For two years, Netflix users have enjoyed an array of over 75 mobile games, from blockbuster IPs like Grand Theft Auto to beloved titles like Monument Valley and Love Is Blind, all accessible without additional charges.
Recent buzz suggests Netflix might venture into monetizing its gaming domain, aiming to extract revenue from this expansive gaming catalog. The Wall Street Journal reports ongoing discussions within Netflix about potential monetization strategies, including in-app purchases, premium title fees, and ad placement within games for subscribers on the ad tier. These tactics align with the lucrative mobile gaming market, expected to hit $111.4 billion in consumer spending by 2024.
While discussions brew, a pivot from Netflix's stance may or may not materialize into action. Earlier, during an earnings call in April 2023, Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters emphasized the company's focus on a gaming experience devoid of intrusive monetization forms, such as ads or in-game payments, prioritizing player enjoyment.
Nonetheless, Netflix's strategies have pivoted before, evident in its shift from rejecting an ad-supported tier to revising password sharing policies after subscriber losses in 2022—the first in over a decade.
The potential move to monetize games aligns with Netflix's recent challenges, including growth stagnation in early 2023, leading to layoffs and price hikes. Notably, a 2022 job listing for a game director to helm an AAA PC game hints at Netflix's high-budget gaming ambitions, possibly requiring monetization to offset development costs. Reports suggest Netflix has spent approximately $1 billion on gaming studio acquisitions, contemplating charging for high-budget games in the future, WSJ notes.
As Netflix treads the gaming revenue path, its decisions will undoubtedly shape its gaming strategy amidst a landscape of evolving consumer preferences and industry trends.