Netflix is getting Assassin’s Creed on mobile and two more Ubisoft games
Games won’t include ads or in-app purchases, though Netflix plans to keep titles locked for subscribers only. Ubisoft declined to share how it will generate revenue from the partnership. The Assassin’s Creed title is for the cross-promotion of the live-action television series, first announced in 2020.
“Netflix doesn’t take a lot of big hits like this, but when they do, they support them and they commit to them. And they understand that the journey can be a long one, especially with games, where it takes years to make games,” Mike Verdu, vice president of games at Netflix, said of the company’s approach to games in an interview with The Washington Post.
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Market analysts have pointed to the Netflix game’s dismal adoption rates, as reported by a third-party app analytics company. Netflix declined to share the number of users playing its games.
“Netflix has so far only managed to convince 1.7 million of its 221 million subscribers to play games on its platform daily,” said Joost van Dreunen, senior lecturer in commerce. games at NYU Stern School of Business. “That’s a relatively low conversion rate and the reason Netflix will claim they’re playing the long game. They run the risk of spending a lot of money on content that doesn’t significantly improve their business, particularly given the lack of clear revenue models for any of the titles announced by Ubisoft.
On September 6, Ubisoft announced that Chinese gaming giant Tencent had invested around $304 million in its major shareholder. The two companies have a strategic partnership, which covers the development of select Ubisoft mobile games, as well as the launch of PC titles in China.
Although Ubisoft has released dozens of mobile games in the past, it often shuts down its services over time. Of the dozen Assassin’s Creed mobile titles released by Ubisoft, the only one currently available on Android and Apple operating systems is the role-playing adventure game, “Assassin’s Creed Rebellion”. Ubisoft shut down “Mighty Quest for Epic Loot” in 2016, after thanking players for their time.
“Of course, for any game there is a cycle. So we can terminate a game when there are not enough users to come to the game,” said Jean-Michel Detoc, mobile director from Ubisoft. “We see potential for replayability of [the upcoming] games that can last for very long years.
Detoc added that Ubisoft decided to move forward with these franchises after discussions with Netflix about what would best suit its audience.
“We think Valiant Hearts is definitely something that Netflix’s mainstream audience can enjoy,” Detoc said. “It will be [set] in the First World War and it will be a follow-up to the previous one. This narrative and linear game can really suit users.
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Netflix’s Verdu said players of its games enjoy all genres and have varying tastes.
“Our best games are very different. What you can tell is that it’s an audience that appreciates variety. When you look at Assassin’s Creed, it’s pretty obvious that we’d like to work with Ubisoft to bring that to the platform. -shape,” Verdu said. “We look for games and franchises that have lasting value and a special place in people’s hearts that may not have been a perfect fit for the unforgiving free-to-play ecosystem. .”
Netflix’s games live in its mobile streaming app and have an inelegant solution around Apple’s app stores under its App Store rule: users can click on a game on the Netflix app, then be redirected to the App Store to download the game. If users already own the titles, tap the game icons in the Netflix app to launch those games.
Verdu admitted that Netflix hasn’t marketed its games in a very visible way. The row of titles is only visible when users scroll through the mobile app.
“You’ll see some changes in the coming months that will give games a bit of a higher profile on the service, which is good,” Verdu said, referring to Netflix’s plans to improve its mobile games platform.
He added that in the long run, Netflix would like to use its algorithmic recommendations it’s known for with TV shows and movies to offer audience members game suggestions.
“We believe that with great personalization and recommendation, we can put games in front of them that are highly relevant to our members and will really unlock discovery over the long haul, in a really deep way,” Verdu said. “That said, it’s going to be a long time before you see that flower on the platform.”