Netflix Has Some Great Games but No One Seems to Care

Netflix Has Some Great Games but No One Seems to Care
Contributor: Zack Zwiezen

Since last year, Netflix has offered its subscribers access to free videogames. Now, data shows that less than one per cent of its users are actually playing any of these games. And while the streaming giant has announced more games coming to its service, very few of its over 200 million subscribers will likely care.

Back in November, Netflix began offering games as part of its subscription service, launching with five initial titles: Stranger Things: The Game, Stranger Things 3: The Game, Card Blast, Teeter Up, and Shooting Hoops. It’s since added more and now has over 25 mobile games that people can download through the Netflix app on either Android or iOS devices. Some of these games — like Into The Breach — are really good, too. And all of these games contain no ads or microtransactions.

As reported by CNBC, via data from app analytics company Apptopia, Netflix’s games have been downloaded just over 23 million times and have an average daily audience of 1.7 million. That might sound good on paper, but it’s basically nothing compared to Netflix’s 221 million subscribers. What this data seems to show is that about 200 million people who have access to Netflix’s library of games are currently not playing them or maybe don’t even know they exist.

Still, with a solid list of games that continues to grow, Netflix is struggling to get anyone to care. Apptopia’s data shows that all of these games have a combined daily audience of 1.7 million. Meanwhile, there are hundreds of crappy mobile games that have twice that alone.

Last year, Netflix COO Greg Peters told investors it plans to be “experimental” and will “try a bunch of things,” while explaining that the company is focused on “the long-term prize” of creating popular games that are “connected” to hit Netflix shows and movies.

And while Netflix says it will double its current game library by the end of the year, with only one per cent of subscribers playing these games, it’s hard not to wonder how long before the streamer decides its foray into gaming is too expensive and not worth it?

Remember, Netflix is currently facing a problem with keeping users. Since the beginning of this year, the streamer has lost 1.2 million subscribers. In response to downward trending numbers, Netflix has cut jobs, spending, and cancelled shows. Building and supporting a library of games that can compete with Game Pass or Apple Arcade isn’t cheap.

For example, earlier this year, Netflix paid over $US70 ($97) million to buy up the studio behind a Stranger Things puzzle game. That ain’t nothing and in a time when the company is looking to cut costs and compete against other steamers, it’s questionable how long it will continue to finance this gaming experiment.