Netflix rolls out mobile games

Streaming service's foray into gaming comes as part of a focus on engaging mobile users

Nov 03, 2021 05:17:00 AM | Article | Staff

Netflix has officially expanded into the gaming industry with the global rollout of five mobile games, including two, which are themed around its popular TV series Stranger Things.

The video streaming service first revealed its plans to develop games in 2019 when it began working with US game studio BonusXP to build a Stranger Things-themed game. The 80s-set sci-fi TV series lends itself well to an immersive experience - the set has been recreated by the likes of Secret Cinema.

BonusXP has since developed two games based on the series - Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3: The Game. Netflix's other games include Shooting Hoops and Teeter Up, developed by Frosty Pop, and Card Blast, developed by Amuzo & Rogue Games. Netflix began rolling out tests of its games in a handful of European markets from August.

It rolled out the five games to all Android users globally on Tuesday (November 2). The games will appear on a dedicated games row and games tab within the Netflix mobile app. They are limited to adult accounts.

In a blog post announcing the launch of the gaming service, VP of game development Mike Verdu said: "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."

Verdu added that Netflix is in "the early days" of creating the gaming experience.

The tech giant acquired game developer Night School Studio in September to expand its portfolio of games.

Netflix's push into gaming comes as part of its focus on delivering more experiences to its mobile audience. Netflix COO and chief product officer Gregory Peters said during the company's third-quarter earnings call that the "vast majority" of subscribers engage with the service on a mobile device.

Beyond gaming, Netflix has launched short-form comedy videos on mobile, called Fast Laughs, and a mobile-only subscriptions in markets such as India and Malaysia.

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