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Netflix NFLX recently announced that it would launch a mobile game and an animated TV series based on the popular card game, Exploding Kittens.
Exploding Kittens, designed by Elan Lee, Matthew Inman and Shane Small, was first launched in 2015.
Netflix will be launching an exclusive version of the popular mobile game, Exploding Kittens – The Game, in May. Following the game launch, the company will also release an adult animated series scheduled in 2023.
Gaming Portfolio Expansion and Strategic Acquisitions
Netflix has been looking to up the ante with a solid content portfolio, which is expected to keep the user base engaged. Foraying into gaming is a good opportunity for Netflix to retain its user base, keeping in line with its long-term aim.
Last year, the company announced its plans to expand beyond its entertainment offerings and improve its mobile gaming experience.
The company is expanding its gaming content with new mobile games. Netflix launched its games in November 2021 with five titles, which included Stranger Things: 1984, Stranger Things 3: The Game, Shooting Hoops, Card Blast, and Teeter Up, and eventually expanded it to 14 titles.
Netflix’s games belong to various genres, including casual puzzles and card games to scrolling arcade-style titles. Touted as the ‘ultimate runner/shooter hybrid’, Into The Dead 2: Unleashed pushes Netflix into the more serious gaming space, which is expected to attract subscribers.
On Mar 22, Netflix announced that Netflix games are now available on Android and iOS devices. With a Netflix subscription, there will be no ads, fees or in-app purchases for these games.
Netflix further expanded its gaming portfolio with the release of its first first-person shooter game, Into The Dead 2: Unleashed.
Developed by New Zealand-based developer PikPok, the game features multiple action-packed chapters, dozens of stages (oil fields and military bases) and hundreds of challenges (think burning forests and snowy mountain tops).
Netflix also released a couple of games last month, including This Is A True Story developed by Frosty Pop and Shatter Remastered, a PikPok production.
Netflix, Inc. Price and Consensus
Netflix, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Netflix, Inc. Quote
Netflix has been looking for ways to keep its existing user base engaged and attract new subscribers. Since then, Netflix has been riding on strategic acquisitions to expand its user base.
The company is also rising on strategic acquisitions, in line with its goal to expand its footprint in the gaming industry.
Lat month, Netflix completed the acquisition of a Texas-based game developer and publisher, Boss Fight Entertainment. Boss Fight’s extensive experience in developing popular games across all genres is expected to strengthen Netflix’s foothold in the gaming industry.
In September 2021, Netflix acquired Oxenfree developer, Night School, founded by Sean Krankel and Adam Hines in 2014.
Earlier this month, Netflix announced that it would acquire Next Games, a developer and publisher of mobile games based in Helsinki, Finland, for €65 million ($72 million).
Next Games, founded in 2013 and led by Teemu Huuhtanen, specializes in mobile games based on popular entertainment franchises like Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales, the story-driven puzzle RPG (role-playing game) inspired by one of Netflix’s popular series.
Competition in the Gaming Industry
Netflix has a lower number of development studios compared with companies like Sony SONY, Nintendo NTDOY and Microsoft MSFT, which produce gaming consoles and massively hit game franchises. Thus, Netflix’s acquisitions have been much narrower in scope.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has a video game brand known as the PlayStation. PlayStation consists of two hand-held video game consoles, five home video game consoles, a media center and a smartphone, among other things. Some of its best game franchises include Spider-Man, Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy and God Of War.
Nintendo, which dominated the gaming landscape throughout the late 80s and 90s, has several hit franchises like Brain Age, Kirby, Super Smash Bros., Pokémon and Mario, among several others.
Microsoft’s video gaming brand is Xbox, which currently consists of five video game consoles, applications, streaming services and an online service names Xbox network. It also has a development arm known as Xbox Game Studios. Microsoft’s most popular gaming franchises include Halo, Age of Empires, Gears of War, Fable and Killer Instinct, to name a few.
But the major acquisitions made by Netflix — currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) — in the last few months only highlight its emerging strategy as it aims to catch up with its competitors.
Netflix’s shares have declined 44% in the year-to-date period against the Zacks Broadcast Radio and Television’s decline of 30.4% and the Consumer Discretionary sectors fall of 15.5%.
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