Netflix teases bigger gaming commitment, tests games in its Android app

Netflix App Gaming
Netflix App Gaming (Image credit: Netflix)

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.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.