Netflix Has One Department That Is Absolutely Failing

Let's light a fire under this, Netflix.

By Douglas Helm | Published

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Did you know that Netflix has games? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. According to Apptopia, only 1.7 million Netflix subscribers are playing their games. While this seems like a large amount, it’s less than 1% of their 221 million subscribers. Not a great number for a department that Netflix is obviously spending at least some of their resources on.

Netflix games have been available since last year, however, they’re only mobile games at this point. The platform is available for play on iOS and Android devices. The games have been downloaded a total of 23.3 million times since their launch. Currently, there are 24 games available for subscribers with plans for 26 more by the end of the year. The platform has a variety of games like Exploding Kittens, Asphalt Extreme, and Into the Breach. It even has games based on their major hits like Stranger Things. The reason behind Netflix games’ failure could be due to a lack of awareness or marketing. The platform is available to Netflix subscribers with no ads or fees. If you have a Netflix account, you could hop on your mobile device right now and go download a Netflix game.

Another hurdle for Netflix games could be the difficulty of access for iPhone users. Those with Android phones can access Netflix games right from the main app, while Apple users have to hit the app store to access the games. It could also just be a lack of a bonafide hit. If Netflix is looking for their mobile games to take off, they might need to find their own Hearthstone or Genshin Impact-type game to draw in users.

One thing is for certain, Netflix is struggling in more than just the games department. Since the beginning of the year, the streaming platform has lost 1.2 million subscribers. Netflix also has received some negative pushback for cutting jobs and canceling shows. Worst of all, Netflix had confirmed that they’re planning on offering a subscription tier with ads in 2023, despite the streamer resisting ads in the past. Netflix is also making a more concerted effort to crack down on password sharing, which will also upset users. While Netflix is offering some quality games in their catalog, it likely won’t be enough to stop the bleeding of subscribers if they continue to implement measures that rub their customers the wrong way.

All in all, Netflix games don’t seem to be the answer to their problems. With less than 1% of subscribers playing, it doesn’t seem like it will be worth it for Netflix to keep sinking money into a failing endeavor. For now, their best draw continues to be their Netflix Original shows that have acted as must-watch TV events. Stranger Things Season 4 became Netflix’s second series ever to rack up over 1 billion hours of viewing, with the other being their smash hit Squid Game. While this is impressive, Netflix won’t be able to rest on its laurels of original content forever. With more companies offering streaming platforms with original content than ever, it may not be enough to stay on top of the game.