Interbrand Thinking
Mayleen Yang,
Play Collective

Consolidating Netflix-ness with New-ness

Insider view

Netflix has been a game-changer, completely renewing the way people enjoy content. And now Netflix has made inroads into the gaming market.

On November 2, Netflix launched five games based on its original IP, targeting Android-users around the world. Users can play the games free within the Netflix app using their existing accounts. Since many movie theaters shut down globally due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, approximately 16 million new customers have joined Netflix. Although it currently has 214 million users in total, its subscriber growth is gradually slowing down. Because of this, Netflix has chosen to create within itself a small gaming world instead of taking an aggressive strategy for gaming service. Netflix seems to be aiming to have more people stay on its platform little longer. Not only that the Netflix gaming service has brought it a chance to deliver its brand values even more clearly.

Variety: Netflix’s stories encompassing different cultures and languages are the value that represents its current state most distinctly. While we have had to push the “play” button to watch contents, now we can literally “play” stories. As diverse as genres of video content – like soap operas, documentaries, and musicals – so are the genres of the games. Netflix has already announced “We’re Catering to Every Kind of Player” while introducing the launch of the games, and the content that leads the play will emphasize diversity even more.

Immersion: What is as important as achieving a higher ranking for the gamer is “getting immersed in the game universe”. Comprehending and becoming immersed into temporal, spatial, and ideological backgrounds of the game scenario – which grow more vivid along with playing time – is the reason why so many gamers stay up all night in front of a screen. This means that games with strong stories are more attractive than ever. For example, Arcane, an animated series of League of Legends which can be seen on Netflix, is captivating not only to League of Legends players, but also the general public from its visuals alone. Netflix is well-aware of the fact that the game universe itself can tell a powerful story to fascinate people. Since Netflix knows that a good game is made from a good story, its games based on well-made content will provide a greater sense of immersive entertainment to many users.

People always look for new ways to entertain themselves. Variety is the best cure for boredom. Immersion is the highest stage of enjoyment. Both variety and immersion come from a fine story. And Netflix’s new challenge begins with high expectations for all of them.