Thursday April 27, 2017

Xbox Chief: We Need to Create a Netflix of Video Games

Phil Spencer thinks that the gaming industry could benefit from transitioning to the Netflix model, which has allowed riskier but more creative, original content to be produced. I think his argument is that subscriptions could allow for bigger games to be made since they could be split up and released episodically, but a continuous revenue stream could easily be abusedآ—just look at the current state of DLC. But for me, dismissal of a Netflix-like gaming service is a lot more simple: the more content you give me, the likelier it is I won’t be watching or playing anything at all, since there is a point where there is just too much on the table.

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Spencer feels that, from a creative standpoint, we need new types of narrative experience آ– but from a business standpoint, it’s getting harder and riskier to commit to those games. Is there an answer? Spencer thinks there is آ– and it comes from watching the success of original content made and distributed on modern TV services. "I’ve looked at things like Netflix and HBO, where great content has been created because there’s this subscription model. Shannon Loftis and I are thinking a lot about, well, could we put story-based games into the Xbox Game Pass business model because you have a subscription going? It would mean you wouldn’t have to deliver the whole game in one month; you could develop and deliver the game as it goes."