Netflix teases bigger gaming commitment, tests games in its Android app
What you need to know
- Netflix has added Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3 Android games to Netflix app in Poland.
- The streaming giant confirmed in July that subscribers would get mobile games as part of their subscription.
- No word yet on the timeline for adding Android games to the US Android app, or to iOS.
A month after Netflix confirmed it would add games to its mobile app, the Netflix Geeked Twitter account announced that Polish subscribers "can try Netflix mobile gaming on Android" starting with two Stranger Things Android ports.
Undoubtedly, this is a test run for pushing the Android gaming feature out globally. We'll have to see whether or not these apps all tie in with the best Netflix shows and Originals, or if Netflix just starts adding fun games to play.
"It's very, very early days and we've got a lot of work to do in the months ahead, but this is the first step," the tweet stated. According to the account, these Netflix games will have no ads or in-app purchases, nor will they cost extra: they'll be included in your membership for free.
Netflix recently hired Mike Verdu — former chief of mobile games at EA who then ran VR and AR gaming as a Facebook executive — to run its gaming division. According to reports, this cloud gaming service will come to all major mobile platforms, which would include the best Android phones and best Android tablets, along with iPhones and iPads as well.
Given Apple's track record of banning dedicated cloud gaming apps from the App Store, we wonder whether the company will push back on this. It doesn't seem likely Apple would force Netflix to make a web app like it did with Stadia and Amazon Luna, given that the app will still mostly be for video streaming. But who knows?
We're also curious what kinds of Android games will make it onto the platform. We know from an earlier Netflix gaming report that the company is considering whether to license or develop its own video games. But making games takes time, and it's unclear whether Netflix's mobile games will all connect to Netflix shows or not. Hopefully, some of the best current Android games will make it onto the platform.
Just shows and films for now
With mobile games on the way
Netflix subscription costs have risen along with the streaming service's popularity, as it continues to produce or license popular shows like Stranger Things, The Crown, Bridgerton, and Russian Doll. Complementary games to go along with all that will give the service more value to justify that higher cost.
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Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.