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SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Netflix reported its worst slowdown in subscriber growth in eight years as people emerge from their pandemic cocoons. So it’s adding a new attraction to its marquee: Video games.
On Tuesday, the video streaming giant announced it will offer video games in its existing subscription plans at no extra cost, but didn’t say when that service will launch or what kind of games it will be developing.
The confirmation of the long-anticipated expansion came in conjunction with the release of Netflix’s latest 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.
Netflix’s net gain of 5.5 million subscribers through the first six months of this year represents its weakest first-half performance since 2013 — a time when the company was still rolling out more original programming as it branched out from licensing existing TV series and movies.
Now Netflix is taking another leap by offering video games that intends to produce itself as part of what it described as a multi-year expansion. The Los Gatos, California, company telegraphed the move last week when it disclosed the hiring of a veteran video game executive, Mike Verdu, to explore potential opportunities in another field of entertainment.
“The reason we’re doing them is to help the subscription service grow and