, but with Staten at the helm, it looks like Netflix could be taking the first steps toward creating a truly immersive gaming experience for its viewers.
Why does Netflix want to be in gaming?
Netflix has long had its sights on the gaming industry. Games are especially popular with younger viewers, and can be a great way to attract and keep members. They also offer opportunities for interactivity that TV shows and movies don't, which could lead to more engagement with the Netflix platform. And with the large catalog of intellectual property, from Stranger Things to Selling Sunset, they have a lot of existing content in which to explore.
Ultimately, adding games to its content library would provide Netflix users with an even richer experience than just watching TV. Games can be more social, interactive, and even educational. And with the addition of virtual reality (VR) capabilities, Netflix would be able to create truly immersive environments that could transport viewers right into the world of a game or TV show.