Hulu and Xbox have announced a partnership agreement that gives existing Hulu subscribers in the US three free months of PC Game Pass as part of the Hulu “Friends with Benefits” initiative. The move to target players comes after Netflix entered the gaming market, with the player making a number of ad-free mobile games part of its subscription service.
The Hulu and Xbox offer is a limited time deal, however – not a new gaming initiative. The companies said this current offer is redeemable until July 23, 2022 and is only valid for PC Game Pass, not Game Pass Ultimate. It can also only be redeemed by Hulu subscribers in the US who have a new Game Pass.
This appears to be the first time Hulu has made this kind of deal with a gaming company. Xbox worked with Disney’s other streaming service, Disney+, in 2020, offering 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 specific franchises and activities, including the Hulu Friends initiative. With benefits, Hulu’s way of thanking you for just being a fan—because that’s what friends strive for.”
PC Game Pass usually costs $9.99 per month, so this offer is a chance for PC gamers to try out over 100 different games, including titles like Minecraft, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Forza Horizon 5, and 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 gives access to many new games on the same day they are released in retail. Xbox said in its announcement that more games will be released in the next three months.
While hardcore gamers love playing on consoles, there are a surprising number of dedicated PC gamers out there. Statista shows that there are 1.77 billion of them globally, and the number is expected to rise, possibly exceeding 1.9 billion in 2024.
On the other hand, Insider Intelligence believes that the number of PC gamers will only decrease in 2022, and mobile games will dominate. This may explain why Netflix treats mobile games instead of PC. Mobile gaming is an impressive contender in the gaming arena, and Netflix has catered to this demographic of casual gamers on the go. According to Apptopia, Netflix mobile games have been installed more than 8 million times since its launch.
In March, Netflix announced its only first-person shooter title Into the Dead 2: Unleashed, potentially expanding its appeal to more game fans. Additionally, Business Insider cited an older list of Netflix jobs that may have hinted that the company plans to expand into console and PC games. The job listing was for a video game technology artist and he said the ideal candidate had “shipped three or more console or PC games as an engineer or equivalent.”
Its League of Legends animated series “Arcane” has been a huge hit in live streaming, so it’s no surprise that Hextech Mayhem, licensed by developer Riot Games, has had some success with 58% of League of Legends fans likely to be in the United States to subscribe to more Netflix than other streaming services, data interpretation. Fifty-five percent of all gamers choose to subscribe to the streaming device while 27% and 16% of gamers choose Hulu’s ad-supported plan and the ad-free tier, respectively.
Overall, Netflix has 221 million global subscribers and greatly disappointed shareholders with a loss of 200,000 subscribers in its latest quarterly earnings report. For the second quarter of 2022, total combined subscriptions for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ exceeded 205 million, with Hulu contributing 45.6 million subscribers.
While there’s no indication that Hulu will go down the same path as Netflix, it’s interesting that more streaming services are starting to follow each other down the gaming rabbit hole.