Netflix’ latest investor call this morning - revealing their Q1 2023 earnings – revealed some key metrics of performance, their efforts in new markets and most crucially for us, what's going on with Netflix Games.
In the investor relations call, Netflix board members discussed a variety of topics, including their expansion into the Indian market, performance during the quarter and most crucially mobile games. Although a question about how it affected metrics such as retention went unanswered, it was noted that current count places 55 games on the platform with 41 more titles in progress for the service this year.
Highlights that got a mention are current hit Terra Nil, Mighty Quest (out today) and Oxenfree 2 from their own internal studio.
Interestingly the company is following the same mix of 'named' proven, popular content from big name devs and publishers alongside original, self-made content that made its TV and movie service such a hit. Get the balance right and pepper in enough exclusives and the hope is that they'll have another winner.
Right now it's doubtful that anyone is signing up for Netflix for the games, but all the intention is there for this to be the case in the future.
No in-game ads
Perhaps the most interesting section was when the question of how Netflix games can be monetised with advertising or other traditional methods used by the wider market. Co-CEO Greg Peters, when asked about this commented, "We want to have a differentiated gaming experience and part of that is to give creators a chance to be building games purely from the perspective of player enjoyment and not having to worry about other forms of monetisation whether it be ads or in game payment.”
It’s not surprising that Peters dismissed the idea of monetising games, as Netflix has already drawn flak for advertising-supported tiers in their subscription. The word for now is clear, at least - no ads in Netflix games.
Disappointingly there was no discussion of games metrics at this stage, with lack of awareness of Netflix Games's service having been a major issue in the past. But with news of a new AAA multiplatform IP in the works that they recently poached Joseph Staten of Bungie fame for, it’s clear that Netflix’ gaming efforts are a multi-year effort which may take a while to come to fruition.