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Netflix hypes gaming strategy as subscriber numbers sag

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Netflix tried to get ahead of some bad news this week by hyping a gaming announcement, part of the company’s strategy to pep up investors worried about the streaming giant’s future.

Why it matters: Netflix reported its first-ever quarterly loss of subscribers yesterday, triggering a full season’s worth of takes to binge-read.

Execs are floating offering cheaper ad-supported tiers and cracking down on password sharing.They’re also talking a lot about games.The details: Netflix announced a mobile game and animated series based on the card game Exploding Kittens on Monday, which offers “an early glimmer” of its gaming strategy, company COO Gregory Peters told investors yesterday.

The mobile game is set to launch via Netflix’s phone app next month, with the animated series to follow next year.Future versions of the game will have elements from the series, and “all art and design will be inspired by the show,” a Netflix rep told Axios.That kind of “interplay,” as Peters put it yesterday, is “an initial step on a long road map” for linking its show and movie content to its games.Netflix currently offers 17 games, with four more announced for May.

Gaming is not yet based on the splashy originals model, as Netflix initially builds its mobile gaming library with titles that mostly have or will appear on other platforms too.The May offerings include a new release of casual dragon-hatching game Dragon Up and a port of the more complex Moonlighter, a 2018 indie game about owning a magical weapons shop by day and going on monster-slaying adventures at night.The company has acquired three game studios since September, setting up potential for homegrown exclusives. (Yesterday, Co-CEO Reed Hastings called them “small acquisitions to build up the know-how and the creative chops to be able to make some really great games.”)Between the lines: Netflix’s gaming plans currently look like a subscriber retention effort and marketing play rather than a plunge into direct competition with gaming’s biggest companies.

Netflix’s initial moves are focused on giving people more to do with their Netflix app.Be smart: Gaming is a notoriously hard business to make money in, but Netflix sees gold there.

“We think that we can build a big revenue and profit stream by adding games,” co-CEO Theodore Sarandos told investors.It’s a more viable move at the moment, he added, than adding live sports. Sign up for the new Axios Gaming newsletter here.

Source : Axios

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news7.asia Netflix hypes gaming strategy as subscriber numbers sag