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Netflix considers new monetisation tactics for gaming arm

With so small a fraction of Netflix subscribers playing its games, the streaming giant reportedly looks to make more money from its efforts
Netflix considers new monetisation tactics for gaming arm
  • Netflix is reportedly looking at new monetisation tactics for its games
  • Netflix's gaming arm has advanced through multiple forms in recent years, with the next possibly on the horizon

As Netflix continues on its journey towards gaming glory, the next step involves monetisation. With a rumoured strategy shift ahead, the streaming giant could introduce play charges, optional in-app purchases or in-game ads in order to make its investment and plans more worthwhile.

Netflix executives have been discussing the potential revenue boost these avenues could provide, sources informed The Wall Street Journal.

A daring plan

Netflix’s gaming ambitions have been far from a secret in recent years, with an ever-growing sentiment around developing the streaming giant into a multimedia brand with the potential to win gaming’s "big prize".

Adaptations are unsurprising from a company that moved from DVD distributor to an internet-leveraged streaming pioneer, and as for its gaming arm, advancements have been made from licencing IPs for app store distributions to providing free mobile games as a subscription perk. Now, Netflix’s approach to video games has evolved into a niche of multimedia content - providing show fans with games in their favourite franchises to tide them over until the next season.

But this is far from its final form.

The giant has over two years’ experience in the gaming market at this point and is still taking a "crawl, walk, run" approach, aiming to double its number of available titles in 2024 with almost 90 new games in development. And if reports are to be believed, these titles will likely mark an introduction of new revenue generation models seen commonly in the mobile games space.

Yet, even with a library of games already verging on triple digits, fewer than 1% of Netflix subscribers are believed to be playing daily, meaning this gaming venture currently appeals to such a small fraction of its audience that there aren’t that many people to further monetise in the first place.

There are rumours of console-quality games on the horizon too though, increasingly possible with the iPhone 15 Pro’s gaming upgrade; console-level games are less likely to be included in the standard Netflix subscription price, and while players may be more lenient towards extra fees for games with higher production value and charges, one has to wonder whether the market’s ready to sit through ads or spend extra in-game for something already gated behind a paywall.

If it works, the extra revenue could help support Netflix’s ambitions to make creatively distinct games "tailored to Netflix on TV". If not, Netflix may well end up tainted with a money-grubbing public perception that won’t do well to encourage new subscribers, gamers or otherwise.