Netflix’s next big step may be toward cloud gaming according to job descriptions spotted by Protocol. The move would mark the company’s first foray into a space that’s proven hard to crack for other tech giants.
Tried and failed — Job listings include an opening for a security product manager, with “experience with cloud gaming challenges” under the “is a plus” category. Even more explicit: Netflix says that it’s looking for a rendering engineer “to support our cloud gaming service” that would “help optimize the rendering of games so we can render multiple games on our cloud gaming appliances.” If that’s not a hard indicator that Netflix is serious about putting its games on the cloud, we don’t know what is.
Netflix wouldn’t be the first tech company to try its hand at streaming games from the cloud. Take Google Stadia, for example, which is more or less being left to rot after a few years without really making a splash. There’s also Amazon Luna that’s been rather lackluster, offering few reasons to give it a whirl.
It’s a similar story for Netflix Games, which launched in November 2021. The platform’s initial batch of games were rather generic-looking, but included some decent titles like Moonlighter and Townsmen. More recently, Netflix added some more notable titles to its roster, including Into The Breach and Before Your Eyes. Still, Netflix’s own efforts are already seeing few results; less than one percent of its subscribers are using its currently-available mobile gaming platform, Netflix Games.
Stream everything — We get why Netflix wants to try cloud gaming; after all, the company has been open to trying a variety of solutions to help stem the bleeding of subscriber loss, like live TV and cracking down on password sharing. Going off its stellar track record with streaming TV shows and movies, Netflix is probably confident in its ability to handle streaming games, but more realistically, there are a few hurdles for Netflix to clear.
Netflix Games is still relatively unknown with non-existent marketing but a steadily growing library. There’s also the fact that not all of Netflix’s subscriber base would be interested in gaming. Netflix will have to secure some well-respected titles or fund some stellar original titles for us to take its cloud gaming, and overall gaming efforts, seriously.