Netflix is ​​diving into the lucrative (but risky) waters of (casual) gaming. Some say the attempt has already failed – but Brandnation’s Naomi McAleer says early signs are good.

News of Netflix’s expansion into gaming is back in the marketing headlines, and there’s debate over whether it’s a smart move or a completely misguided move.

The streaming giant’s forays into gaming actually date back to 2021 when it introduced mobile games to the platform. Recently, the brand has taken its testing seriously. In mid-August, the company announced it would be rolling out a limited beta test to a small number of users in Canada and the UK on select TVs, followed by PCs and Macs over the following weeks.

At first glance, this step feels a bit far from what we usually associate Netflix with: binge-watching our favorite series until you’re sitting on the sofa (or waking up from that binge in almost total darkness, bar the dim lights) . of the “Can you see?” screen).

Aren’t you entertained?

As a theatrical play, Netflix dealing with gaming undeniably raises questions like, “Does Netflix have the expertise to compete in such a competitive market?” and “Would acquiring an already established gaming brand have been a better route?”

But let’s not forget that Netflix is ​​in the entertainment business – and this expansion of its offering will no doubt entertain.

It’s important to note that Netflix doesn’t see gaming as an additional offering, but rather as one renewal its core product. As such, its success is likely not measured by the performance of gaming as an individual service, but rather how it contributes to the success of the brand as a whole.

This move will allow the company to differentiate itself from other streaming providers, and value never falls short in this extremely crowded and highly competitive market.

I’m sure Netflix will also learn lessons from other tech companies that haven’t quite hit the mark trying to break into the world of gaming. There’s the cautionary tale of Apple’s Game Center app, which launched in 2010 and was discontinued in 2016 for a number of reasons, including a lack of functionality. Another poignant example comes from Amazon trying to launch games on Fire TV. Needless to say, it never really took off.

Win the boss fight

The key for Netflix will be to perfect the user experience for both experienced and new players. Expectations will no doubt be high for those used to full-service platforms like the Sony PlayStation, but Netflix’s goal will be to appeal to a wide audience and demographic.

What should stand it in its stead is that so far it seems to be taking a measured approach, giving itself time to understand player behavior and make any necessary changes before fully rolling out across all devices.

It also has an opportunity to use this new video game offering to generate hype around new TV and film releases and encourage interaction with its main offering – a smart marketing move.

Netflix’s expansion into gaming is still in its infancy. So far, the brand is taking all the right steps, from gradually rolling out this new offering to ensuring the user experience remains at the heart of their decisions. Which, as we know, is the key to the success of any brand.

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