Netflix vs Gaming: Future of Netflix and Gaming

In recent years, the entire entertainment landscape has kept continuously evolving and Netflix emerged as the biggest winner when it comes to sheer revenue and the number of people watching. Streaming on Netflix completely took over the media market, forcing traditional media outlets to adapt in order to keep up with the streaming giant. However, in the meantime, gaming’s popularity has kept increasing and Netflix has gained a surprising new competitor in terms of revenue and growth. Backed by serious statistical achievements gaming continues to push boundaries with each passing year attracting millions of new consumers.

Growth of the gaming industry

Market expansion

In the last decade, gaming has witnessed an immense surge in revenue as well as mainstream popularity, outperforming many other entertainment outlets in the process. To put things into perspective, every third person on the planet plays video games regularly, which is a number that’s considerably higher in developed countries such as the United States. 

Lockdown effect and revenue projections

Since billions were forced to stay inside and maintain social distance, lockdown played a massive role when it comes to this number as a lot of people started to play video games to pass the time. However, even though lockdown is a thing of the past, the gaming industry kept growing, especially given that a lot of people did not stop gaming even when they got the chance to go outside again. It’s predicted that the gaming industry will have a steady 8% yearly increase in revenue until 2027 and there are no signs of stopping as it currently outpaces the film and music industry combined.

Netflix on top

Disrupting the traditional media landscape

During the time in which gaming gained immense mainstream popularity, Netflix also emerged as an unrivaled force in the streaming world, completely reshaping the industry in the process. Through innovation and a number of original shows, Netflix has largely revolutionized the way people consume content with a large focus on binge-watching. 

Original content strategy

Over the years, Netflix partnered with some of the biggest directors and actors, creating groundbreaking TV shows and movies that are usually only available on the platform. In addition, they also recognized the appeal of older classic movies, striking licensing, and partnership deals which allowed Netflix to feature iconic movies such as Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, Forrest Gump, and many others. By offering the viewer an endless array of organized content with personalized suggestions based on the viewer’s preferences, it’s very easy to get lost in Netflix’s magic and spend countless hours watching these shows.

Gaming vs streaming services

The appeal of active engagement

Over the years, gaming has emerged as a favored form of entertainment when it comes to the average person, as most people naturally prefer an interactive way of spending their free time. Gaming, unlike streaming services and traditional media outlets, offers the consumer an immersive experience with a high level of active engagement. 

Furthermore, gaming is also more addictive than binge-watching Netflix, especially since the most popular video games are multiplayer ones where the skill ceiling only increases as players get better at the game. Video game giants such as League of Legends and Valorant have developed competitive ladders in which players compete against each other, with some of the players being competitive enough to pay for lol and valorant boosting services in order to reach their desired rank.

The power of live streaming

This level of high interest in interactive gaming is the main reason why interactive streaming services such as Twitch and Mixer have also increased in popularity during this period since they enable players to stream their video games and interact with the viewers. As a result, this creates communities based around shared hobbies with people that engage with each other in real time. It’s also worth noting that there is a generational divide that separates gaming and streaming, with younger generations often preferring gaming over the other.

Rise of Esports

The competitive nature of multiplayer games naturally drives players to keep improving in order to keep up with other like-minded individuals. For this reason, the best players in certain multiplayer games decide to fully commit themselves to professional gaming and join Esports teams. Esports competitions have become increasingly more popular which is a problem for Netflix which cannot replicate the sense of excitement and engagement found in live Esports competitions. The real-time nature of sports, and Esports alike, where passionate fans and professional players create an electrifying atmosphere is something Netflix struggles to reproduce.

Esports broadcasting

The rise of popularity in Esports broadcasting is another significant factor that challenges the dominance of streaming networks such as Netflix, as competitive video gaming attracts massive audiences nowadays. To put things into perspective, massive championship finals such as the final of the League of Legends world championship had over 5 million concurrent viewers online. 

This becomes a further issue for Netflix as these video games are streamed on competing platforms such as Twitch that have capitalized on the Esports phenomenon by providing a platform for these massive competitions. Apart from the viewers that watch and support these Esports competitions from the comfort of their homes, tens of thousands of viewers have filled out arenas such as Madison Square Garden while watching these events live. 

Netflix responds to the gaming challenge

Video game adaptations and increased interactivity

Appropriately recognizing the impact gaming had on entertainment in general, Netflix has tried to attract consumers that prefer gaming by adapting their content. By partnering with popular game developers, they made several video game adaptations, most notably Arcane which is inspired by League of Legends, The Witcher, as well as The Last of Us. 

These shows are based on events and stories that transpire in popular video games which have dominated the world of gaming. This strategic move aims to expand the interest in the platform by catering the shows on Netflix to the younger generations who prefer the world of video games. 

Additionally, TV shows that are on Netflix such as Black Mirror have experimented with interactive storytelling episodes in which the viewer plays a major role in how the story develops. All things considered, Netflix certainly recognizes the threat that gaming poses to the streaming industry which is why they’ve made these considerable adjustments to their content.

The future of Netflix and gaming

While gaming and content streaming are two competing entertainment landscapes, the future seems bright for both of them in terms of continued growth and revenue. Both of these industries have adjusted their offer so their content is better suited to consumers that prefer the other form of entertainment. They have appropriately adapted the content they offer so it’s better suited to consumer preferences. 

The future of Netflix

When it comes to Netflix, it continues to expand its vast offer of game-related TV shows with several video game adaptations currently set to release, most notably Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, and Assasin’s Creed. This continued expansion into video game adaptations shows Netflix’s long-term commitment and desire to cater to the preferences of gamers. By adjusting their content, they aim to attract a wider audience of gamer enthusiasts to their streaming platform.

The future of gaming

On the other hand, the future of gaming is brighter than ever with the industry continuously growing and innovating. Unlike Netflix and similar streaming services, gaming has to do very little adjustment in order to attract new consumers as new technological advancements revolutionize gaming experiences, offering new ways for gamers to enjoy their favorite video games. On the contrary, much like Netflix, other industries apart from streaming and movie making such as fashion and music have seized the opportunity of cross-promotion by making collaborations with video game giants.