Netflix Launches More Mobile Games In Bid To Hang Onto Subscribers

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Netflix Launches More Mobile Games In Bid To Hang Onto Subscribers
Photo courtesy of Netflix

Despite all the turmoil facing the company, Netflix continues to crank out video games.

On Tuesday, the streaming giant launched three new mobile titles and announced a fourth new game that will be released on May 31—taking Netflix’s total catalog to 22 titles since it expanded into gaming late last year.

The new games include “Townsmen - A Kingdom Rebuilt,” which is Netflix’s first game from Germany. Developed by HandyGames, it lets players build medieval cities and try to keep their kingdom’s citizens happy. Netflix also launched its first game from Spain, 11 Bit Studios' “Moonlighter,” which involves managing a shop by day and slaying monsters by night. Another new title, “Dragon Up” by Canadian developer East Side Games, has players hatch and collect rare dragons and is available in 30 languages, according to Netflix.

The forthcoming title is “Exploding Kittens - The Game,” which is based on the popular card game created in Los Angeles and will also be the basis for a Netflix TV series released in 2023.

Netflix’s venture into gaming comes as the company grapples with a startling decline in subscribers. The streaming service lost 200,000 paying customers from January through March—the company’s first quarterly subscriber loss in more than a decade—and expects to lose 2 million more in the current quarter. That dire outlook has cratered the company’s stock price by nearly 70% this year, prompting the firm to lay off staffers and curtail its spending.

The poor financial results have Netflix trying new initiatives, from adding commercials to cracking down on password sharing. But unlike those planned changes, Netflix’s foray into gaming was well underway before its disastrous first-quarter earnings. The company bought Glendale-based gaming studio Night School in September—the first of three gaming acquisitions within six months—and launched its first mobile game in November.

“It's a top-level priority for us, and we're very focused on it,” Netflix COO and chief product officer Gregory Peters said of gaming during the company’s April earnings call. “We're aiming to have titles that land, that create conversation and enthusiasm and buzz, that drive more people to sign up for the service and then obviously in retention as well.”

With Netflix yet to produce a huge gaming hit, some observers have criticized the effort; one media analyst called gaming a “distraction” from the company’s core business. Adding mobile games, however, could help Netflix attract younger consumers who prefer gaming, while also giving existing customers more value for their monthly subscription. As Netflix now knows firsthand, consumers are increasingly willing to cancel a streaming service, especially if they think it’s too costly.

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AgTech Startup Leaf is Helping Farmers Brace for Unexpected Rainfall After Record Year

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

green leaf drawing and rolling farm lands
Evan Xie

At least 50,000 acres in the state of California are estimated to be underwater after a record-breaking year of rainfall. So far this year, California has received nearly 29 inches of rain, with the bulk being dumped on its central and southern coasts. Farmers are already warning that the price of dairy, tomatoes and other vegetables will rise as the weather prevents them from re-seeding their fields.

While no current technology can prevent weather disasters, Leaf Agriculture, a Los Angeles-based startup that launched in 2018, wants to help farmers better manage their properties by leveraging data.

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Two LA Startups Participate in Techstars' 2023 Health Care Accelerator

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Two LA Startups Participate in Techstars' 2023 Health Care Accelerator
Courtesy of Techstars

Earlier this month, Techstars announced that their 2023 accelerator program will have two simultaneous cohorts–Techstars health care and L.A. As previously reported on dot.LA, Techstars has brought on board returning partners Cedars Sinai, United Healthcare, along with new partners that include UCI Health and Point32Health for its health care cohort.

“For our healthcare program, this is the first time we've had multiple partners as sponsors,” Managing Director Matt Kozlov said. “This allows us to support and mentor a wider diversity of companies than we've been able to help historically.”

The in-person program is taking place in Los Angeles and two out of the twelve companies accepted into the health care program are based in Southern California.

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The Creator-To-Podcaster Pipeline Is Ready to Explode

Nat Rubio-Licht
Nat Rubio-Licht is a freelance reporter with dot.LA. They previously worked at Protocol writing the Source Code newsletter and at the L.A. Business Journal covering tech and aerospace. They can be reached at
The Creator-To-Podcaster Pipeline Is Ready to Explode
Evan Xie

It’s no secret that men dominate the podcasting industry. Even as women continue to grow their foothold, men still make up many of the highest-earning podcasts, raking in massive paychecks from ad revenue and striking deals with streaming platforms worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

But a new demographic is changing that narrative: Gen-Z female influencers and content creators.

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