Around the end of the second quarter of 2021, rumors started to circulate about Netflix wanting to get inside the gaming industry’s inner circle. Netflix Games was officially introduced to the public on November 3, 2021. To this date, it has been confirmed that less than 1% of the total subscribers of the streaming service giant are currently using it. This number was from a recent article from CNBC.
Based on Apptopia (via the same article from CNBC), Netflix currently has around 221 million subscribers, while the average number of people actively engaged in Netflix Games is around 1.7 million. The article also noted that all the games on their list have been downloaded around 23.3 million times since the official release.
A notable jab in the Netflix future was losing around 200,000 of its subscribers, totaling about 1.3 million subscribers from the U.S. and Canada alone since last year. This was even after they pulled the big guns like Stranger Things.
Netflix Games is being “experimental” with their gaming strategy
Netflix Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters mentioned, “We’re going to be experimental and try a bunch of things,” in his speech during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call. Last year, he also mentioned that Netflix was “many months and really, frankly, years” gaining knowledge on how games can keep customers on their platform. It was also revealed in a letter to their shareholders last year that Epic Games and TikTok were some of its biggest rivals when it came to getting the public attention and time. Early this year, Greg Peters also said, “We’re open to licensing, accessing large game IP that people will recognize.” He adds, “And I think you will see some of that happen over the year to come.”
Currently, the game roster has a total of 24 game apps exclusive to their subscribers. The list covers some of the game spin-offs of their famous titles, like Stranger Things: 1984. Other games appear to be their own take on generic card games like Mahjong Solitaire. According to the same article, there are plans to expand the game catalog to around 50 titles by the end of the year.
According to Netflix’s head of external games, Leanne Loombe, “We’re still intentionally keeping things a little bit quiet because we’re still learning and experimenting and trying to figure out what things are going to actually resonate with our members, what games people want to play.”
READ MORE: NETFLIX MIGHT BE ADDING GAMES TO ITS SERVICE
Netflix Games and what more to expect
If Netflix Games is compared to the competitions it would like to take head-on like Epic Games and Apple Arcade, the company branch has a long way to go. With Apple Arcade offering roughly around 200 games for their iOS users, not to mention exclusive games and even “bundled” packages that have been upping sales for companies like Steam, Netflix Games does not have the luxury of just experimenting with the market.
More and more companies are venturing out to other platforms, like Apple, with their own Apple TV+. This means the competition to gain the audience’s attention will become fiercer. Another challenge that Netflix Games is looking at is its ability to reach its target market. Their most recent video on Youtube for the same branch was posted on June 11, 2022, but has only been viewed around 75,000 times. There is obviously a disconnect to the audience if you call yourself the world’s leading streaming entertainment service if you can barely hit 100,000 views on Youtube after posting the video for more than a month.
Netflix Games offers its subscribers perks like no ads, no extra fees, no in-app purchases, and unlimited access to exclusive mobile games. Their games are currently available for download through mobile devices such as Android phones and tablets, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.