Capacity concerns as Netflix ventures into smartphone gaming
Netflix has entered the mobile gaming space with the launch of five free games on Android devices.
Subscribers will need to access the games is a Netflix subscription and the company promises no ads, additional fees or in-app purchases.
While the games have initially rolled out on Android smartphones, the company added that it hoped to roll out games on Apple devices in the coming months.
The streaming giant said that it will initially roll out five games to its subscribers via its app with two of those based on its popular Netflix original series Stranger Things.
But it remains to be seen how this will impact network capacity. Last year Netflix and YouTube agreed to downgrade their video streaming quality in order to ease pressures on European network capacity amid increasing usage due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The move into games will mean that Netflix will have to be better prepared to deal with huge spikes in network usage. In turn, Netflix will have to work more closely with all providers in the value chain to avoid latency, buffering and deliver the best games experience at scale,” said PP Foresight analyst Paolo Pescatore.
“As we’ve seen with delivering live sport over the Internet, one of the principal obstacles is capacity. Delivering huge peaks at unpredictable times is hard to plan for.”
The global mobile gaming market is set to reach $153.5 billion by 2027 according to reportlinker.com and earlier this year Netflix had indicated that it intended to tap into the market.
“While, the move into games is a logical step it represents a costly bold move,” added Pescatore.
“The company will have to dedicate significant resources including time and investment with no guaranteed success but this is a long-term play as Netflix needs to strongly think about retention and engagement.”
“Making games for free will drive users, but it is not sustainable long term as a business model. Netflix’s growing subscriber base of more than 200 million will be an attractive shop window for games developers. “
“Despite this, competition in games is even greater and will take Netflix many years before it can establish itself in this cut-throat market.”
There’ll be more on gaming in the next issue of Capacity Magazine.