Netflix is Dipping Toes in Show-Specific Data Cloud Games


NetflixNetflix is entering the world of mobile gaming, the current catalog is comprised of more than 25 games

Netflix has been increasingly dipping its toes into the world of mobile gaming, especially having added the likes of critically-acclaimed strategy title Into the Breach to iOS and Android for subscribers to access at no additional charge.

The problem is thus far uptake of these games has been less than stellar, and it would seem that the vast majority of Netflix users would rather stream movies and TV shows than play games.

CNBC (opens in new tab)reports (using data from Apptopia) that on average Netflix games attract 1.7 million players per day. That means that less than 1% of the streamer’s 221 million subscribers are currently playing games on the service. Of course, a small percentage of a very large number is still a large number. But it’s likely that Netflix will hope to boost that engagement rate significantly in the next few months.

Netflix’s games have been downloaded a total of 23.3 million times, and the current catalog is comprised of more than 25 games and includes a digital version of the popular Exploding Kittens card game and a spin-off of the wildly-popular PC game League of Legends. Even with its relatively underwhelming take-up, Netflix still plans to increase its current selection of titles to 50 by the end of 2022, and it has made a significant investment in three indie game studios in order to meet this goal.

Netflix’s foray into mobile gaming began in earnest in November. Since then, the company has published a little over two dozen games for iOS and Android and has plans to nearly double its games catalog by the end of the year. Since November, the company’s games have been downloaded around 17 million times on iOS and Android, according to Sensor Tower estimates.

Downloads actually declined this spring but got a significant bump from the release of the latest season of “Stranger Things” on Netflix. The company has acquired and published two “Stranger Things” mobile games, both of which saw a significant boost in downloads after the fourth season of “Stranger Things” premiered on the service in May.

Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3: The Game continued to be the two most popular Netflix games in July, followed by Netflix Asphalt Xtreme. Altogether, Netflix’s games were downloaded 2.9 million times in July, according to Sensor Tower, making it the best month yet for the company’s gaming efforts.

The good news for Netflix is that interest in its game appears to be increasing, even if it’s at a relatively slow rate. Apptopia reports that in January, around 8 million Netflix games were downloaded, whereas, in June of this year, that number had risen to 13 million downloads. This is a slow growth for a platform of Netflix’s size but at least it indicates that more and more subscribers are giving Netflix games a shot.

Of course, there are still more than 200 million subscribers who aren’t playing games on Netflix. This could be because many of them prefer to game on a dedicated console like a PS5 or Xbox Series X, or perhaps it’s that Netflix’s library of games is still fairly small.