We’re coming up on a year since Netflix began offering mobile games as part of its service. Everyone with a Netflix account has access to over 20 mobile games on iOS and Android that are completely free to play. They don’t require an additional subscription, they don’t have an upfront cost, and they don’t have in-app purchases. It may sound like a compelling perk, but it turns out that very few subscribers are actually playing these games.
No one is playing Netflix’s mobile games
According to app analytics firm Apptopia (via CNBC), users have downloaded Netflix mobile games 23.3 million times. That is about 10% of Netflix’s 221 million subscribers, but only 1.7 million users are playing the games on a daily basis. That number accounts for less than 1% of the total subscriber base. It goes to show just how slow adoption has been.
As CNBC notes, Netflix is doing what it can to retain current subscribers while attracting new ones. The company reported a 200,000 subscriber loss in Q1 2022 and lost nearly one million more in Q2. Efforts such as this were meant to reverse that trend.
Leanne Loombe, Netflix’s head of external games, talked about the company’s plans during the Tribeca Film Festival last month (via Variety):
We started in November of last year, so only a handful of months and 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. So it’s really important that we have some time to build up to that.
Netflix’s mobile game library currently features 24 titles, including Stranger Things: 1984, Into the Breach, Hextech Mayhem, Asphalt Xtreme, and Exploding Kittens. By the end of the year, the company claims that it will offer 50 games to subscribers free of charge.
The future of Netflix Games
Netflix is clearly committed to making gaming a pillar of its service moving forward. But it’s unclear how the company plans to convince subscribers to play its games. There are some quality titles on that list, but most are relatively simplistic compared to the biggest mobile games on the market. None of these titles can compete with Pokemon Go, Fortnite, or Genshin Impact. Until Netflix has a killer app, it will struggle to make an impact.
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