“Whether you’re craving a casual game you can start from scratch or an immersive experience that lets you dig deeper into your favorite stories, we want to begin to build a library of games that offers something for everyone,” video streaming giant Netflix announced on November 2 as it launched a set of new mobile games.
The company is attempting to improve its entertainment offerings by moving beyond movies and television series and the entry into gaming marks its biggest step in this new direction. Netflix formally announced its plans for gaming in an earnings call in July:
We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV […] We’re excited as ever about our movies and TV series offering and we expect a long runway of increasing investment and growth across all of our existing content categories, but since we are nearly a decade into our push into original programming, we think the time is right to learn more about how our members value games.
The reason Netflix chose gaming for this experiment was also hinted in its earnings calls where the company said that the platform competes for screen time with not just other streaming companies but firms like Epic Games, the company behind the popular Fortnite game.
While the platform may be able to leverage its considerable user base and attract them to try its games, it remains to be seen if this new direction will increase its revenues and bolster its subscriber slumps.
How can users access Netflix Games?
- Login to Netflix: “All you need is a Netflix subscription — there’s no ads, no additional fees and no in-app purchases,” the platform said.
- Download games onto Android phone or tablet: Once logged in, users will see a dedicated games row within the Netflix app from where they can download the games. As of now, these games are only available on Android phones and tablets. iOS users will get access to them at a later date, the company said on Twitter. It may be several days until the rollout completes and all Netflix members are able to access these games.
- Play the game on the Netflix app: Once the game is downloaded from the Play Store, users can play them on the Netflix app.
List of games currently available
- Stranger Things: 1984
- Stranger Things 3: The Game
- Shooting Hoops
- Card Blast
- Teeter Up
While the list is sparse as of now, more games appear to be in the works. “Just like our series, films and specials, we want to design games for any level of play and every kind of player, whether you’re a beginner or a lifelong gamer,” Mike Verdu, VP, Game Development said in a blog post. “We’re excited to continue improving our mobile gaming experience and adding to our entertainment offering in the months ahead.”
More details on Netflix Games
- Globally available: Netflix Games are available for users around the world. Earlier the company was testing these games in select European markets.
- Developed in partnership with studios: The game offerings by Netflix have been developed in partnership with game studios like BonusXP, Frosty Pop, Amuzo, and Rogue games. The platform also recently acquired Night School Studio, the creator known for narrative-driven games like Oxenfree.
- Available in multiple languages: “Our mobile games are available in many of the languages we offer on service, so your games will automatically default to the preference set in your Netflix profile. If your language is not yet available, games will default to English,” the company stated.
- Multiple profile access: Netflix members can play these games on multiple devices using different profiles available on the same account, the platform said.
- Not available on kids profiles: These games are currently not available on kids profiles and will be protected by a PIN when kids try to access adult profiles to play a game, the company said.
- Some games work offline as well: Only some games will require an internet connection, others will be available to play offline, Netflix said.
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