Pages Navigation Menu

"No matter where you go, there you are."


Why is Netflix So Committed to Game Adaptations?

Photo by Dima Solomin on Unsplash

Netflix has been releasing games to its streaming platform for almost a year now. It’s an odd choice for a TV and movie streaming service and has a lot of people scratching their heads more than making a buzz. We’re exploring what is behind the odd decision to invest in Netflix’s game adaptations.

They need money

Netflix’s money troubles are well documented. Its first ever loss in subscribers was well documented in April of 2022, making headlines. 200,000 subscribers might not seem like a lot, but it was the first time in 10 years as a business. People were going back to work, and not watching as much, and Tiger King can only be rewatched so many times.

Since then, Netflix has been announcing just about anything to the wall that is Twitter and seeing what sticks. Tiered subscriptions, password sharing, gaming, you name it.

But it’s the business plan behind the scenes that has people talking. Netflix has never, in its 10 years as a business, shifted from its original business plan, that being to attract new subscribers.

Makes sense when you put it like that. More subscribers, more money, right? That’s fine, except existing subscribers are getting fed up with the way Netflix treats them. New show after new show is announced, purely to attract new users, and then is canceled within a season or two, whether it’s a failure or success. In fact, if it’s a success it’s still a failure because the people it’s attracting back to the app are already subscribed.

Their password-sharing crackdown fell through

The world warned them, they kept threatening it, and in February they announced a crackdown on Netflix password sharing. The policy now said that your Netflix account could be linked to only two devices, and those two devices had to be in the same geographical location. No commuting with Netflix, no logging in on any tool you fancy, nothing to watch when on holiday, nada. So… cable TV then?

Netflix’s backlash was swift and severe. Customers who were keeping their subscriptions pointed out the many flaws in their plan, while customers who didn’t intend to keep it simply silently left. Maybe to visit 10Bet ( for a better game.

It lasted a day. And Netflix retracted their crackdown, via social media, saying the post announcing the policy was mistakenly sent out and not meant for the US.

This issue has been the bane of the existence of Netflix’s accounting team since its inception. Its social media team jokes about it, its customers laugh about it, and Netflix growls about it in its sleep. One password, anywhere, attached to one subscription, means that one subscription can cater to a lot of people. Roommates, ex-girlfriends, extended family, pen pals, you name it.

They tried to limit this by limiting the number of devices you can sign in on, and people got more selective of who they allowed to log in and where, but it didn’t satisfy Netflix. Their next move is to offer an additional subscription for additional devices. It’ll be interesting to see how that goes down.

Mobile games make money

It’s become the thing to know about gaming: mobile makes more money. Console and PC game developers are toiling away tirelessly in an industry that doesn’t appreciate them and yet is becoming increasingly expensive to be a part of. On the other hand, mobile games are comparatively simple to put together and offer a steady stream of income rather than a one-off payment that might or might not be worth it to the player.

“But” I hear you ask, “Netflix isn’t making mobile games. They’re making cloud games.”

True, in that, they won’t only be streamed to a smartphone but can be streamed to any device that has a Netflix app, be it a phone, tablet, laptop or TV. But, these games are small, pixelated, simple, and carry every other hallmark of a mobile game. These aren’t big-budget AAA games with sprawling narratives and maps to explore. They’re more akin to Subway Surfers.

And what are Subway Surfers? The 8th most downloaded app in the world after all the social media platforms and CapCut.

Netflix knows that mobile gaming has made more money in 2021 than PC and console gaming combined. They know gaming developer Blizzard was making more money off its mobile games than its console and PC releases, to the chagrin of its audience. But they’re not in the business of quality over quantity. They’re not looking to create a legacy with that game that will be played around the world. Nah, they’ll combine the addictive and readily available nature of mobile gaming with the nostalgia of a few of their IPs like Stranger Things and watch as the money rolls in.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.