Netflix’s Push Into Video Games: Why Aren’t Subscribers Playing Along?


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By the end of the year, Netflix intends to increase its selection of video games from 24 to 50, representing a considerable investment.
Globally, 23.3 million people have downloaded mobile games from Netflix, according to Apptopia.
Less than 1% of Netflix’s 221 million customers, or an average of 1.7 million users, are said to play the games daily, according to the app tracker.

Image Source- Morning Consult

Although Netflix wants to expand its selection of video games by the end of the year, few of the streaming giant’s members are already playing.

Since last November, the company has been producing the games to keep clients entertained while waiting for new episodes of their favourite series. The games are only available to subscribers and can be downloaded as individual apps.

The games have reportedly had 23.3 million downloads total and an average daily user base of 1.7 million users, according to app analytics firm Apptopia. That figure represents less than 1% of Netflix’s 221 million subscribers.

It might be argued that the importance of games to Netflix’s overall strategy has grown in recent months as the company battles with rising competition for customers’ attention. After losing 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter, Netflix had its first subscriber declines in more than ten years in the second quarter.

In a letter to shareholders last year, Netflix listed TikTok and Epic Games as two of its main competitors for consumers’ attention.

According to Tom Forte, an analyst for Prosek Partners, “one of the numerous benefits to Netflix in pursuing the strategy is the opportunity to build interaction beyond when the show first comes out on the platform.”

While understanding how games may retain users on the site, Netflix Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters stated last year that the firm had been doing so for “many months and really, really, years.”

During the company’s conference call to discuss its fourth-quarter earnings, Peters remarked, “We’re going to be experimental and try a variety of stuff.” But I’d assert that our focus on the long-term goal is more focused on our capacity to produce properties that are related to the universes, people, and narratives that we’re developing.

The business already has 24 game applications in its collection, which cover a range of genres and include Netflix programmes like “Stranger Things: 1984.” Such well-known card games as “Exploding Kittens” and “Mahjong Solitaire” are the inspiration for many of them.

By the end of the year, 50 games will be available, including “Queen’s Gambit Chess,” which is based on the well-liked Netflix series.

Netflix has been coy about how it intends to turn gaming into a main focus of the business strategy rather than only a pastime.

Leanne Loombe, head of external games at Netflix, remarked during a panel at the Tribeca Film Festival in June, “We’re still learning and experimenting and trying to figure out what things will truly resonate with our members, what games people want to play. So we’re keeping things a little bit quiet.

Earlier this year, Netflix made a hint that it would be obtaining prominent intellectual property to use in its next gaming features.

According to Peters in January, “We’re open to licencing and accessing major game IP that people would remember.” And I believe that some of that will occur in the upcoming year.

Netflix hired outside creators for its current library, but in the previous 12 months, it bought three game developers.

All of this results in increasing investment. Although Netflix hasn’t made public how much it spends on developing its video game section, the work is expensive. The Finnish game firm Next Games was purchased by Netflix for around $72 million.

According to Forrester analyst Mike Proulx, Netflix has been investing in gaming gradually and that it now seems to be “more of a test and experiment at this time.” Most people, he said, don’t connect Netflix with video games.

The most popular mobile games, including Subway Surfers, Roblox, and Among Us, each have more than 100 million downloads, claims Apptopia. Netflix games have performed significantly worse in terms of download volumes so far. However, downloads have gradually been rising since May after a decrease that started in December.

Reed Hastings, co-CEO and co-founder of Netflix, said in January that in order to satisfy his subscribers, the company must offer only the finest in each category. “We need to excel at it differently. Being there without doing anything is useless.


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