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Netflix confirms move into video games as its growth slows

UPDATED: Tue., July 20, 2021

This photo displays a logo for Netflix on a remote control in Portland, Ore. Netflix confirmed that it is adding video games to combat a slowdown in subscriber growth.  (Associated Press)
This photo displays a logo for Netflix on a remote control in Portland, Ore. Netflix confirmed that it is adding video games to combat a slowdown in subscriber growth. (Associated Press)
By Michael Liedtke Associated Press

SAN RAMON, Calif. – Netflix reported its worst slowdown in subscriber growth in eight years as people emerged from their pandemic cocoons. But it has an answer to that: video games.

On Tuesday, the streaming giant announced plans to begin adding video games to its existing subscription plans at no extra cost.

It didn’t release details except to note that it will initially focus on mobile games.

The confirmation of the long-anticipated gaming expansion came in conjunction with the release of the latest Netflix earnings report.

That financial breakdown showed the video service added 1.5 million subscribers during the April-June period.

That’s slightly better than the modest increase that management forecast after the service stumbled to a sluggish start during the winter months, but still far below its growth rate in recent years.

The 5.5 million subscribers that Netflix gained through the first six months of this year marks its weakest first-half performance since 2013 – a time when the company was still rolling out more original programming.

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