Netflix to Bolster Gaming Division with Ubisoft Deal

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As Netflix works to strengthen its nascent gaming division, it has partnered with Ubisoft, one of Europe’s largest video game developers.

According to a press release from Netflix, the games will begin to build on three already-established franchises in 2023: the Valiant Hearts, Mighty Quest, and Assassin’s Creed universes. In addition, they will be exclusively available on mobile devices to Netflix subscribers worldwide, with no ads or in-app purchases.

The Ubisoft games, including its most popular game Assassin’s Creed, will be the inspiration for three new mobile games that the California-based streaming service will release in 2019.

Amidst a slowdown in the company’s streaming business, the move is part of Netflix’s efforts to speed up the growth of its new gaming division. Since April, when the streaming company announced its ten-year membership growth trend had halted, the company has lost more than half of its market value.

Under the terms of the agreement, a French gaming company will create mobile games for Netflix. There will also be a Mighty Quest-inspired game, a game about constructing castles and robbing monsters, and a game called Valiant Hearts that features a historical puzzle and adventure.

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With no in-app purchases or commercials, the games will only be available to Netflix customers, giving Ubisoft the chance to reach new markets and try out novel forms for their classic games. However, there has been no information released regarding the deal’s worth.

The world’s largest technological businesses, including Netflix, entered the gaming market last year in an effort to capture a piece of the most lucrative entertainment market. They did this by recruiting a number of high-profile CEOs.

In an effort to become the “Netflix of gaming,” major tech companies, including Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook-owner Meta, and Google, have all increased their video game investments in recent years.

Netflix diversifies into gaming

In addition to releasing 28 games, Netflix has also bought three gaming firms, including Texas-based Boss Fight Entertainment and Night School Studio, the creators of the supernatural adventure game Oxenfree. In March, it acquired Next Games, the Finnish studio behind the mobile games based on its popular television series Stranger Things.

The business has about 220 million customers and has had trouble convincing a sizable portion of those users to become regular players. According to market research firm Apptopia, there are 28 million installations of the mobile games offered by Netflix and 1.9 million daily active users. In contrast, Candy Crush’s creator, King, has about 30 million daily active users.

Netflix’s head of external games, Leanne Loombe, stated that while the streaming service was still “extremely devoted to games,” it was currently in the experimental phase as it tried out various game genres and styles to see which ones its users preferred.

By the end of the year, the large streaming company hopes to have 50 games available. But its effort coincides with a broader slump in the gaming industry, with console manufacturers, video game publishers, and chipmakers for gaming reporting dwindling engagement and sales in recent months.

Snapchat’s parent company, US digital company Snap, announced last week that it was postponing its intentions to enter the game market.

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Loombe noted that “people are still playing games,” thus there is still a significant opportunity for the streaming platform. The business was not concerned by a recent decline in gaming engagement, particularly on mobile.

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Anthony Carter

I’m Anthony and I finished my degree graduate studies on Public Administration and I spend most of my free time in contributing written works about community development, public administration and lifestyle.

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