The real Netflix of video games is struggling to take off: what are the reasons?

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Video games and services by subscription they have been a winning combination for some time and many large publishers are increasingly aiming in this direction. Among all, one of the names that stands out the most is Microsoft and its Game Pass, which has been familiarly referred to as the “Netflix of video games”. The truth, however, is that it has been around for some time the “real” Netflix of video games.

Of course we are talking about Netflix itself which is slowly also focusing on this new market by integrating a series of mobile games into its service. The big plus is that everything comes at no extra cost of any kind. Not only do you not have to pay extra beyond the monthly price, but the individual games are absolutely free of microtransactions, internal subscriptions or other types of monetization that the more hardcore public just don’t like.

On paper, the idea seems excellent, but the truth is that – according to data from Apptopia – less than 1% (actually unclear number, because it could mean 100,000 or 2 million) of subscribers actually use these video games. What are the reasons? Without a wide-ranging investigation it is impossible to have certain answers, but we can make some general considerations.

Into the Breach, one of Netflix’s games

First of all, not all subscribers have been using Netflix since mobile. Most users don’t inform themselves in depth and it’s not impossible that those who haven’t installed the app on their smartphone or tablet don’t even know about the games. Netflix – via TV or computer apps – doesn’t seem interested in advertising the availability of games (at least, we’ve never seen anything like it). In short, Netflix may just need to advertise this option more.

Secondly, we must also consider that a good share of viewers they are not gamers or, even if they are, have no interest in mobile gaming. Video games for smartphones aren’t better or worse than PC and console games, but they are undeniably a different product, which lends itself to a different type of consumption and use: there’s nothing wrong with not being interested. Netflix has focused on this type of product because it is cheaper and faster to produce: taking the risk of working on a console or PC game would be too much for the company, especially in this first phase.

Finally, there is also something to consider the quality and variety of these products. The writer admits that he has never really explored the Netflix game catalog: it is therefore impossible to make a judgment, even if by eye it is noted that the genres available are not few. Probably missing some high-impact titles that attract attention and encourage more users to use the service. Games like Into the Breach, Moonlighter and Before Your Eye are high quality, but their names are hardly impactful for the more casual gamer.

Before Your Eyes, another Netflix game

Before Your Eyes, another Netflix game

However, the reasons could go even further than these. So we ask you, why (don’t) use Netflix games? let’s talk about.

Let’s talk about it is a daily opinion column that offers a starting point for discussion around the news of the day, a small editorial written by a member of the editorial staff but which is not necessarily representative of the editorial line of

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