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Netflix Confirms Foray into Gaming; To Provide Mobile Games at No Additional Cost

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Netflix officially announced its expansion into gaming on Tuesday, when releasing its financial report for the second quarter in a letter to the shareholders.

The games will be included as part of users’ existing Netflix subscription at no additional cost.

“We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV,” the streaming giant wrote in its letter to investors.

“Initially, we’ll be primarily focused on games for mobile devices,” the letter continued, adding that since the company is nearly a decade into its push into original programming, the time is right to “learn more about how our members value games.”

The announcement comes less than a week after Netflix hired Mike Verdu as its new vice president of game development.

Tuesday’s letter also revealed that Netflix’s engagement per member household has fallen compared to last year, but was still up 17% compared with the “more comparable” second quarter of 2019.

“We added 1.5 million paid memberships in Q2, slightly ahead of our 1 million guidance forecast,” the letter read.

Netflix currently has 209 million paid subscribers globally, according to the letter.

The pandemic year of 2020 slowed down the production and led to “a lighter first half of 2021 slate” the letter further said.

“There’s a nice steady progression in terms of our Covid-delayed slate. We are still heavily back-weighted for this year. But there’s a nice steady progress in the content and the quality of the content, and the excitement around the programming that came out in the first quarter, which we saw across the board in our films like Army of the Dead and Fatherhood, and our series like Lupin and Who Killed Sara, and even our animated projects like The Mitchells versus the Machines,” said Ted Sarandos, the co-CEO and COO of Netflix, in a video interview regarding the second quarter.

The third quarter slate of the streaming platform includes new seasons of fan favourite shows like Money Heist, Sex Education, Virgin River, and Never Have I Ever, and films like Sweet Girl, Kissing Booth 3, and Kate.

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