The film and TV industry and the gaming sector have had a healthy relationship for some time now with studios, networks, and platforms adopting prominent gaming intellectual property (IP) to turn into content. We may now be seeing an evolution of that relationship.
The goal is of course for Netflix to become a self-reliant platform for gaming as well as content. Creating multiple revenue streams for a program’s universe outside of just the content IP.
The OTT platform bought Boss Fight Games, a private game development firm, on March 24th, 2022. It also made an offer the same month to purchase Next Games for €63.1 million ($68.8 million), after working with the company to develop Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales.
One of the major positives of the gaming sector is that it aids in keeping an audience captive to the universe surrounding the content itself. Elongating the life cycle of a show could help with subscriber retention and growth into new demographics.
These recent purchases indicate Netflix is keenly aware of the changes occurring across the media landscape, both technologically and culturally. From a tech perspective, the large-scale adoption of 5G technologies means streaming high-quality games will become cheaper and more accessible than ever, while culturally, the type of content favored by the burgeoning Gen-Z demographic is wildly different than millennials before them.
As Gen-Z gains purchasing power and take their place as the cultural trend-setters, some companies are taking notice, building their businesses around this rising generation. One such company. Gamelancer, the largest gen-z gaming network, is now publicly traded.
The company currently has 27 million fans and over 1 Billion monthly video views across TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram. Through leveraging their handle – @gaming – across platforms they’ve garnered a sizeable following that shows no sign of slowing down.
Razvan Romanescu, the Co-Founder & CEO of Gamelancer Inc., said about the current state of the sector: “The future of media is moving profoundly towards short form, remixable, and interactive content. We are at the frontier of a massive shift in how gaming and media intersect at scale. Gamelancer is positioned to be the largest Gen-Z gaming media conglomerate, and to spearhead cloud gaming and social connectivity.”
“We want to provide real value for the gaming community through content, technology, blockchain and hardware.”
On the elevated interest in the sector, Romanescu wasn’t surprised, noting the advent of further technology growth, deeper connectivity and understanding as a reason behind the increased investment.
“I think a lot of companies are now opening their eyes to the possibilities around gaming and what can be achieved. We believe that the technological and cultural shift we are seeing today is similar to that of the late 00’s, when younger consumers spearheaded the push from cable subscriptions to digital streaming services,” He added.
“The move by Netflix is not surprising and gives them further opportunities to scale and help in effectively keeping subscribers. We’ve found that creating a sustainable gaming community, coupled with informative content and innovative ideas, like in-game voice chat, has been very productive. There’s a lot we have in the pipeline to further expand and adapt to the growth across the marketplace in due course also.”
The gaming industry has been eyed for some time but has historically been a tough nut to crack with everyone looking for a product like GTA V which turned over around $6 billion on a budget of just $265 million. But with the recent success of games-as-a-service products like Fortnite and Roblox, the landscape is clearly changing.
Content from games has been done in the past by both Disney and Meta with very mixed results, even with Disney’s strong IP. Netflix’s entry into the gaming industry and new companies like Gamelancer will both be stories to watch.