Netflix has started delivering on its mobile games promises

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It was not so long ago that we learnt that Netflix was going to be pivoting into the mobile games market. Netflix seems to have hit the ground running after the announcement. The company has now started to deliver on its word. Those in Poland were recently invited to play two new mobile games whose titles are quite revealing.

Netflix’s mobile game screens

Let’s talk Netflix and gaming.

Today members in Poland can try Netflix mobile gaming on Android with two games, Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3. 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.

Netflix’s English Tweet introducing gaming in Poland

Now the game titles shed a whole new light on Netflix’s gaming strategy here. It seems like their games will be at least based on their hit shows like Stranger things and hopefully, The Witcher and other titles will be added soon. This means gaming content and media content will complement each other. Hopefully, they will make original gaming titles that could also be turned into hit movies and TV shows.

Once you think about it, the transition seems only natural for Netflix. They have already experimented with interactive titles in the past. Those of you who have watched Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Minecraft: Story Mode and Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal know on Netflix know what I am talking about. All these shows require you to use your remote to make choices and based on those choices you get alternative plots twists and endings.

It’s not as seamless as we expected

When Netflix made their announcement I was curious to know how games would be implemented. Would these be native games that you actually have to separately download or will this be kind of like a Google Stadia/ GeForce set up where you stream the games? It seems that for now, it’s still the former. You have to download and install separate apps for each game. Your device’s CPU, storage and memory are utilised.

For me, that’s very disappointing and kind of makes for a less seamless experience. According to Netflix, you have to follow these steps to play a game:

  • Open your Netflix mobile app
  • Available games will show in your home feed (see screenshot above) alongside other content posters
  • When you tap on the games icon you are given more information which is presented in much the same format as any other show or movie
  • Instead of the play button however you tap on the download button
  • As soon as you do this you are taken back to the Google Play store to download it
  • Of course you can always search for the games yourself in the PlayStore
  • Once the game is downloaded and installed you can open it the usual way by tapping on its icon
  • When you do so you will be asked to login using your Netflix username and password

Again, not every seamless. It means more clutter as more games come along. I was kind of hoping that you could just play the games by tapping on the poster and have them streamed from the cloud. Hopefully, these are just the early days and we will get this version. It will be more Netflix-like than asking us to install stuff.

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