Netflix Confirms Expansion Into Video Games, To Start With Ad-Free Games For Mobile Devices


Netflix undoubtedly remains the leader in the field of streaming television. But space is becoming increasingly competitive. Players like Disney Hotstar continue to add more and subscribers. At the same time, new subscriptions for Netflix are almost stagnant. The online video service provider has lost a substantial amount of subscribers late of. This is because of the life getting back to after the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report, it lost 430,000 subscribers in Canada and the United States in the last quarter. This clearly indicates that the subscriber base of the company is shrinking in certain regions. In the latest updates, the company even confirmed about the cooling growth despite the streaming giant spinning off hit shows. But there is no immediate reason to worry about for Netflix.

This is because it added whopping 37 million subscribers globally during last year when the pandemic forced people to stay under quarantine. But top executives of the company have realized that going forward; things will not be pretty easy. This is apparently why Netflix has decided to venture into video games. While it may not help the company to gain new subscribers, the tactic is good enough to hold the existing customers. The streaming television leader has now offered more details about its plan to move into games. The company said that it will begin the journey with ad-free games for mobile devices at no added cost for its existing subscribers.

This is the biggest expansion for Netflix since it started streaming in 2007. Five years later, the company released its first original show. And now it is all set to offer gaming services. The company is not charging anything for its gaming, at least for now. Chief executive officer Reed Hastings recently said that Netflix is a ‘one-product company.’ The foray into the gaming business is definitely a shift from its bedrock business to movies and TV shows. But experts believe that the move is not aimed at disrupting the fast-expanding gaming market. Contrary to it, Netflix is trying to keep its subscribers’ base intact by offering new kinds of content. eMarketer analyst Ross Benes said adding gaming is in a way a natural extension of what Netflix is already offering.

“Most of the entertainment and tech companies are extending their business to the gaming because it is very similar to video products they are offering. The nature of the gaming business makes it easier for them to launch the service,” Benes said. Adding gaming to their existing platform helps them to get people stuck to their product for more time. Benes said that it is very unlikely that Netflix will get any boost in subscribers’ base because of addition of gaming services. But it is undoubtedly a smart move by the company. There are around two billion gamers worldwide and the move will definitely help retain existing subscribers, for now. In the long run, this may prove beneficial for increasing subscription prices. Netflix chief product officer Greg Peters said that to be a name to recon into video games will be a multiyear effort. The beginning is definitely a small one as Netflix is making an entry with the mobile games arena.

“This is definitely an extension of our core entrainment business in which we are for the last 20 years. We will do some experiments and try a bunch of different games. There is no exact way to excel and therefore we will try a different variety of mechanisms to find what is really going to work for our subscribers.” This is not the first time when the company has dabbled with games. Earlier, Netflix released a free mobile game based on its popular show ‘Stranger Things.’ There are few game industry veterans that have made a mark with mobile games. This is giving Netflix an upper hand. But then the question is what makes the company feel that it would succeed in the area where even more experienced players have failed to mark their presence. Moreover, Netflix may also face technological hurdles while launching sophisticated mobile games.