I’ll be honest with you, this year has not gotten off to the fabulous start I was hoping for when I made those resolutions. Instead, I’ve had not one but two bouts of illness, with a work trip crammed in between, and suddenly we’re in the middle of February and I’m just about ready to start the year. Whilst I have been under the weather, however, streaming TV has been my saviour. Netflix released the new series of One Day at a Time just in time to save my sanity, whilst also giving me a motto to live by. One day at a time and eventually you’ll feel healthy again.
Under recommendation from a friend, I’ve been watching Seal Team on Sky which is both brutal and brilliant. And I managed to clear down a lot of the stuff I’d been saving up over Christmas. (Although I still haven’t watched the New Year Doctor Who yet. Why is that? Do I not want to? Or am I saving it because there’s so long to the next one?)
But you know what’s really been the surprise of the season? The Playstation. Sure, we knew we’d get obsessed with Tomb Raider but then Spider-Man followed and we’ve already been discussing what could possibly be next. Since when has gaming taken up such precedence in our lives? A while back, we went to watch a film and realised it had been ages since the previous one because of that cheeky little webbed superhero swinging his way through the city. There’s something addictive about finding the right game, that sweet spot that hits your talents – be they puzzles or shooting or chasing pigeons around New York.
Earlier this year, Netflix pegged Fortnite as their biggest rival. Forget the cinema, forget regular TV or box office movies, forget the incoming Disney streaming channel or Amazon’s impressive efforts to take on the content behemoth (although I’m sure they’re all up there), it’s a game that they are most afraid of.
Now, I don’t have any experience of Fortnite, and I’ve already admitted that gaming as a whole is not my forte, but I can wholeheartedly agree that when you go to reach for the remote, the choices are ever-growing and ever-expanding. An interesting paragraph in the Games Radar piece linked to above:
However, it is fascinating to see Netflix shift slightly towards more game-oriented experiences. the choose-your-own-adventure style path towards the various Black Mirror: Bandersnatch endings could easily have been something fired up and played on a home console…
I tried that Bandersnatch thing and did not enjoy it, but that’s not to say the concept of interactive streams isn’t going to expand and be something to watch out for going forward. The one thing Netflix have to watch for is trying to expand too far. You have to face your competition head on, of course, and you have to try and rival their efforts but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything that they do. It just means you have to do what you do better.
I don’t particularly want to play games on Netflix, I want them to keep making The Crown and One Day at a Time. I don’t really want to head to Netflix to play through a Spiderman story, but I do want good, reliable content from them, that is kept fresh. Not that that seems to be a problem either, Netflix is reportedly making 293 different projects this year alone, so we’re not likely to run short anytime soon. In fact, I’m starting to wonder if Netflix’s biggest competition isn’t Netflix itself?