Netflix pushes deeper into the $170B gaming industry

Netflix is adding and developing a ton of new games, but a cloud service is far off.

Hey, should I chat up Theo, a tattooed musician, or confident web designer Dakota? That’s a dilemma in “Too Hot to Handle: Love Is a Game,” one of Netflix’s most-played games, downloaded 1m+ times since its December release.

person on their phone

Over the last two years, Netflix has made a series of gaming acquisitions, and opened its own studios in Helsinki and California. On Monday, VP of external games Leanne Loombe provided another update:

  • Netflix’s collection now comprises 55 games, including new originals based on Netflix IPs and existing titles from other developers.
  • It will add 40 more this year.
  • There are 70 new games in development with gaming partners, plus 16 being developed in-house.

Forthcoming games…

… include, yes, a “Too Hot to Handle” sequel, plus tie-ins to shows including “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Shadow and Bone.”

Games span a variety of genres, which Loombe wrote is an intentional strategy to appeal to a broad audience.

Despite all that…

… less than 1% of Netflix subscribers regularly engaged with its games as of August, per IGN.

The streamer’s value proposition is good. It offers members fun games — many tied to IPs fans already know and love — with no additional fees.

But they’re all mobile — not available on the laptops and TVs consumers often use to browse Netflix. Netflix intends to develop a cloud gaming service for TVs and PCs (Amazon did that last year).

That service is in very early development, but it’s hard to bet against Netflix. After all, they did get 142m households to watch people play a life-or-death version of “Red Light, Green Light.”

Meanwhile: Microsoft announced plans to launch a gaming app store for iOS and Android — but that’s assuming its acquisition of Activision Blizzard happens.

Topics: Gaming Netflix

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