Netflix Gaming is up and away with the venture now providing 10 mobile games across Android and Google Play as of early December 2021. Much has been speculated about to what extent Netflix will occupy the gaming space going forward given it’s such a broad genre of entertainment. One acquisition we think would be killer for Netflix would be the acquisition of Jackbox Games.
For any long-term readers of What’s on Netflix, you’ll know we’ve been pretty good at spending Netflix’s money on acquisitions whether it’s making the case for buying Lionsgate or our 9 merger and acquisition targets for the service earlier this year.
This time we’re looking for an acquisition to add to the one they’ve already made earlier this year in the form of Night School Studio. So without further ado, here’s why Jackbox Games would be perfect for Netflix.
Who are Jackbox Games?
You may be familiar with Jackbox Games if you’ve ever heard of their Jackbox Party Packs. They’re a small video game developer founded in 1995, have around 40 employees in total, and are located in Chicago.
What makes their games stand out is that they’re a party games developer. There’s a main game happening on your big screen and then people connect to the game using their mobile devices.
They have games for different group sizes whether that be three players or large groups. Most importantly, they feature a ton of personality, are fun and well-reviewed.
As per Jackbox themselves “Each pack contains a variety of different games that might ask you to draw weird doodles, write the best inside joke, or answer hilarious trivia questions. There are hours of laughs in every pack!”
Why would they be a perfect fit for Netflix Gaming?
We don’t quite know the full picture when it comes to the future of gaming on Netflix. Thus far, their efforts in the gaming space have been providing hyperlinks to both the Play Store and iOS store for a selection of mobile games. These games are free (assuming you’re a Netflix subscriber) with the allure that these games are ad-free and contain no microtransactions.
So while mobile is certainly important for Netflix Ggaming, a lot of people watch Netflix in the living room on a big TV. However, getting games onto TVs is a much different proposition to mobiles. Most TVs (at least for the moment) aren’t capable of playing the big games that we could expect from Netflix in the future (we’re thinking along the lines of Halo, Call of Duty or even Oxenfree which they acquired). There’s also the controller problem and general latency issue when it comes to playing games via streaming at present. If games are downloaded, you’re going to need hard drive space something most TVs aren’t equipped with.
With Jackbox Games that problem is less of an issue on the controller side of things given that it’s controlled entirely by individuals mobile devices whether that be a phone or tablet. That shouldn’t be an issue here as near enough everyone has a mobile phone or tablet in the modern-day (80%+ in the UK according to one report). Our vision is that you’d either connect through the Netflix app or exactly how you do now, via the Jackbox website and entering a 5 digit code.
You could also have some really cool integration here with Netflix profiles within the host Netflix account (or even other Netflix accounts) which would import your Netflix profile name and avatar.
Of course, we’re almost certainly massively simplifying how easy it would be to get these games working in practice. Streaming games is a whole different kettle of fish than streaming video but seemingly not impossible. The games can be played on an Amazon Firestick already with each party pack roughly taking up around 1.2GB on a Fire TV stick according to Amazon store listings. TVs we researched for this article often had around 16GB in storage space.
Not only would Jackbox Games come with a ton of established games through their 8 party packs but they could eventually develop new ones which can involve Netflix IP too. Quiplash, for instance, is a game where you have to come up with funny answers to a question that could revolve around scenes from Netflix shows where you have to guess what the character on screen says next.
We believe social party games would be killer for Netflix’s TV experience, do you think the same? Let us know in the comments down below.