Hulu and Xbox have announced a partnership agreement that offers existing U.S. Hulu subscribers three free months of PC Game Pass as part of Hulu’s “Friends with Benefits” initiative. The move to target gamers follows Netflix’s entry into the gaming market, where the streamer has bundled a number of ad-free mobile games into its subscription service.
Hulu and Xbox’s offer is a limited time offer, however – not a new gaming initiative. The companies said this current offer is redeemable until July 23, 2022 and is only good for PC Game Pass, not Game Pass Ultimate. It can also only be redeemed by Hulu subscribers in the United States who use the new Game Pass.
This appears to be the first time Hulu has entered into this type of deal with a game company. Xbox has worked with Disney’s other streaming service, Disney+, in 2020, giving Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers a free month of Disney+.
Hulu wrote in a statement, “At Hulu, every decision we make begins with the viewer. We do this through the stories we bring to life and by giving Hulu subscribers the opportunity to engage with their favorite shows, movies and brands through select benefits and activations, including the “Hulu Friends with Benefits” initiative. the way Hulu thanks you for just being a fan, because that’s what friends are for.
Normally, PC Game Pass costs $9.99 per month, so this deal is a chance for PC gamers to try out over 100 different games, including titles like Minecraft, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Forza Horizon 5, Halo, as well as access to EA Play games like The Sims 4, It Takes Two and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. PC Game Pass also provides access to many new games the same day they are released at retail. Xbox said in its announcement that more games will be released over the next three months.
While hardcore gamers enjoy gaming on consoles, there are a surprising number of dedicated PC gamers. Statista shows that there are 1.77 billion in the world, and that number is expected to grow, potentially surpassing 1.9 billion in 2024.
On the other hand, Insider Intelligence thinks PC gamers will only decline in 2022 and mobile games will dominate. This could explain why Netflix approached mobile games instead of PC. Mobile gaming is another impressive contender in the gaming space, and Netflix has catered to this demographic of more casual and on-the-go gamers. According to Apptopia, Netflix’s mobile games have been installed over 8 million times since its launch.
In March, Netflix announced its lone first-person shooter title Into the Dead 2: Unleashed, which could broaden its appeal to more gaming enthusiasts. Additionally, Business Insider pointed to an old Netflix job listing that may have hinted that the company was planning to expand into console and PC gaming. The job posting was for a video game technology artist and stated that the ideal candidate “has delivered three or more console or PC games as an engineer or equivalent”.
His League of Legends anime series “Arcane” was a hit for the streamer, so it’s no shock that his game Hextech Mayhem, licensed from developer Riot Games, achieved some success with 58% of League fans. of Legends in the US more likely to subscribe to Netflix than other streaming services, according to Interpret data. Fifty-five percent of all gamers choose to subscribe to the streamer, while 27% and 16% of gamers choose Hulu’s ad-supported plan and ad-free tier, respectively.
Overall, Netflix has 221 million subscribers worldwide and greatly disappointed shareholders with a loss of 200,000 subscribers in its recent quarterly earnings report. For the second quarter of 2022, total combined subscriptions for Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ topped 205 million, with Hulu contributing 45.6 million subscribers.
While there’s no indication that Hulu will go down the same path as Netflix, interestingly more streaming services have started following each other down the gaming rabbit hole.