Netflix Games: Are Your Favorites Becoming Video Games?

Netflix has been putting some serious stakes on its new gaming section.

Having lost more subscribers than it gained for the first time in more than a decade, Netflix  (NFLX)  is putting a lot of hope into its new gaming initiative.

Launched in November 2021, Netflix Games started out with five games: "Stranger Things: 1984," "Stranger Things 3: The Game," "Shooting Hoops," "Card Blast," and "Teeter Up." 

In the next eight months, more and more games slowly started appearing on the platform.

In order to keep growing its games offering and have games that will keep users renewing that subscription, Netflix has been acquiring video game development studios such as Montreal-based RocketRide Games and Allen, Tex.-based Boss Fight Entertainment at lighting speed.

What's The Latest For Netflix Games?

At the annual Geeked Week conference that the company uses to announce its newest content and updates, Netflix said that it would add a number of games tied to popular shows.

The most eye-catching one is a game built around the chess blockbuster "The Queen's Gambit" about female chess prodigy Beth Harmon.

While the game itself sounds like a standard game of online chess, the ability to play as Harmon and get instructional lessons from characters in the show is likely to entice some of the 62 million households that watched the show worldwide.

UK-based Ripstone Ltd. designed this particular show, which will launch at a yet-to-be-specified date in 2022.

Other show-inspired games that will come to Netflix Games at some point in 2022 include a role-playing game with characters from "Shadow and Bone," a heist simulation game modeled after "La Casa De Papel" ("Money Heist" in English) and a puzzle game from Netflix baking show "Nailed It!"

Netflix Games currently has 22 games on its platform and, while not all will be modeled after shows, the company hopes to have 50 by the end of the year.

Upcoming games not based on shows include a vertical climber game called Poinpy, developed by Japan studio Team Poinpy and Ojiro Fumoto, and temple and a dungeon and temple game Lucky Luna.

Why Are Games So Important To Netflix?

While Netflix has a number of hit shows like "Money Heist," "Squid Game" and "Sex Education," its business model reached a point at which everyone who wanted to sign up for Netflix has already done so. 

Competitors like Disney+  (DIS)  and HBO Max undefined have also been steadily taking over market share with new original contents as well as rights to certain beloved classics.

While Sony undefined and Microsoft  (MSFT)  have also been buying up studios and growing its gaming offering, video games can help Netflix break out of its current slump and reach an entirely new consumer base.

"The genres and categories that are open to people will keep increasing, so I think you'll see richer and deeper experiences, as well as games that will draw people in who have never played games before," Netflix Vice President of Games Mike Verdu said at summit in March.

But at the same time, gaming may not be the "save Netflix" strategy that some of its execs are hoping for since the company need to pump serious money to make it competitive with platforms that focus exclusively on gaming.

"In order to succeed, Netflix must hit a whole range of different bases, including setting the right price point, getting developers on board, making sure the technology is up to par, and most importantly offering exclusive content that users can’t get anywhere else," Omida Principal Games Analyst Steve Bailey told Inverse.