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Netflix Games is a confusing move by Netflix. Here’s why.
Netflix has had a tough time in 2022 as one of the worst performers in the S&P Index, and their new gaming service is doing no favours.
Netflix Games was launched in late 2021, and it might as well have stayed in the workshop after CNBC revealed that less than 1% of Netflix’s subscribers are engaging with the service.
It is a move targetting younger audiences – perhaps an apology to reclaim audiences after recent price hikes alienated those less likely to afford the subscription cost.
What is Netflix Games?
From the Netflix website.
- Netflix games can be downloaded and played on mobile devices – Android phones and tablets & iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch
- You play Netflix games using your Netflix Account and your Netflix Profile
Essentially, the service allows you to install mobile games via Netflix, with the bonus of not having to wrestle with ads.
Currently, the selection of games is rather quaint. Standouts include the Stranger Things games and a League of Legends rhythm runner amongst a list of forgettable titles (special mentions go out to Exploding Kittens. You were great.)
The idea of Netflix Games sounds fun, right? Wrong. Consumers have clearly not taken to the gaming service. Something isn’t going well at Netflix HQ, and we have to find out why.
What is happening at Netflix?
After various controversies surrounding the lack of quality in Netflix’s TV and Film catalogue, customers began cancelling their subscriptions en masse. The Netflix Original formula had run dry: the blockbuster films were lacklustre, and the series are failing to live up to the standards set by Stranger Things, Squid Game, and more.
Disney are dropping bombshells at a steady schedule (for which we have the MCU and Star Wars to thank). Meanwhile, Amazon Primes’ The Boys is an insurmountable giant spearheading an already fortified catalogue.
Netflix’s attempts to defend themselves haven’t gone unnoticed, their recent Tekken: Bloodline is a fantastic anime series that harmoniously infuses Tekken’s gameplay mechanics into a limited series.
Yet the price hike could not be justified by the dipping quality of content, so customer engagement with Netflix dropped.
The streaming giant is well-known for their extensive catalogue and lax production criteria. Essentially, there is too much being released on Netflix, and because of this there is also a lot of terrible content. Netflix’s answer to their fall from grace? Gaming.
Instead of taking out the trash, Netflix is now filling up a new bin.
What’s wrong with Netflix Gaming?
A glaring issue with the service is that we never asked for it. Sure, their novelty games are fun, and they are now included in all Netflix subscriptions, but gaming interaction will not save Netflix. We go to Netflix for TV and Film, not Games. You wouldn’t go to a football match to read a book, would you?
The release of a gaming service is far from the answer for Netflix. It’s a clear symptom of a larger sickness. Customers are bored of diluted content, corny tropes, and forgettable plotlines. Spreading funding that should be used to increase the quality of their TV and Film productions to a gaming service is an obvious error on their behalf.
Netflix Gaming is still young, and it might grow into something yet. The attempt to snatch consumer engagement from the Gaming industry is bold but it is not the solution to their poor business performance. It is instead a muffled cry of desperation.
Do we think this is the beginning of the end for Netflix? Tell me in the comments below.