Netflix wants you to keep your account… No, Netflix NEEDS you to keep your account. So, in order to keep you around, the company needs to give you other reasons to paying your monthly tithe. And it seems to believe a pivot to mobile video games might do the trick.
Update 9/13/22: This article was originally published on 6/29/22. We’ve updated it to cover games that Netflix has added in the meantime.
If you weren’t paying attention to trade news last November, it’s likely you had no idea Netflix offers games. But the company has slowly built up a catalog of 23 titles, and according to Variety, they’re planning more based on shows like Shadow and Bone, Too hot to Handle, and Money Heist.
Not only that, but Netflix announced it had signed deals with respected game studios like Subset Games, the makers of Into the Breach (coming to Netflix July 19th). Last year, Netflix acquired Night School Studio, the makers of adventure game Oxenfree.
So far, the streaming giant has remained somewhat coy about the future of its gaming suite. The company’s Head of External Games Leanne Loombe told guests at the Tribeca Film Festival June 13 Netflix wants to keep things quiet “because we’re still learning and experimenting and trying to figure out what things are actually going to resonate with our members.” The Financial Times has reported that Netflix plans to have 50 games up and running by the end of the year.
Considering the company is not looking too hot financially, it seems like Netflix’s push to games is shifting into overdrive. The company announced Monday it was partnering with Ubisoft for a push into mobile gaming, including three exclusive games based on established franchises. Netflix’s logo will appear next to new mobile games set in the Assassin’s Creed, and Valiant Hearts series. There’ll also be a new sequel for The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot playable by folks who own a Netflix account. The company said all three will be released early in 2023.
The difficulty remains getting users to sign on. An August report from analytics firm Apptopia, reported by CNBC, said less than 1% of Netflix’s 221 million subscribers have downloaded at least one of the games on offer. Remember, these games are effectively free if you have a Netflix account. With past staff cuts and lingering financial issues dogging Netflix’s heels, the company obviously wants more subscribers and for current users to keep their accounts in perpetuity, but those fired writers wrote that Netflix is failing to promote what it’s got on offer, to its own detriment.
So you won’t find it mentioned much on your Netflix subscription but the company already has mobile games available for download if you have an account. (You’ll also have to jump through some hoops to get these titles on your device.) But are these offerings hidden gems or hidden with good reason? We played them all so you don’t have to and ranked them from worst to best.