Exclusive: Walmart is Talking to Developers and Publishers About a Potential Streaming Service

Exclusive: Walmart is Talking to Developers and Publishers About a Potential Streaming Service

The American retail giant is exploring a jump into the untested video game streaming space.

Google made headlines this week when it announced its arrival into the video game space with a new streaming venture called Stadia. But according to sources, another major corporation is investigating the video game streaming business too, and it's none other than Walmart.

Multiple sources familiar with Walmart's plans, who wish to remain anonymous, confirmed to USG that the retail giant is exploring its own platform to enter in the now-competitive video game streaming race. No other details were revealed other than it will be a streaming service for video games, and that Walmart has been speaking with developers and publishers since earlier this year and throughout this year's Game Developers Conference.

Walmart's discussions with developers for its streaming service have been secretive, and it's unclear how far along the service is in-development. But our sources are confident that this is a space Walmart is trying to move into.

Though Walmart might sound like a strange company to be jumping into the streaming tech space, the move isn't wholly unexpected. In recent years due to competition from Amazon, Walmart has been increasingly looking into more tech-focused markets beyond its traditional physical retail chain.

Over time, Walmart has integrated its physical stores with its large online presence, offering deliveries, app integrations, and in-store pick up services. Walmart also has a technology arm in Silicon Valley called Walmart Labs, which has 6,000 employees and develops tech for Walmart's digital presence. In addition it boasts tools like Cruxlux, which is a search engine designed to reveal the connection between any two people, places, or things.

Finally, Walmart has a data center unofficially called Area 71 in Caverna, Missouri which holds over 460 trillion bytes of data. Data centers are a centerpiece of Google's Stadia streaming service and companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple also own powerful data facilities, all of whom are also coincidentally working in streaming technology.

There's a chance that these are just exploratory meetings on Walmart's part. The company shelved plans for a Netflix-style video streaming service after deeming the field "too risky," according to a CNBC report from January. While Walmart abandoned video streaming, it still supports the digital video storefront Vudu—evidence that the company hasn't completely abandoned potential digital tracks. And considering that video game streaming is still new, Walmart could consider the field fresh and open enough to move into.

We've reached out to Walmart for confirmation and comment on its plans. For now, it seems that the video game streaming wars are just beginning.

Header image from Walmart Corporate via Flickr.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Read this next

Zombies May Be Appearing in Red Dead Online, If It's Not a Glitch

Undead nightmare part two, or just another quirky bug?

Reggie Fils-Aimé's Been Up To a Lot Since His Retirement From Nintendo

The former Nintendo of America president has been pretty active.

The 25 Best Nintendo Switch Games

Our rotating list of the best games on Switch, now updated for the Nintendo Switch Lite release!

Former Dragon Age Writer David Gaider Co-Founds Summerfall Studios in Australia

Gaider and fellow co-founder Liam Esler previously worked together at Beamdog.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening's Most Famous Song Now Has Soul-Shredding Lyrics

Let's be honest, you knew it wasn't going to be an uplifting ditty.

The Next Total War Saga Heads to Mythological Troy

The land of gods and monsters seems to be the next saga locale.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep Story Previews Tease What Eris Morn’s Been up to All This Time

She may have met the expansion's true Hive villain already.

More News

Zombies May Be Appearing in Red Dead Online, If It's Not a Glitch

Undead nightmare part two, or just another quirky bug?

Reggie Fils-Aimé's Been Up To a Lot Since His Retirement From Nintendo

The former Nintendo of America president has been pretty active.

Former Dragon Age Writer David Gaider Co-Founds Summerfall Studios in Australia

Gaider and fellow co-founder Liam Esler previously worked together at Beamdog.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening's Most Famous Song Now Has Soul-Shredding Lyrics

Let's be honest, you knew it wasn't going to be an uplifting ditty.

More on Google Stadia

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep Story Previews Tease What Eris Morn’s Been up to All This Time

She may have met the expansion's true Hive villain already.

CD Projekt Red Has an Update on How Genitals Work in Cyberpunk 2077

Your character's genitalia are locked to the body type you choose.

Borderlands 3: How to Respec Your Character and Reset Skill Points

If you’ve decided you want to respec your character in Borderlands 3, it’s easy to do so. Here’s how.

Borderlands 3 Vehicles: How to Get Your First Vehicle, Vehicles Upgrade Locations

There’s a wide range of vehicles you can use in Borderlands 3. Here’s what you need to know.

Google Stadia Is Working on Letting People Combine Server-Side Gameplay With Camera Feeds for Streaming

Viewers would see your camera feed piped out alongside game footage straight from Google's data centers.

How to Use Action Skills in Borderlands 3

Action Skills are powerful moves in Borderlands 3. Here’s how to use them.

Borderlands 3 Character Customization: Character Skins, How to Change Appearance

You’ll get to choose between 4 different Vault Hunters in Borderlands 3. You can also customize them further at special vending machines around the world. Here’s how to customize your character in Borderlands 3.