If you’re a fan of mobile games, Netflix probably isn’t your first port of call when looking to try out a new title. You’ll probably use our lists of the best iPhone games or the best Android games instead, of course.
But it looks like Netflix is trying to change that: it launched Netflix Games in late 2021, offering a few titles on its mobile phone app, and according to a new report from The Washington Post, that’s just the beginning.
The report suggests that Netflix will offer up to 50 games on its app by the end of 2022 – at the time of writing it only has 18. Currently some of its titles are based on its TV shows, and some don’t, and it’s not clear if this mix will continue.
Netflix has plenty of TV shows and movies based on popular video games, including The Witcher, Cuphead, and League of Legends, so the company clearly has games in mind, though projects in that vein have so far been much more failures than they were successes. .
According to the Washington Post, while Netflix has a legacy of adapting video games into TV series, it’s looking to focus more on moving its projects the other way, turning more shows into games. Nailed it! The Game, anyone?
It’s already been reported that Netflix is working on adapting the hit board game Exploding Kittens to the screen, both as a TV show and as a mobile game, but that still leaves at least 30 more titles that we we can expect to see over time.
Analysis: quantity or quality?
It looks like Netflix wants to be Apple Arcade: it’s a mobile game streaming service for Apple devices that, with a single subscription, lets you download heaps of games to your smartphone or tablet.
However, for a big reason, Apple Arcade still isn’t the mobile gaming powerhouse that Apple probably wants it to be, and it looks like Netflix might be falling into the same trap. To catch the eye, Netflix doesn’t need to produce loads of games – it needs one hit title.
Apple Arcade arguably doesn’t have a massive title to convince people to use it – there’s no rival to Call of Duty Mobile, Genshin Impact or Pokemon Go, three super popular smartphone titles, to ward off people from these heavyweights.
It’s one thing if Netflix increases its offering to 50 titles by the end of 2022, but unless one of them is a must-have, it’s just offering quantity instead of quality. Currently, it doesn’t have any noteworthy titles, perhaps other than a Stranger Things spin-off RPG that came out long before Netflix Games launched.
So if Netflix wants to be a mobile gaming player, it needs to deliver a smash hit that keeps people coming back. And when that happens, we may spend more time playing Netflix games instead of using it to watch fun but forgettable blockbusters.