- Netflix launched its video game streaming service in November 2021 and invested in mobile app games.
- Since then, the streaming giant has bought several development studios and increased its staff specializing in games.
- The move to interactive streaming comes as Netflix’s growth has slowed to single digits.
As Netflix targets a younger audience and struggles to retain the content of its current subscribers, the streaming giant has its sights set on a new chapter: video games.
With competitors like Max and Disney+ launched and rebranded by HBO in recent years, limiting the number of offerings available on Netflix as each channel creates its centralized content hub, the OG streaming service has had to grapple with its next chapter once again think , this time with big investments in the world of interactive entertainment.
“We compete (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO,” the company wrote in its 2019 earnings report, referencing the viral online gaming sensation.
In late 2021, Netflix began developing its mobile app games. The company hired dozens of new employees and set up its own studio in Helsinki, Finland, to develop new streaming game titles, Insider reported.
On Wednesday, Netflix released its latest title, a graphical adventure game developed by Night School Studio entitled OXENFREE II: Lost Signals. The sequel to the hit supernatural point-and-click thriller is available on the Netflix mobile app, Steam, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.
Netflix officials did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The move to video games comes as Netflix’s growth has slowed tremendously — according to records from Stock Analysis, the company’s annual growth was never below 12% until last year. Though sales hit a record $31.62 billion in 2022, the company ended the year growing just 6.46%, compared to 18.81% in 2021 and 24.01% in 2020 .
It’s unclear if Netflix’s latest venture will succeed, especially since other companies like Google have shut down their own game-streaming service in less than three years, but the company has been a pioneer before: In 2007, Netflix pioneered it in transitioning the entire entertainment industry to streaming.
So far, Netlfix’s slow and steady pace, especially when compared to its competitors, appears to be working to its advantage among developers, The Ringer reported.
Night School Studio was Netflix’s first acquisition of a gaming studio, and was bought in September 2021, a month after the streamer released two pilot games that tie in with the Stranger Things series, TechCrunch reported.
“We saw a lot of players coming into the room trying to make a big swing,” The Ringer reported this week. Sean Krankel, founder of Night School, said this week. “[We heard] I indicated early on that the approach would be very cautious and measured and that it wouldn’t be: “Let’s climb to the top of the mountain and put a Netflix flag there and.” [say] “We are changing the industry.”
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Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a board member of Netflix.