When companies dominate their respective markets, it’s natural for them to not want to rock the boat. After all, it’s better to do well at what you know than waste your money chasing something you’ve no experience in. For a long time, this has been the case with Sony, Microsoft, and Netflix, with each focusing on its respective niche. Recent developments have been shaking up the status quo, however, leaving questions about the future trajectory of these industry titans as they move into the mobile gaming space.
Of these three companies, the most surprising to gamers is the move made by Netflix, but in context, this change in direction makes a lot of sense. While Netflix is not a gaming company by nature, it has been forced to evolve before from older physical media into the online space. In this way, transformative digital evolution is in its blood, and with funding from streaming, it has a solid base from which to launch.
Sony and Microsoft, as gaming mainstays, will likely experience a much more streamlined shift into the mobile arena. Sony has experience in handhelds with the PSP and Vita, while Microsoft’s Windows platform has also given it experience outside of console platforms. Today, Sony is already testing the waters with properties like Uncharted Fortune Hunter, while Microsoft is looking to move its Game Pass streaming onto as many mobile platforms as it can.
Why Bother with Mobile?
The simple answer is that mobiles are now the most successful home of interactive entertainment in the world. While only finding a serious home with games following the 2007 release of the iPhone, mobile games today make up 60% of the gaming market, according to SEA Mashable. Much of this is thanks to the casual and hyper-casual market, but that’s not the only place where mobile gaming succeeds.
Significant success in the mobile space is also found in mobile casinos, such as what the PlayStar Casino NJ offers. With hundreds of titles, as well as a range of bonuses and payment options, this new take from existing online casinos has expanded all the opportunities of desktop and laptops to the mobile frontier. As with video games, this arm of the casino market exploded in popularity, and it’s part of the reason why companies like Netflix, Sony, and Microsoft have taken notice.
Translating for Success
Sony and Microsoft, already with studios and properties under their belts, already have an understanding and foundation in gaming. The question is, can they understand the intricacies of mobile systems, and accept the different demands these systems represent? As explored by Polygon, Microsoft’s attempt to streamline its games with Kinect already failed, and Sony had a similar problem with its Move line.
Netflix might be starting from zero, but this could be a boon if they rely on outside developers with experience in the space. This seems to be the case, as they’ve already employed the likes of Riot (creators of League of Legends), and Subset game (makers of Into the Breach). There are also possibilities when it comes to licensing the rights of video content for exclusive gaming releases, but that’s a complicated matter which may not pan out.
While each of these companies holds potential in the mobile space, the mobile gaming market is already flush with the competition. It could be that the experience of these newcomers helps them find footing, or they could equally well be lost in the pack. Online time will tell, but you can bet gamers will be watching closely.