November 4, 2021

Netflix has released the first games for smartphones

In order to enter into the gaming subscription business, Netflix is launching its first games globally.

The business will begin rolling out upgrades to its Netflix app for Android cell phones first , displaying which games are available for download.

To begin, Netflix subscribers will receive five mobile games.

More is on the way, according to the business, with no ads in the game and no in-app purchases like those found in other mobile games.

Two of the five games available with the service are based on Netflix's popular Stranger Things series:

·      Stranger Things: 1984

·      Stranger Things 3: The Game

·      Card Blast

·      Teeter Up

·      Shooting Hoops

"While this is just the beginning of a long journey, we're excited to provide a gaming experience that is differentiated from what is available today - exclusive mobile games with no ads, no in-app payments, included with your Netflix membership," the company said.

While the first games have simple graphics and informal gameplay, Netflix claims it is still in the early phases of development and plans to produce games "for every kind of player" in the future.

"Whether you're craving a casual game you can start from scratch, or an immersive experience that lets you dig deeper into your favourite stories, we want to begin to build a library of games that offers something for everyone," wrote Mike Verdu, the company's head of game development.

Mr. Verdu was a key hire for Netflix, having previously worked for EA Games and then Facebook, where he worked on augmented and virtual reality.

Only Android phones and tablets are supported in this week's update. Games on iOS devices will be available "in the coming months," according to Netflix.

Apple has previously fought attempts by other companies to create "stores within stores," particularly in the gaming industry.

Apple prohibited Microsoft's Game Pass streaming service from appearing in the iPhone App Shop when it first launched in 2020, claiming that the roughly 100 games included should all be featured separately in its store. Instead, Microsoft resorted to using Apple's mobile Safari browser to broadcast content.

Netflix did not report any issues with Netflix Games, claiming that the fact that Android was first was due to the launch being "still in its early phases."

Despite the delay in reaching Apple users, Microsoft has established itself as the market leader in game subscriptions.

Most of Microsoft's own game studio releases are included in its Xbox Game Pass programme on the day they are released, and many of them may be played on an Xbox, a gaming computer, or streamed over the internet to phones and tablets.

Tens of millions of subscribers are estimated to pay between £7.99 and £10.99 per month, depending on the features they require.

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