The games won’t include ads or in-app purchases, although Netflix plans to keep titles unlocked for subscribers only. Ubisoft declined to share how it would generate revenue in the partnership. The Assassin’s Creed title aims to cross-promote the live TV series that was first announced in 2020.
“Netflix doesn’t take a lot of big shots like this, but when it does, it supports it, and it’s committed to it. They recognize that the journey could be a great deal,” said Mike Verdo, vice president of games at Netflix, of the company’s approach to gaming in an interview with The Washington Post. Long, especially with games, as it takes years to make games.
Market analysts have highlighted dismal adoption rates for Netflix games, as reported by A Third-party app analytics company. Netflix has refused to share how many users are playing its games.
“Netflix has so far managed to convince only 1.7 million people out of 221 million subscribers to play games on its daily platform,” said Joost van Druenen, lecturer in gaming at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “That’s a relatively low conversion rate and the reason why Netflix is arguing that it’s playing the long game. It risks spending a bunch of money on content that doesn’t purposefully improve its business, especially given the lack of clear revenue models for any of Ubisoft’s advertised titles.”
On September 6, Ubisoft announced the Chinese gaming giant Tencent invested about $304 million in key stakeholders. The two companies have a strategic partnership that covers the development of some Ubisoft mobile games, as well as the launch of PC titles in China.
While Ubisoft has released dozens of mobile games in the past, they often shut down their services over time. Among the more than ten Assassin’s Creed mobile titles developed by Ubisoft, the only game currently available on Android and Apple platforms is the action-adventure role-playing game, “Assassin’s Creed Rebellion”. Ubisoft shut down the “Mighty Quest for Epic Loot” in 2016, after thanking players for their time.
“Of course, in any game there is a cycle. So we may end the game when there are not enough users to participate in the game,” said Jean-Michel Detoc, chief mobile officer at Ubisoft. [the upcoming] Games that can last for many years.”
Detoc added that Ubisoft decided to move forward with these franchises after discussions with Netflix about what would best suit their audience.
“We think Valiant Hearts is really something that can appeal to a large Netflix audience,” Dettock said. “it will be [set] The first world war will be a follow-up to the previous war. This narrative and linear game can be really good for users.”
Netflix’s Verdu said its gamers have all different genres and have diverse tastes.
“Our best games are very different. What you can say is that the audience appreciates diversity. When you look at Assassin’s Creed, it’s pretty clear why we’d love to work with Ubisoft to bring that to the platform,” Verdo said. “We’re looking for games and franchises that have lasting value and a special place in people’s hearts and may not be well suited to the unforgiving free-to-play system.”
Netflix games are inside the mobile streaming app, and they have a not-so-simple solution about Apple’s lack of app stores under its App Store base: Users can click a game on the Netflix app, then be redirected to the App Store to download the game. If users already own the titles, clicking on the game icons within the Netflix app will play those games.
Verdu admitted that Netflix has not marketed its games very prominently. The row of titles is only visible when users scroll down the mobile app.
“You’ll notice some changes in the coming months that will give games a slightly higher profile on the service, which is a good thing,” Verdo said, referring to Netflix’s plans to improve its mobile gaming platform.
He added that in the long run, Netflix wants to use its algorithmic recommendations, which it’s known for in TV shows and movies, to serve the audience on game suggestions.
“We believe that with great personalization and recommendation, we can put in front of them games that are highly relevant to our members that will actually unlock discovery in the long run, in a really profound way,” Verdo said. “However, it will be a long time before you see that flower on the platform.”