Only a small percentage of Netflix subscribers are playing Netflix games

Back in November of last year, Netflix officially launched Netflix Games. The company saw it as another way to draw in more eyeballs and interactions, all with a gaming slant. Now, it turns out that not a lot of subscribers are actually taking advantage of their subscription perk.

A Netflix logo sign on a building in Hollywood, Los Angeles at sunset
| Image: Venti Views / Unsplash

Based on information shared by Apptopia (via CNBC), it turns out that about 1 percent of Netflix’s subscribers who have access to Netflix Game are actually using the service. Now, that’s still a pretty big number, all things considered, because Netflix counts 221 million subscribers in total. Which means around 1.7 million people have tried out Netflix Games, according to the report.

In addition to that, total downloads appear to be around 23.3 million.

There are 24 games available via Netflix Games, but the company plans to keep expanding. To that point, Netflix is aiming to have upwards of 50 titles available on the service by the end of this year. That pales in comparison to, say, Apple Arcade, which (despite recently axing more than a dozen titles) has more than 100 games to play.

Netflix Games exists to drive engagement, especially in light of so much competition out there in the market. Indeed, as noted by CNBC, even Netflix’s Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters has said that Netflix Games is just one idea to try and keep people subscribed to Netflix, especially once they stop watching something:

Still, Netflix Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters said last year the company was “many months and really, frankly, years” into learning how games can keep customers on the service.

‘We’re going to be experimental and try a bunch of things,’ Peters said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call. ‘But I would say the eyes that we have on the long-term prize really center more around our ability to create properties that are connected to the universes, the characters, the stories that we’re building.

Netflix has some games that are tied directly to the streamer’s ridiculously popular titles like Stranger Things, but many of the other titles are just standard mobile titles like Card Blast and Shooting Hoops. It will be interesting to see if Netflix Games does lean into actually publishing titles that are directly related to their original TV series or films.

As mentioned above, this is just one idea the company is testing. Up next: an ad-supported tier. That tier of service, which will launch in partnership with Microsoft, will arrive at some point in the near future.

It’s also worth noting that, as of right now, Netflix Games does not support iOS. Maybe that will help boost some numbers when Netflix actually launches that support in the future.