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Cloud Gaming: The Next Chapter in the Streaming Wars

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How one man’s discovery of a top-secret project is hinting at a new battlefront for streaming.

After a data miner discovered Sony PlayStation assets in Netflix’s code, a new theory has appeared that the gaming and streaming giants are plotting a ground-breaking partnership (source: PushSquare). 

Dubbed ‘Shark,’ the clues discovered include an image of Sony’s stealth-action game “Ghost of Tsushima,” stylized images of video game controllers and a shark fin logo.  

Nothing concrete, but with Netflix recently confirming its move into gaming with new executive hires and an existing U.S. licensing partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment for straight-to-streaming releases – including “Uncharted,” “Morbius,” “Bullet Train” and more – this is solid ground for speculation.  

“Sony Pictures is a great partner, and we are thrilled to expand our relationship through this forward-thinking agreement,” said Scott Stuber, head, global films, Netflix during the partnership announcement in April 2021. “This not only allows us to bring their impressive slate of beloved film franchises and new IP to Netflix in the U.S., but it also establishes a new source of first run films for Netflix movie lovers worldwide.” 

This new connection with Sony is not the first. Netflix has already won over movie and gaming communities thanks to its faithful adaptation of properties such as “The Witcher” with CD Projekt Red and Capcom’s “Resident Evil” franchise with an upcoming live-action series coming soon. 

While Netflix has not publicly clarified the meaning behind this recent discovery, we already know that cloud gaming and streaming are merging. Just look at Amazon’s cloud streaming service ‘Amazon Luna.’  

Now offering pre-registration for gaming via the cloud, Amazon Luna allows users to subscribe to a service that allows them to boot up any game in the library via the internet, stream it at once and avoid the long-lamented updates and install times of consoles.  

Partnering with Ubisoft+, this new streaming service is bringing games like “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla,” “Metro Exodus,” “Two Point Hospital” and “Watchdogs Legion” to name a few. 

By 2024, the global gaming market is forecast to be worth $218.7 billion with players reaching numbers of 3.32 billion in the same year (source: Newzoo).  

Furthermore, the delay in development of triple-A titles and big console exclusives have bolstered the mobile gaming market and, owing to a shift in lifestyle due to the pandemic, consumers are looking for more convenient access to the brands they know and love. This has opened an opportunity for cloud gaming thanks to its streamlined, effortless nature and the ability to play on any device.  

Brands are changing the way we access content, engage with properties and, following a recent Bloomberg report, Netflix could be adding video games to its service within the next year. Meaning this new chapter within the streaming wars could change the tide of modern entertainment as we know it. 

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