We might be seeing some fresh blood in the video game development/streaming industry. No, it isn’t coming from Apple, Amazon, or Samsung. According to USGamer, the massive USA retail chain Walmart might be in talks for a video game streaming service.
USGamer’s Matt Kim writes that the site has multiple anonymous sources that know Walmart’s business plans. These sources told USGamer that “the retail giant is exploring its own platform to enter in the now-competitive video game streaming race”. There wasn’t much else to glean, other than that the streaming service will be intended exclusively for video games.
This is not, as Kim points out, the first time that Walmart has made an endeavor into streaming. CNBC reported earlier this year that Walmart was in talks to fund a Netflix-style movie and TV show streaming service, but ultimately shut it down before it came to fruition. For now, Walmart has been happy with the moderate success of Vudu, a service that lets users buy movies both physically and digitally, sharing the content across multiple devices.
How Seriously Should We Take this?
It’s dubious that this video game streaming service will come to pass, either. Walmart has hardly dabbled in software development, to say the least. Sure they have plenty of money to throw around – they are, according to NRF magazine, the top retailer in the world. But that doesn’t mean they have the know-how to jump into the video game business cold-turkey. Likely, they’d outsource a third-party publisher and/or developer to get the job done. This might be similar to how Disney has put their trust in EA (some might say mistakenly).
If a Walmart-funded games service does come to pass, it will certainly have a lot of convincing to do to get the game-playing audience on board.
For more on Walmart’s service endeavors and everything else video games, stay tuned to Culture of Gaming.