Move Over Google Play Pass and Apple Arcade, Netflix Is All in for Mobile Game Subscriptions

Earlier this year, fellow writer Madpharmacist touched on the bloated number of game subscription offerings that currently exist in today’s marketplace. This came after Ubisoft decided to announce their own subscription model.

Little did we know that the very same innovator that spearheaded subscription-based video streaming would decide it was their time to enter the fray.

A Quiet Entrance into Gaming

Netflix Games was first announced back in November 2021, but since then has been relatively quiet. Until Now.

With 55 mobile games published as of time of writing, the Netflix Games team has been releasing news after consecutive news of partnerships and game announcements.

Just this month ahead of the Games Development Conference and Pax East 2023, they hopped on the conference hype to share news of over 100 (that’s right. 100!) mobile games already scoped for publishing by the Netflix Games team.

To say they’ve been busy over the last year building their partnership and games queue is an understatement.

“In this short time, we’ve released 55 games, with about 40 more slated for later this year and 70 in development with our partners,” read the March 20th news announce by their Vice President of External Games, Leanne Loombe.

“That’s in addition to the 16 games currently being developed by our in-house game studios. Our goal is to develop a broad portfolio of games — in different genres and formats — because we believe everyone can find joy in games if they discover the one (or many!) that is right for them.”

However, how many people are actually aware of how to access the games, where to play the games, and what games can be played? What kind of games are they actually pushing out to their Netflix subscribers? There have been a lot of questions circling Netflix’s foray into the mobile games space, leaving many wondering about how it will all play out.

Netflix’s New Mobile Games Subscription

One of the very fascinating facts about Netflix’s entry into the games subscription model is their decision to focus exclusively on mobile games. That is not to say that there isn’t potential to expand out of mobile in the future. This was hinted at in their initial announcement back in 2021.

(I honestly wouldn’t expect any less considering the strength of their successful video and TV series subscription model).

VP of Game Development Mike Verdu on the vision of Netflix Games | Source:  Netflix

In fact, their decision to focus first on mobile appears very intuitive to the marketplace today and quite smart as they build up their mobile games platform.

Mobile games continue to grow at an exponential rate and remain a highly popular digital gaming segment in the US, as it accounts for a significant part of the games software market worldwide.

In 2019 alone, the mobile gaming content market in North America was worth 21.9 billion U.S. dollars1, with $152.50 billion being the estimated mobile gaming market value in the world this 20232.

In addition, Statista further observed that puzzle (37%), action (29%), adventure (29%), and strategy (28%) were the top mobile game genres in the United States in 2021.

With these points in mind, it should come as no surprise that Netflix started off by building a solid baseline on both casual and classic mobile game genres. And offering all of these at no extra cost to their own massive subscriber base.

This is on top of banking on the expansion of cross-media IPs, as this also opens up opportunities for other franchise owners to cross over from game to movie (like adapting Gears of War into a live action film) or from television series to game (Think Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3: The Game).

With access to a wealth of lifestyle data from their subscribers combined with the ability to build true cross-media experiences, Netflix has the potential to disrupt the mobile games scene in the best way they know how.

Today, their published mobile games fall under Action, Adventure, Arcade, Card, Music, Party, Puzzle, Racing, Role-Playing, Simulation, Sports, Strategy, or Tabletop. However, their ultimate goal is to continue expanding into other genres–something I am sure many will be wanting to watch very closely.

As with any announcement of any major announcement from companies not typically associated with gaming, there are many still side-eyeing Netflix’s entrance into the saturated space.

This doesn’t surprise me, especially given the seemingly soft release of their games experience as they build up their database of playable titles.

However, one of Netflix’s highly recognized recruiters took to LinkedIn acknowledging the opinions of those questioning their long term outcomes, and sharing her pride in Netflix’s gaming ambitions:

When we made the announcement and even today, the naysayers are so ready with their “failure stamp” and to call out that this won’t work.

But there’s a reason we’ve kept quiet. We want the damn thing to succeed and our entire studio is made up of the most passionate people who are pouring their hearts into this.

We’re not telling anyone that we “made” it, but sharing the journey we’re on and why it’s exciting for us. We know there’s a long road ahead, but we care so much about what we do, we are intentional about each step of the way.”

Marie Benigno Ablaza, Gaming Recruiter @ Netflix Games Studio

This seems to run parity with what was initially a slow start that appears to be accelerating in scale at rapid speeds. Even so, I was admittedly quite surprised to find the lack of a dedicated online site experience. Which made me personally wonder:

  • Is this part of their phased approach in ensuring they deliver a quality platform experience once they have enough games?
  • Or are they simply waiting for numbers to play out and prove themselves right before investing the significant amount of additional time and resources needed to build a truly game-changing experience?

How Can People Find and Play Games on Netflix?

As mentioned, there is no dedicated site for curious mobile and casual players to learn more about the mobile games Netflix has available. In fact, information can only be found within Netflix’s Help Center and is accessible only when searched . . . or, if you’re like me and connected with individuals from the Netflix Games team, you might get lucky and happen across a direct link to the dedicated Netflix Games site page.

Netflix Games Website Page | Source: Netflix

From an average consumer standpoint, one thing I do want to highlight is that this page isn’t the most intuitive, but it gets the job done . . . from a help desk perspective. (Which makes sense when you take into consideration that this page is built within their support knowledge base.)

Once on the page, you’ll be able to see a scrollable list of their released titles and instructions on how to find, download, and play titles on a compatible iOS or Android device – Android phones and tablets & iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

For existing Netflix subscribers, the experience is a little easier as there is access within the platform itself on the mobile app.

Funny enough, many have taken to twitter to share their own surprise at seeing mobile game recommendations now populating at the home screen.

A Game Subscription Ambition For Us All to Keep a Close Eye On

As Netflix Games continues to ramp up, I expect to see even greater cross-media, tv+games growth and more wide spread marketing campaigns start making rounds within the next year or so.

Even now, word has begun to grow, with exclusive mobile titles already being nominated for awards and Netflix already recognized by Pocket Gamer as “Best Mobile Publisher” ahead of Supercell and NetEase.

Netflix Wins Best Mobile Publisher at the Pocket Gamer Awards | Source:

They are really playing their cards on what information they release, when and where. It remains to be seen if later on the Netflix team decides to integrate game references and assets into their web homepage as they expand their title offerings. Once they do, we know that Netflix Games is definitely here to stay.

While I personally don’t have a Netflix account (Crunchyroll has my pocketbook), the addition of mobile games does peak my interest as someone who enjoys all-in-one, personalized content experiences. Plus, nothing would be better than watching a favorite show, then having a well-made mobile game of the same franchise to play in between seasons and nail-biting week-long waits.

And even if that may still be further down the pipeline, who wouldn’t want to play a virtual round of Exploding Kittens while waiting for the kids to go to sleep?

What do you think about Netflix’s entrance into mobile gaming? Feel free to share your thoughts with us on our Boss Rush Facebook Group or our Boss Rush Discord (QR code below).

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Featured Image: Netflix

Sources: 1 Statista, 2 BankMyCell,

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