Netflix ventures into Decentraland to promote 'The Gray Man'

The streaming giant makes another move in gaming with its first step into the crypto-focused metaverse platform.

Stock art of a Netflix screen
Netflix suffered a 1-million-subscriber loss in Q2. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

LOS GATOS, CA: Netflix is making more moves in the world of gaming with a foray into Decentraland.

The company launched its metaverse experience on Monday to support the launch of the upcoming Netflix movie, The Gray Man. Players can navigate a maze while answering questions about the film for a chance to win a non-fungible token at the end of it.

Netflix partnered with Media.Monks to conceptualize the metaverse experience. The Electric Factory developed and created the game inside Decentraland. It will run through August 21.

Netflix is planning to nearly double its video-game catalog from 26 to 50 by the end of the year, according to CNBC. Its game roster features mobile titles that include ports of popular indie games and titles based on “Stranger Things.” Netflix is reportedly planning to incorporate more original intellectual properties, like “The Queen’s Gambit,” into games. Consumers can install Netflix games from the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store but they need subscriptions to play.

Subscribers haven’t engaged much with Netflix’s video games. Adding up downloads for every game in the catalog yields a collective 23 million downloads and almost 2 million daily users, according to CNBC, citing data from app analytics company Apptopia. Netflix has 221 million subscribers, meaning that fewer than 1% actively play its games.

The streaming giant entered the world of gaming last November with five mobile offerings, two of which it themed around the blockbuster show “Stranger Things.”

Mike Verdu, VP of game development at Netflix, said in a blog post that “we want to begin to build a library of games that offers something for everyone.”

Netflix’s turn to gaming coincides with its focus on users who primarily interact with the platform on mobile devices. Gregory Peters, COO and chief product officer at Netflix, said on last year’s Q3 earnings call that a “vast majority” of subscribers use the service on their mobile device.

Netflix is also trying to rebound from the steep subscriber decline it saw in both quarters of this year. It lost almost 1 million subscribers in Q2, nearly five times higher than its loss in Q1. 

Revenue growth also stalled once again, as Netflix recorded 9% growth to $7.9 billion in Q2 compared to Q2 2021. It forecasted that revenue gains will slow to 5% in Q3, largely due to global headwinds, but it also predicted a 1 million subscriber gain in Q3.

To diversify its revenue sources, Netflix is launching an ad-supported business. On its July investor call, Peters shared plans for rolling out a lower-cost subscription with ad integration in early 2023. He said Netflix expects its ad-supported business, which Microsoft will build, to be as profitable or more profitable than its ad-free subscription tiers.

Peters said that Netflix chose Microsoft for its advertising capabilities, sidestepping suggestions that the partnership would allow Netflix to further build upon its gaming offerings to expand on new revenue streams.

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