Netflix wants to be a player in gaming. Can it succeed?
To the casual observer, it’s easy to forget that Netflix has any sort of presence in the industry. For the most part, the streaming giant that delivers over 40 billion hours of TV shows and movies every month isn’t looking to become a content player in the traditional sense. Instead, the company is focused on launching its own original series, movies and video gaming.
Netflix already has its eye on gaming and how it can capitalize on the genre. The streaming company has a number of titles in both the subscription and free-to-play realm that it is currently looking to cash in on.
But for at least a couple of years, it has also been making inroads with established gaming companies by leveraging its vast catalog of content.
At E3 2014, both Sony and Microsoft showed their hands, showing off game hardware that it licensed from Netflix. It also showed off a number of movies it licensed from Netflix, including a trio from the filmmaker Sofia Coppola.
“We’ve just been doing it for a couple of years,” said Rob Glaser, Netflix’s vice president of content strategy and acquisition for gaming. “We’re not the only ones; there are other companies doing it, like Valve and the Ubisofts. We think that we’re able to get into those markets and do great things.”
In addition to Sony, Microsoft, and Netflix, the major video game publishers Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft have also licensed Netflix content — something that’s led to the streaming company acquiring movie rights to some of the biggest hits in gaming. In addition to Coppola’s Netflix originals, which were announced during the PlayStation 5 reveal, Netflix has also acquired movie and TV rights to Minecraft.
“We get a lot of them because we’re looking to make sure Netflix is on a list of great and good entertainment content that our customers are looking for right at the time,” said Glaser. He added that the vast library of content Netflix provides is what gets the company a lot of eyeballs.
“We think that [Netflix’s] content is fantastic, the fact that we’re able to get that to the marketplace is wonderful,” said Glaser. He added that the company is taking a data-driven approach to licensing the best content it can, using machine learning, and what’s good enough