Netflix has started its gaming venture with two games for its Android app, though only in Poland.
The video-streaming service shared the development through a tweet and stated that it is at an early stage with gaming on its platform. Back in June 2019 at E3, Netflix had its first-ever keynote where it announced a free-to-play location-based RPG puzzler called Stranger Things for Android and iOS. Netflix has been showing interest in the gaming industry for quite some time now and, last month in its quarterly letter to shareholders, the OTT service announced that it’s currently in “early stages” of expanding into gaming.
The streaming platform hired former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive, Mike Verdu, as its VP of game development. The first two games on its app for Android in Poland are called Stranger Things 1984 and Stranger Things 3. The latter has been previously available outside of the Netflix app on PC and consoles.
These games can be accessed through the Netflix app, but they will still direct you to the Google Play page to install the game. It seems like Netflix now does some authentication with Google Play to let the device play the ad-free version and integrate the launcher into the Netflix app. We can imagine Netflix’s end goal is to eventually let subscribers stream games without having to install it, directly through the Netflix app.
Netflix has never really been much more than a video-on-demand service. However, it’s surrounded by competitors from the likes of Amazon’s Prime Video, Apple TV, and Disney+ to name a few. The company is undoubtedly one of the best in the business still, but now it’s expanding into gaming.
It has not been announced when games will be playable outside of Poland as part of your Netflix subscription. You can access the games just from the Netflix app’s home screen. Tapping a game will bring you to the Play Store, and that game can then be installed and launched from within Netflix.
As of now, there is no information on when Netflix gaming will make its way to other markets, including India, and what its library will look like then. More updates can be expected from the company as the service further expands its gaming vertical.