As Netflix struggles to keep consumers subscribed to its streaming service, its mobile games venture is looking like a flop. CNBC reported that according to app analytics company Apptopia, Netflix games have been downloaded 23.3 million times in total, and on average, there are 1.7 million daily users. This means that fewer than 1% of the streaming giant’s subscriber base — around 221 million subscribers — are interested in Netflix’s games.
Netflix told TechCrunch it doesn’t disclose the number of players. However, the Apptopia’s report can shed light on just how unpopular its gaming offering is.
In comparison, leading mobile games like Subway Surfers, Roblox and Among Us each have more than 100 million downloads, per Apptopia. Netflix has a long way to go before it can reach this level of popularity.
Netflix recently lost nearly one million subscribers, so it’s not hard to see why the company wants to invest in more games. Netflix Games launched in 2021, and currently offers more than 25 games through the Netflix mobile app. The company intends to double its catalog by the end of 2022 and release over 50 games.
While Netflix hasn’t disclosed how much it’s spending to develop its mobile game division, the company has acquired three game studios: Boss Fight Entertainment, Night School Studio and Next Games. As TechCrunch has previously reported, the Next Games acquisition cost the streamer approximately $72 million.
In July, Netflix announced three new games, including award-winning titles Into the Breach and Before Your Eyes. Its catalog also includes a variety of games connected to popular Netflix shows, like “Stranger Things,” “Queens Gambit,” “Shadow and Bone” and “Too Hot to Handle.” If Netflix continues exploring leveraging its own IP for new games, that approach could draw in more subscribers.
However, shows that have been out for a while and don’t have a solid fan base probably won’t do as well as games based on “hot” series like “Stranger Things” for example. When season four of “Stranger Things” premiered, the two Netflix games based on the show — Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3: The Game — saw a bump in downloads, Apptopia told TechCrunch.
To play a Netflix mobile game, subscribers can find them free in the streaming app in the dedicated games row. Players are redirected to download a separate app for each game. Once downloaded, only Netflix subscribers can play the games, which are available on Android and iOS devices.