Streaming platform Netflix could soon offer its flagship series Squid Games, Wednesday, Extraction, Sherlock Holmes and Black Mirror as video games. In fact, for several years now, the mobile app has offered access to some fifty titles, including the excellent Oxenfree, Twelve Minutes and Unknown Soldiers: Brothers in Arms. A service brimming with independent video game gems. But for Netflix, that’s not enough: the SVOD giant wants its Triple-A game!
Netflix brings video games to mobile
Not everyone knows it, but the catalog of video games included in the basic subscription is quite substantial, containing over fifty titles. They can be accessed via the mobile app and downloaded at no extra charge. Netflix’s gaming offer is still keeping a low profile, but the company seems intent on going further in this sector.
With a view to expanding its catalog, Netflix has already spent nearly $1 billion for games such as Oxenfree, Immortality and Spiritfarer. These are great games, but they don’t make huge waves and don’t necessarily sell subscriptions. Especially since not all of these games are exclusive to the platform.
Netflix launches cloud gaming
If the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, Netflix is currently in talks with Take-Two Interactive, parent company of Rockstar Games, which is responsible for the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption franchises. For the moment, the SVOD service only offers mobile games for download, so it would be rather surprising if GTA VI were to land on the platform… At least not in this form.
For several months now, Netflix has been experimenting with cloud gaming in Canada and the UK. A solution that lets you stream games without having to download them. As with Xbox Cloud Gaming, available on Xbox Series X consoles, the computing power is located on the servers, and gamers receive a video stream. The main advantage is that you can play anywhere, without needing a console or a powerful PC. Technically, all you have to do is connect a controller to your TV and launch the game from the Netflix app.
News that changes everything. Indeed, Netflix could well be in a position to offer bigger games via streaming. With this solution, it is not impossible for Grand Theft Auto VI or Red Dead Redemption II to arrive on the SVOD platform. With cloud gaming being the big trend in the video game industry, it would be surprising if Netflix didn’t want a slice of the pie.
What are Rockstar Games and Netflix planning?
Two options for Netflix: bring the Rockstar Games titles that are already available on mobile to the app, or create a game exclusive to the platform. Various agreements could be reached during these discussions. The Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption franchises are highly cinematic, and seeing them adapted into films or series would make sense. However, rumors seem to speak of a Grand Theft Auto spin-off game on mobile, exclusive to Netflix. We’ll probably have to wait a few more months (or years?) before discovering the true ambition of this partnership.
What’s certain is that the gap between film and video games is narrowing considerably. The recent adaptation of The Last of Us and its amazing backgrounds is an excellent example. The incredible Cyberpunk Edgerunners animated series also illustrates this transmedia trend. Other licenses have also been adapted for the big screen. In 2022, SELL (Syndicat des Editeurs de Logiciels de Loisirs) reported that 70% of the French population played games occasionally, a market that is still expanding and gaining more and more followers.
Although many of us are still attached to games in physical format, cloud gaming is gaining ground. However, we can only welcome the fact that video game universes are increasingly being taken seriously and adapted into films and series. Rumor has it that a live-action project is also in the works for Cyberpunk 2077. We’ll be sure to tell you all about it on the blog!