Netflix continues to trial its game streaming service with the expansion of the limited beta test to US subscribers. Initially launched in August for a select audience in Canada and the UK, the US-based trial has only two games available to test: Oxenfree and Molehew's Mining Adventure. Selected participants can utilize a smartphone app as a controller to play these games on big-screen televisions.
Competitive Potential Against Existing Platforms
The potential of Netflix's new game streaming service paves the way for healthy competition against already established gaming services. Notable rivals include Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming Service, which is a part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription plan, as well as NVIDIA GeForce Now and Amazon Luna.
Netflix's Future Plans and Challenges
According to a new report released by The Wall Street Journal, the streaming giant's future plans might include video games under a licensing deal with Rockstar's renowned Grand Theft Auto franchise. Netflix, aiming to leverage gaming content as a viable means to boost subscriber numbers, faces the challenge of increasing its users' awareness of the available gaming content. Currently, it seems a significant number of subscribers are unaware of the large selection of downloadable mobile games offered at no additional cost. It is now incumbent upon Netflix to effectively promote this feature through advertising and marketing initiatives.
Continued Price Hikes
Earlier this month, it emerged Netflix is considering hiking prices again amid the Writer's and Actor's strikes in Hollywood. Netflix hiked prices for all its plans last year that led to elevating the cost of the ad-free Standard tier to $15.49 per month and the Premium plan to $19.99 per month. Besides, it introduced a $6.99 per month ad-supported plan and discontinued its mid-tier $9.99 per month basic ad-free plan. To curb unauthorized sharing, Netflix introduced an additional $7.99 per month charge for account sharing outside one's household earlier this year.