Phil Spencer thinks Netflix is wise to take advantage of its successful streaming business and get into video games.
In an interview with Kara Swisher for the New York Times Sway podcast, Spencer spoke in more detail about the continued growth of video games and how it is often a trendsetter for tech companies. Including the way some tech companies look to games for inspiration.
Take Netflix, for example, which announced it was steadily advancing into gaming by first adding mobile games to existing Netflix subscriptions and then taking over critically acclaimed studios like Nightschool. Spencer thinks this is the right approach for the streaming giant.
“I think it’s smart what [Netflix is] do, “says Xbox boss Phil Spencer. “They’re buying some studios. You will learn about the creative process of interactive entertainment. And I think it’s a very clever way for her to move into the room. “
Netflix Spotlight: December 2021
Netflix isn’t ready to compete with Xbox just yet. Although Netflix has hired a former EA manager to run its new gaming division, Netflix is mostly focused on the casual cellular market, which is still big business. Netflix has a library of popular shows that can be easily turned into games, and the company even bought the award-winning studio behind Oxenfree.
As the content grows, Spencer sees that Netflix has great potential thanks to its existing cloud and community. “Netflix clearly has a cloud. Amazon has a cloud. Google has a real cloud capability. But without content, community and cloud, I think I’m getting into gaming right now – and you can see that in the activities of Netflix. “
Xbox has taken a page from the Netflix book with the Xbox Game Pass, which has long been popularly known as Netflix for games. Something Spencer disagrees with.
“From a streaming perspective, it is. I would say the difference for us is in the business model: you can buy any game that is available on subscription, which is a little different from a music or movie subscription.”
Spencer says the transactional business is still Xbox’s biggest business and bigger than its subscriptions, though he says subscriptions are growing faster.
The Xbox boss also took the time to talk about Xbox’s social network and its focus on games rather than social discourse, as well as addressing industry issues like the Metaverse and Activision’s current controversy.
Matt TM Kim is the news editor for IGN. You can reach him @lawofd.