Netflix could be planning a major shake-up of its gaming service already

Streaming service reportedly looking at introducing ads to "free" mobile games

Netflix cloud gaming
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix's gaming platform might only be a couple of years old, but the streaming service is reportedly considering a bit of an overhaul already. And one idea being discussed is adding commercials to the free games lineup.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Netflix is looking at how it can make more revenue from a service it added as a free extra.

Netflix Games was launched as a bonus to subscribers, with the promise that all mobile titles included on the platform will be available with no in-app purchases nor ads. However, with the streaming giant having successfully introduced advertising tiers to its video service, it is considering the same for gaming.

Other alternatives that are allegedly on the table include reintroducing in-app purchases, or only allowing subscribers on ad-free tiers to continue to play the games with no strings attached.

None of this means that Netflix will withdraw the service – indeed, it plans to accelerate its launch schedule for newly acquired or developed titles. It only recently added Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition for iOS and iPadOS owners. While a very healthy slate of classic games and Netflix originals are planned for the coming months.

Netflix even bought several games developers in recently times, mainly to work on licences it holds – such as Stranger Things and Wednesday.

And there are plans to expand the service to Smart TVs with a cloud-based streaming model being tested in a few different countries. It's just a shame that what was designed to be a bonus for subscribers could soon become a paid extra (at least, for those on lower basic tiers).

That being said, it might be that Netflix won't go through with the plans reportedly discussed amongst its executive team. Although the allure of extra cash could be hard to ignore for a firm that has one of the most expensive Premium plans around.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.