Netflix on Tuesday introduced games on its platform. The new development is a result of a years-long experiment that the video streaming company is doing to go beyond offering movies and television series and please both its investors and users with newer experiences. As a result of the update, Netflix subscribers across the globe can now be able to play five mobile games — Stranger Things: 1984 (BonusXP), Stranger Things 3: The Game (BonusXP), Shooting Hoops (Frosty Pop), Card Blast (Amuzo & Rogue Games), and Teeter Up (Frosty Pop).
Initially, Netflix has released mobile games on Android devices. You can pick them through the dedicated games row or games tab available on mobile devices or using from the categories drown down menu on tablets, and then download the selected games via Google Play. Once downloaded, the games will be available for access directly through the Netflix app.
Although the initial experience is limited to Android, it is also on the way for iOS users, the company said on Twitter.
Netflix is not charging any additional fees for offering mobile games on its platform. The company is also not serving any advertisements or have in-app purchases to offer games through its platform. All this could, however, be an introductory move as Netflix may eventually be able to use gaming as a source of generating additional revenues.
To attract the masses, games on Netflix are available in as many languages as the platform has for its regular offerings. This means that you can get games even in Indian languages, including Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, and Tamil, among others. However, if you have not selected any particular language of your choice, games will default to English.
Some of the Netflix games can even be played offline.
It is also important to note that games are not available on the Kids profile. You will also be required to enter the PIN you have set up to prevent children from having access to your profile to play games on your device.
“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,” said Mike Verdu, VP, Game Development at Netflix, in a blog post.
Netflix has been working with indie game studios including BonusXP for some time. In September, the Los Gatos, California-based company also acquired video game creator Night School Studio and rolled out the five initial mobile game titles in select European markets to test the new move.
Alongside acquisitions and partnerships, Netflix in July hired Verdu as the head of its gaming division. He was previously collaborating with developers at Facebook for developing its augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) content and had worked at hardcore gaming companies including Electronic Arts, Zynga, Kabam, Atari, and Legend Entertainment.
In July, Netflix formally announced its venture into the gaming world. The company told its investors during the earnings call for its second quarter that it sees gaming as another new content category.
“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 company had said in its earnings call.
Netflix may be able to grow stickiness on its platform by offering games alongside movies and television series. However, it is yet to see how the company would be able to use the update to expand its revenues and retain its leadership in the video streaming market. It is also unclear whether the gaming experience be limited to mobile devices or also reach TVs over time as the latter could require Netflix to convince users to get dedicated game controllers for playing games.