Leanne Loombe, the head of Netflix’s game business, discussed the company’s strategy to focus on gaming in an interview with BBC.
She emphasized that games, as a form of entertainment, naturally complement films and series. Therefore, it makes sense for Netflix to offer games as part of its monthly subscription package. Loombe also mentioned that it has become increasingly challenging to distinguish between different forms of entertainment. Netflix’s goal is to cater to all customer groups by providing both movies and games, and selecting games that appeal to each type of customer, rather than pursuing a broad market approach.
The company is currently developing its own movies and series into games, creating interconnected universes. Examples of this are the Stranger Things game, released earlier, and the recent chess game based on the series The Queen’s Gambit, developed by Ripstone Studios, a game studio specializing in chess and poker from Liverpool.
Jaime Brayshaw, the head of creative at Ripstone, revealed that he personally approached Netflix to propose the game. One advantage of working with Netflix is that game release dates are not tied to series premieres, allowing developers more time to polish the games. However, creating games in collaboration with Netflix also requires consideration for the 238 million subscribers who have little to no experience with gaming.
Designing games that are accessible to this demographic presents both opportunities and challenges. Currently, Netflix primarily focuses on mobile games, but it is also starting to test gameplay on TVs and computers. This gradual approach is a way for Netflix to mitigate the risks that other major companies, such as Google Stadia and Amazon Games Studio, have faced in the gaming industry.