Report: Netflix Contemplates Incorporating In-App Purchases and Advertising into Gaming Platform

For two years, Netflix subscribers have been able to download tons of mobile games, all included for free with their subscription. Netflix has developed more than 75 mobile games, boasting popular IPs like Grand Theft Auto, Love is Blind, Monument Valley, and Oxenfree, among many others. Now, Netflix could potentially be exploring ways to generate revenue from its gaming business, a recent report suggests. These methods are common (and effective) in the mobile gaming world, with consumers expected to spend $111.4 billion on mobile games in 2024. Netflix appeared to shut down the idea of ads and in-game payments during an earnings call in April 2023.

For the past two years, Netflix subscribers have been treated to an abundance of mobile games, all included in their subscription free of charge. Netflix has tirelessly crafted over 75 mobile games, featuring well-known titles such as Grand Theft Auto, Love is Blind, Monument Valley, and Oxenfree, to name a few.

But now, it seems that Netflix may be taking a new direction with its gaming business. Recently, a report has surfaced suggesting that the company is exploring potential avenues to generate revenue from its popular games.

According to The Wall Street Journal, discussions have been ongoing for months on how to monetize Netflix’s gaming offerings. This includes options such as in-app purchases, pricing premium titles, and even introducing ads for those subscribed to the company’s ad tier. These methods are commonly used and highly effective in the mobile gaming world, with consumers projected to spend a whopping $111.4 billion on mobile games in 2024.

Netflix has declined to comment when approached by TechCrunch, leaving the possibility of these discussions leading to action unclear. In fact, during an earnings call back in April 2023, the company appeared to dismiss the idea of ads and in-game payments.

“We want to provide a unique and enjoyable gaming experience for our users,” stated Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters, “and part of that is giving game creators the freedom to focus solely on the player’s enjoyment without worrying about other forms of monetization, such as ads or in-game payments.”

However, plans can always change. Netflix has previously been hesitant to launch an ad-supported tier and combat password sharing, but ultimately reversed course after losing thousands of subscribers in 2022 – their first loss in over a decade.

Furthermore, it would make logical sense for Netflix to pursue monetization of its games, especially considering its stagnant growth at the beginning of 2023. This ultimately resulted in the company laying off 3% of its workforce. On top of this, Netflix recently announced yet another price increase, with their premium plan now costing new U.S. customers $22.99 per month.

Further evidence of Netflix’s potential shift towards monetizing its games comes in the form of a job listing posted back in 2022 for a game director to lead development on an AAA PC game. Such a project in the video game industry can easily cost upwards of $200 million, as reported by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). WSJ also revealed that Netflix’s discussions have included the possibility of charging money for their future high-budget games. Analysts have estimated that Netflix has already spent nearly $1 billion on acquiring gaming studios and investing in its gaming business as a whole.

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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