Following lackluster growth in the second quarter of 2021, Netflix recently announced that they would provide subscribers streaming access to video games free of charge as part of existing subscriptions. According to Variety, Netflix’s incredible growth during the pandemic seems to be waning, with a crucial 430,000 subscribers lost in Q2 in the company’s United States and Canada region.

Although speculation about Netflix making a foray into video games has been around for a bit, nothing had been made official until recently when it was announced that Mike Verdu (whose pedigree includes work with EA and Facebook’s Oculus) had been appointed vice president of game development. In a message to its shareholders, the company shared that the “time is right to learn more about how our members value games,”

The general response to Netflix’s announcement was mixed, with some users on Twitter praising the decision and others offering up a bit more skepticism. Even so, Netflix’s choice to branch out into other forms of streaming content definitely represents what could be the next frontier in both Cloud-based entertainment and the larger streaming wars. 

So, what could Netflix offering video games to its users mean? How will other streaming services react? While Netflix hopes to offer games in the next year, according to an anonymous Bloomberg source, here’s a bit of speculation surrounding how the decision could play out for the streaming service and its competitors.