Netflix to add mobile video games as subscriber growth slows
Netflix Inc said it would take a deeper dive into video games as the movie and TV streaming service projected weak subscriber growth amid growing competition and the lifting of pandemic restrictions that had kept people at home.
The company's shares hovered about even at $531.10 in after-hours trading on Tuesday.
Netflix is weathering a sharp slowdown in new customers after a boom in 2020 fueled by stay-at-home orders to curb the Covid-19 pandemic. In the United States and Canada, Netflix reported losing about 430,000 subscribers in the second quarter, only its third quarterly decline in 10 years.
The streaming video pioneer said it was in the early stages of expanding its video game offerings, which would be available to subscribers at no extra charge. The company will initially focus primarily on mobile games.
"We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV," the company said in its quarterly letter to shareholders.
The multi-year effort will start "relatively small" with games tied to Netflix hit, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Product Officer Greg Peters said in a post-earnings video interview.
"We know that fans of those stories want to go deeper. They want to engage further," Peters said.
Netflix has dabbled in video games with a few titles linked to series including "Stranger Things" and "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance."
The company projected it would add 3.5 million customers from July through September. Wall Street had expected a forecast of 5.5 million, according to analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.